No. 7 Church Hill is an 18th century, detached, grade II listed flint cottage. It sits at the very top of Church Hill in Slindon, a village in the South Downs National Park almost midway between Chichester and Arundel. Approximately half of the cottages and houses in the village, the majority of which are 18th century, together with four surrounding farms are owned by the National Trust.
In June 2015, the National Trust appointed us to complete an upgrade and an internal and external refurbishment of the cottage to make it fit for tenancy after being unoccupied for some time. Work included external repairs, a new kitchen, a new bathroom, plastering, finishes and new services, such as heating and hot water systems and electrical services.
Mark Davies, one of our Senior Chartered Building Surveyors, was assigned to advise the National Trust on the design and construction tendering. In the first instance Mark held briefing meetings with the Trust to ascertain their exact specification and requirements. Mark subsequently completed a full building inspection on the cottage, to identify the structural faults and defects, required repairs, overall fabric and condition of the property and any potential present or future risks.
In partnership with our interdisciplinary teams, the survey was developed into an outline schedule of the works and an estimated budget cost was provided. The proposed refurbishment of the property was designed to protect and enhance the original fabric of the property. Where fabric was found to be defective, it was to be replaced with material that would originally have been used such as lime plaster. No fundamental changes to the footprint of the building were proposed and repairs were to be limited to essential works to leave the property wind and watertight and compliant with current regulations wherever possible.
The schedule and designs were presented to, and agreed with the Trust, prior to being developed further into detailed specification and drawing designs. As a Member of the Association for Project Safety, Mark’s technical expertise and experience further enabled him to also act as Principal Designer under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. With the Trust’s approval we submitted an application for, and subsequently received, Listed Building Consent for the remedial work required.
Mark was responsible for the contract administration and project management of the work. Upon completion of the tender process, the successful contractor was instructed to carry out the works with close monitoring by us, on a regular basis, ensuring they met the specification, regulations and design intent. Mark provided seamless management of the project, developing timely solutions to any issues arising, including neighbourly and party wall matters, and acting as the key connection between the Trust and the contractor.
The works were delivered on time and to budget and tenants moved into the property earlier this year. The building structure, defects and repairs were all completed leaving the property in excellent condition.