Your client, ‘Happy Homes’ is a new entrant into the growing niche market for high-quality assisted living apartments for the over-60s (also referred to as a ‘provider of extra care housing’). They have recently purchased Broadwood Manor and the surrounding land to add to their portfolio. Their intention was to demolish the manor and build two new three-storey blocks each to accommodate 30 flats in either single- or two-person layouts. Their developments always include a range of ancillary uses such as a medical treatment room, a gym, social facilities, a kitchen, a restaurant, relatives’ accommodation and staff facilities including two flats for use by wardens providing 24-hour care and a staff dining room.
On approaching the local planning office, your client’s advisors discovered that, although Broadwood Manor is not listed, it is considered to be of architectural merit and of local importance so this must be considered with any development plans.
Your client has revised their development proposals to now build the two residential blocks and use the manor building for some of the ancillary uses described. In addition, they are considering the construction of a single-storey extension to accommodate a badminton court that doubles up as a function room along with toilets and changing facilities which will also serve two new tennis courts for use by residents.
You are the building surveyor appointed to a multi-disciplinary team which is advising the feasibility report. As the building surveyor, you are being asked to concentrate on the contribution that the existing Broadwood Manor facilities could make to the viability of the development. Your report is written for the lead designer who is coordinating the feasibility study.
Your client has moved from a position of initially wanting to demolish the manor to one where they now see the building as being central to the overall success of the development and wanting to protect the heritage value, not least because that may help ease any planning issues when making the application.
You have been tasked with evaluating and discussing the significant issues critical to the success of the plans to retain and adapt the manor as a key element of the development, as well as issues which need to be considered to enhance the building’s environmental performance. Your work will feed into the feasibility report being prepared jointly by the team.