Tatling End Police Station, Gerrards Cross, South Buckinghamshire
The site was purchased by South Bucks District Council (SBDC) to assist towards the council’s financial strategy to generate additional annual income. The aim was to redevelop the site, in line with the planning guidelines, to deliver the highest annual rental return possible.
The proposed development will provide 34 new residential units, set out in four buildings, comprising six one-bed units and 28 two-bed units. Forty per cent of the units will be affordable.
Perfect Circle was appointed via Scape Group's Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework to provide project management, quantity surveying and health and safety throughout the project and design services up to stage 3, with the team being retained to provide technical assurance.
The key challenges that Perfect Circle will face in the next few months involve the de-contamination of the ground. Preliminary studies have identified contaminated ground because the police station had a fuel tank on site for the force's own use. When SBDC purchased the land, a condition was agreed with the previous owner that the cost related to de-contamination activities could be claimed back if these works were completed before the end of March 2019.
On the other hand, the ecology surveys undertaken identified bats in the main police station building and one residential building. As bats are protected species, a licence from Natural England is required to move the bats from the existing building onto a designated new space, as this can only be done during low-activity season (October/November of March/April).
Both key challenges identified above are linked with each other and represent a challenge to the construction programme.
Tatling End Police Station is currently in stage 3. The planning application was submitted in December 2017 and it was put on hold as the preliminary ecology report identified that bats could be present in the buildings. Further surveys were required to be undertaken between May and August. Subsequently, a revised preliminary ecology report was provided to the planning officer and planning has now been approved.
In the meantime, a contractor has been approached through the Scape BECS framework to provide a feasibility study and further work to provide cost certainty.
Perfect Circle added value to the client by allowing the council to engage the team on OJEU compliant rates, avoiding the need to go to tender and loss of valuable time, which would have compromised the central government funding stipulation. Commissioning Perfect Circle meant the programme time could be reduced.
The impact of the scheme for the community means that local residents will have the opportunity to rent residential properties, including affordable accommodation, with associated car parking spaces and private and shared amenity spaces.
Additional services provided: