Priory Hall, Halstead, built in 1906 as the Halstead Girls Grammar School was later combined into The Ramsey Comprehensive School as a drama, art and music department. The site was finally used as a Youth Activity Centre and Adult Education Centre.
In 2008 the site was acquired by Hallmark Developments and planning permission sought for a retirement village consisting of 86 retirement dwellings and a 59 bedroom care home. The focus for the redeveloped site would be a day centre in the refurbished old school house. The site of 2 hectares comprises a large variety of mature trees, gardens and open spaces within the site which enhance its traditional character and setting for the future residents.
The site as a whole will be ideal as a retirement village due to its close proximity to the main shopping centre of Halstead town where a variety of shops, restaurants and amenities can be found. Additionally there are good transport links close to the Priory Hall site serving the market towns of Braintree, Colchester and Sudbury.
Cox Design and Consult became involved in the project at the post planning stage. The instruction was to produce building regulation and construction drawings for the first phase. Phase 1 comprises the construction of 2 blocks, Block A and Block B. Each of the blocks is a row of terraced 2 and 3 bedroom properties over 2 stories.
CDP attended a number of pre-construction meetings liaising with structural engineers, contractors, timber frame companies and architects. Comprehensive design works were undertaken for Phase 1 and Full Plans Building Regulation Approval obtained. A number of design issues inherited were ironed out and ground works and civils on the site began.
Works on the timber frames have since commenced with Block A underway first and Block B following closely.
CDP have also been involved with the refurbishment of the existing school keeper’s house on the front of the site. The house had stood vacant for some years and unfortunately had been subject to vandalism.
CDPs instruction was to carry out a measured survey of the existing property, prepare as built drawings and some proposals for improvement work. Building Regulations were required due to the extent of works required to the property to bring it back to its former glory. The school keepers house will act as a sales office for the entire site once works have been completed. When the site is complete, the property will be converted back into a single dwelling.
The site is proving popular with locals and sales of Phase 1 have been going well. We aim to secure the instruction to carry out architectural works for Phase 2 and 3 in the near future.
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