Construction projects update

Member News

2021 has seen construction works continue to be in high demand, albeit with limitations in respect of Covid and Brexit causing supply shortages for both skilled labour and materials. Robinson & Hall have seen that raw material costs have significantly risen, driven by shortages and high demand for products as reported in our article in July here.

Our Architecture & Building Surveying department has been busy managing construction works onsite and have seen no let-up in new projects for commercial, agricultural and domestic development works.

We have surveyed and prepared drawings and building condition surveys to support in excess of a dozen applications for both residential and commercial change of use of agricultural buildings, where farmers are actively seeking to diversify ahead of the Agriculture Act and change to subsidies.

During 2021, Robinson & Hall’s Building Surveying team has been involved in a large variety of specialist projects including:

Funeral Parlour in Letchworth

The Zimbabwean Ambassador recently opened the first UK based funeral parlour for our clients, who have similar facilities on several continents as well as throughout Africa. The CEO of Nyaradzo Funeral Services in his welcoming speech paid tribute to the creative talents of our Chartered Building Surveyor, Stuart Brown, in turning a disused 1930s printing factory into a bespoke funeral parlour.

Third Floor Office Attic Conversion

Work has recently commenced on converting the third floor storage space into an office for the principal in a solicitors’ office in Bedford Town Centre. The project, being in a conservation area, required planning consent for the formation of two lead clad dormers on the rear elevation. We are providing design and project management services for the project and have acted as Agreed Party Wall Surveyors for both the owners and the next door neighbour, where the party wall is being extended upwards for the dormer construction.

Church Redecoration

As the interior of Bunyan Meeting Church area had not been redecorated for over 30 years, it was beginning to look tired and several areas had suffered from flaking paintwork. The Church buildings, being Grade II Listed, required special consideration in the selection of breathable paints to maintain the historic nature of the building fabric. At the same time the Trustees took the opportunity to upgrade the lighting. Following this £150,000 project, the Church is now back using their worship space. Our building surveyors have been commissioned on various projects during the past 10 years including a £1,000,000 stonework and roof restoration project. In order to keep the Trustees updated on the condition of the building fabric, our building surveyors carry out a five year survey of the whole premises in order to formulate a planned maintenance programme.

New Highway Access and Driveway at Shuttleworth

We have also recently completed the contract administration and project management of the construction of a new highway access and driveway to the Shuttleworth site near Biggleswade. Shuttleworth consists of historic parkland housing the world renowned Shuttleworth Collection and Grade II listed mansion house.

The new 1.2 mile road has been needed for some time to manage the flow of traffic to the mansion house, visitor attractions and Shuttleworth College. It involved extensive consultation at an early stage with both the local authority planners and Historic England to produce a scheme that safeguarded the special nature of the site.

Further to obtaining planning consent, we have discharged planning conditions and managed the construction works from specification and tender to snagging and handing over the road.

The next work on the site will allow a section of the old driveway that crosses the Old Warden Airfield to be removed, involving removing 300 tonnes of concrete and macadam! This will be replaced with grass to enable the vintage tail dragging aircraft to safely land and take off, utilising a far longer area of the airfield.

David Sawford, Partner and Chartered Building Surveyor at Robinson & Hall, comments “We have worked hard with all stakeholders to produce a scheme that allows the site to prosper without harm to the special nature of the historic site and we are delighted to see the new road in use and named ‘Alder Drive’ in honour of the retiring Shuttleworth Trustee, Mike Alder.”

If you are considering a building project and would like to discuss how we could help, then please contact David Sawford on 01234 362909 or email or Stuart Brown, Chartered Building Surveyor, on 01234 362923 or email