To have this kind of help for free at this stage of the project was invaluable and literally saved us thousands of pounds in fees whilst enabling the project to go forward. LandAid’s work in scoping out the skills we needed was very helpful in managing expectations on both sides and establishing a good working relationship. The final package of drawings and report CBRE produced for planning application were of an excellent quality. I hope we get to work together in this way again!
David Clare, Business Development Manager, Habitat for Humanity GB Homes
Pro bono architectural and planning advice from CBRE is supporting Habitat for Homes to convert an empty property into accommodation for young people leaving care.
In October 2015 LandAid launched an Empty Properties funding programme, specifically to give grants to charities turning empty properties into supported accommodation for young people who are either homeless, or at severe risk of becoming homeless. LandAid Grants Committee awarded £105,000 to Habitat for Humanity GB Homes to convert an empty building owned by London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to provide suitable accommodation for young people unable to secure alternative living accommodation after having moved on from their care or foster home. Care leavers are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society as they are without the parental and family support structures that most of us take for granted.
The building is a 3-storey end of terrace property. On the ground floor is a textile shop with two upper floors that have been vacant for many years and are in a derelict condition. Access to the upper floors is currently through the shop via a very steep internal staircase.
CBRE carried out a basic measured survey and drew up layout options based on the charities accommodation brief. The layouts were very useful in early discussions with local authority officers about providing shared accommodation for young care leavers in the borough. It also helped us Habitat for Humanity establish the planning constraints with this locally listed building within a conservation area.
CBRE’s planning application proposes converting the vacant first and second floors of the building to a 3-bedroom unit. A small extension on the side of the building will provide a new staircase giving access to the units with space for a bin store to be installed. CBRE carefully designed the floors to provide a bedroom, kitchen/living area, toilet and bathroom on the first floor and a second staircase to the top floor where there will be two more bedrooms.
The refurbished space will make positive use of an otherwise derelict heritage building in the borough and provide a means of investing in its long-term conservation. The renovation will bring huge benefit to the community, as quality homes are created for young people in housing need.