In Egham, Surrey, we are taking handover of the first of 34 affordable new homes as part of a major new regeneration project with Runnymede Borough Council.
The new apartments are being built despite the challenges of Covid-19, with work continuing safely throughout the national lockdowns and local restrictions.
We will manage the new apartments on a long term lease, with the freehold interest being retained by Runnymede Borough Council.
The Magna Square development is being driven by Runnymede Borough Council as part of the Runnymede Regeneration Programme. It has already led to the opening of a new shopping centre in Addlestone, and a leisure centre and swimming pool also in Egham. On completion, it will provide 101 new homes, including student accommodation, homes for private sale and retail spaces.
Work on Magna Square started in March 2020, just before Covid restrictions began and hasn’t stopped since. Some of the extra safety measures which have been introduced include limiting the number of contractors and subcontractors on site, reducing the number of non-essential visitors, turnstiles with temperature controlled devices and more testing of operatives.
Enhanced cleaning measures were also introduced, as was careful, advanced planning to secure materials and supplies. Site meetings were conducted virtually and video streaming was used for carrying out site inspections.
Senior Development Project Manager Chris Smith has kept a close eye on progress throughout the pandemic. “It has certainly been a bit different,” he said. “But, a pandemic doesn’t stop people needing new homes, so we were keen to be able to continue on what is such a major development for the area, and what will create so many opportunities.”
The new homes also feature a number of innovative energy efficiency and sustainable features, as well as utilising switch2 technology to mitigate fuel poverty. This is achieved with highly efficient thermal insulation, low air permeability, low water use fixtures, solar control glazing, low energy LED lighting and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.
Leader of Runnymede Borough Council, Cllr Nick Prescot said: “Magna Square will provide a new focal point for Egham town centre, providing homes for local people and those wishing to move into our Borough. In turn this extra footfall will be a boost for businesses after the Coronavirus restrictions ease.”
“As a Council we are absolutely committed to reducing our impact on the world around us, so I am particularly pleased with the environmental and sustainability elements which will be designed into the buildings.”