Station Road, Godalming, Surrey
The site sits deep in the heart of Godalming’s historic town centre conservation area, adjacent to the station and against an impressive church spire backdrop. Previously a council-owned car park, it now boasts a diverse mix of 14 affordable flats, maisonettes and houses with private and communal gardens.
Client Waverley Borough Council
Contractor W. Stirland Ltd.
Architect Churchill Hui
Employer’s Agent Churchill Hui
Contract Sum £1.85m
After a winning pitch to Waverley Borough Council and Thames Valley Housing Association, Churchill Hui were appointed as architects for the scheme of much needed affordable housing. Godalming is a picturesque, historic Surrey town and its unique character clearly provided a context for the site and played an integral part in the design. Churchill Hui were pleased to develop the scheme following their engagement as Employer’s Agent.
A number of technical challenges presented, including flood levels, archaeological issues and the site’s conservation area status. A close consultation process was initiated to resolve key criteria such as security, perimeter treatment and aesthetic, followed by a successful public consultation.
Our role was to represent the client, minimise delays to works and ensure optimum outcomes. Our vision was to maintain the quality and aesthetic of the architects’ winning design through to completion stage.
Throughout the project we were available to advise and make key decisions, liaising with all parties including the client, Clerk of Works (Baily Garner) and the Development Agent (Thames Valley Housing Association). Lines of communication, both verbal and written, were clear and succinct and any queries raised were settled promptly.
One of the major challenges was the first of its kind encountered by Churchill Hui. Initial works were interrupted by Surrey County Archaeological Unit (SCAU) whose interest in the archaeological findings necessitated their presence on site for several months. Churchill Hui negotiated where building works could continue in parallel, liaising with SCAU, the Ministry of Justice and key personnel from the local church. One of the solutions created by Churchill Hui to minimise delays was to reduce trench depths by opting for raft foundations for the garages. We assessed and negotiated costs for these changes.
The longer term implications included delays due to impending winter conditions which Churchill Hui dealt with efficiently.
The project delivered Waverley’s goals in terms of numbers, density, expected budget and a smooth planning process. Furthermore, the outstanding architectural design was reflected throughout the interior owing to Churchill Hui’s experienced creative flair. Alterations were made to maximise space and light, and amplify character within budget and timeframes.
One particular resident, Dan Eley – who carried the Olympic Torch for Waverley – was delighted to find affordable town centre housing with proximity to excellent transport links. As a wheelchair user, he requires step-free access, a wet room and wider doorways. Churchill Hui adapted the initial design of the ground floor flat to meet these needs and Dan says he is “very happy” living in the Station Rd development.
The scheme won The Godalming Trust Civic Design Award for the category of New Building in 2016.