A pioneering regeneration scheme in the heart of Kensington that aims to bring back to life two Georgian Terraced Houses is gathering pace, utilising a range of modern day and traditional technologies to restore the Grade 2 listed buildings.
Liverpool contractor Frank Rogers began work at the £1million scheme in Kensington in March. The two adjoining properties had fallen into a poor state with one severely fire damaged whilst the other was suffering from wood rot and extreme dilapidation. Built in 1840 on Beech Street, the properties where considered a major eyesore and were being target by vandals and used by rough sleepers. The ambitious and bold move by social landlord, Riverside will kick start a wider programme of regeneration in the area, with Elm Terrace representing the flagship scheme.
Frank Rogers is using its own in house team of skilled contractors to carry out the works, remodelling and restoring the homes to create nine one bed apartments. All internal works are well advanced and the next phase of work will focus on hard landscaping
The Frank Rogers team, who has a long history of restoring listed and heritage buildings, have explored a broad range of modern and traditional technologies to ensure the integrity of the building is upheld, yet still meets modern standards of living in terms of heat retention and insulation and security.
Across the front façade, the team has employed ‘Roman Cement’, one of the most durable and hard wearing materials available. Developed by the Romans from lime and volcanic ash, and re–emerging during the Georgian period the natural cement render is a sustainable alternative to modern day renders and offers highly insulating properties and workability in application. Local tradesmen skilled in traditional techniques including brickwork using lime and sand, experienced joiners and plasterers have formed part of the team.
Dean Rogers Managing Director of Frank Rogers said:
“This has been a really interesting and challenging project. Restoring the integrity of the building and being sympathetic to its original appearance and make up have been key priorities for our team. We are proud to have employed 100% local labour, showcasing the skills and experience of our local workforce. Work is expected to be completed in February when all nine apartments will be handed over to Riverside and available as one bed properties, helping bridge a gap in this area of the housing market and breathing new life into this historic area.”
The Elm Terrace scheme meets the wider objectives of the Local Authority, bringing back into use a long term empty properties. The area consists of primarily rented units with some owner occupied units however, the smaller accommodation gives an alternative housing choice addressing the local division’s needs for smaller accommodation to address the welfare reform proposals.
Carol Kershaw from Riverside said:
“The property was a virtual shell. It’s been a really challenging project, as the properties were in a very poor structural condition. A facade retention scheme was an urgent requirement to prevent any further deterioration and provide a degree of stability. This has helped to bring back into use a long term empty property. The new self-contained apartments and car park will provide much needed smaller accommodation following the introduction of the under-occupancy charge.”