Solus Brick Range
Erith Park is part of a five-year landmark regeneration scheme which aims to create a mixed-tenure community of almost 600 family homes and apartments. Funded by the HCA (Homes & Communities Agency) and supported by a grant from the Mayor’s Affordable Homes Programme, it represents one of the largest projects of its type in London.
Developed by Orbit South Housing Association, in partnership with Wates Residential, phase 1 comprises 343 new homes, many of which are already occupied. Phase 2 will provide a further 244 homes developed from the autumn onwards. The £120m programme is due for completion in 2018.
Larner Road, as it was formerly known, was an ex local authority high-rise estate in the London Borough of Bexley with low demand and a very poor local reputation. Discussions with the local residents about the future of the estate began almost a decade ago and a consensus was reached to redevelop Larner Road as a low to mid-rise community with a new name: Erith Park.
The brand new neighbourhood of Erith Park, designed by architects Broadway Malyan, consists of four low-rise apartment buildings and 140 family houses with gardens that have been finished in the same style so that private housing sits affably with social housing. The apartment buildings are sited towards the eastern boundary, shaped to reduce their mass through a series of staggered roof terraces down towards the domestic scale of the contemporary housing.
Five of the seven original tower blocks at Larner Road were demolished to make way for the transformation.
Anthony Fisher, Commercial Manager of Wates Residential (London & South), the main contractors on the project, was delighted to be working with Taylor Maxwell again. “The people at Taylor Maxwell are very easy to work with. We have worked with them on numerous projects through our Supply Chain agreement as they are one of the few major independents who can service our business needs.” he commented.
“We knew we wanted to work with Taylor Maxwell on this project so we brought them in very early on in the process. My main contact was with Alan Gordon who I have worked with many times previously.” Anthony values the relationship the two companies have. “Alan had been involved in the choices of the facades for this project and advised possible solutions which makes the process much simpler. I would like to say that the service overall from TM, not just from Alan, was excellent. For example, we, like many other builders got caught up with the shortage of bricks in 2014. We missed our allocation for the bricks originally selected and had to find an alternative quickly. Alan and the team at Taylor Maxwell worked tirelessly to resolve this.'
Taylor Maxwell supplied over 1.2 million facing bricks to Phase One of the Erith Park programme, almost half a million of which were the Michelmersh Synthesis S14 facing brick. With a charcoal/blue smooth finish, the facing brick provided a beautiful and durable solution that would stand out and complement the other brickwork on the project. Taylor Maxwell’s Alan Gordon added of the brickwork, “The contrasting Synthesis facing brick provides the new landmark development with a modern and contemporary feel, but at the same time utilises a tried and tested building material which gives a quality, but low maintenance facade treatment.”
Brickwork contractor, Rob Pearce of Flahive Brickwork echoed the praise for the materials selected, “The end result has come out really well and we’re really pleased with it. There’s two phases on the project and it’s going to be a really good looking estate.”
We are delighted with the outcome of the finished elevations, our partnership with Taylor Maxwell is very strong and this is a great example of us collectively improving the built environment for our future generations to enjoy.”
Joint Chief Executive Officer - Michelmersh
Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC produces approximately 72 million clay bricks, tiles and pavers a year and currently owns a large proportion of the UK’s premium manufacturing brands. As a leading specification brick and clay paving manufacturer, Michelmersh strives to be a well invested, long term sustainable and environmentally responsible business, producing Britain’s premium clay products and enhancing the built environment by adding value to the architectural landscape for generations to come.
With the first phase of Erith Park finished, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and not only from the local stakeholders; The project has recently won London Regeneration Project of the year at the London Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Awards (RICS) and is shortlisted for the National Housing Award.
Anthony Fisher reported “Support from the various stakeholders of the development to date has led to the approval of the second phase of this project. It has also led to discussions with the client on further enhancements in the local area.”
Alan Gordon concluded, “Taylor Maxwell are delighted to be working on Phase 2 of the development with both Michelmersh and Wates Residential, and look forward to this being completed to the same high standard, providing a fresh start for the community.’’