Watermill Lane



To deliver scheme within defined timescales, whilst obtaining revised Planning Consent and not compromising on quality or budgetary control.

Project Principles and Objectives

To deliver a quality scheme to meet the client’s aspirations, to provide value for money, all within tight time constraints due to the requirement to redesign the scheme and obtain a revised planning consent once the site had been acquired.

Newlon purchased the scheme from a NHS Trust on a hospital site with an existing Planning Consent. The challenge for the team was to redesign the development to provide a Building which met Newlon’s requirements but also did not stray from the Planners Requirements.

The Scheme had to be delivered within the 2011-2015 National Affordable Housing Programme.

Key Issues and How they were Managed

  • To obtain a revised planning consent and progress Design and Pre Construction works whilst this was achieved so as not to compromise on the Completion Date.

  • To manage the Development Cost Plan at all stages to ensure Value for Money was achieved.

  • Provide on site Technical Support to both the Contractor’s site team and Newlon’s Development Team to ensure high levels of Quality Control were achieved and a successful, structured snagging process took place prior to handover.

The scheme was procured with United Living, against an agreed cost plan, whilst a revised planning application was made and the scheme design progressed. The costs were market tested by United Living through their supply chain and once 90% complete a commencement notice was issued to proceed.

We had a key role as cost consultants in scrutinising the supply chain prices and negotiating the agreed price with United Living on Newlon’s behalf. This method of procurement allowed Newlon to be involved in all aspects of the design process to ensure they obtained the high level of quality and specification they required. We managed the gateways and processes constantly updating specifications as well as ensuring cost to value was maximised during the tight time constraints of the pre construction programme.

Successful Outcomes

  • Once the Commencement Notice was issued costs were tightly controlled and the Final Account was agreed within 0.4% of the commencement figure.

  • The revised planning approval was successfully obtained and the scheme was delivered to a high level of quality to meet the Client’s expectations.

  • All 81 units were handed over on the same day that Practical Completion was achieved


Lessons Learned

  • Detailed cost planning is necessary at the outset of this procurement route and should be constantly reviewed at all stages of the planning, design and programming of the scheme through a series of defined gateways.

  • Clear and detailed requirements for Quality Assurance and the Handover Process should be insisted on the Contract Documents

Quick Facts

  • Client - Newlon Housing Trust

  • Value - £13.8 million

  • Description - Design and Construction of 81No. Apartments and Houses

  • Roles and Responsibilities - Cost Consultancy, Employer’s Agent, Site Inspection, Principal Designer.



Iain Stevens