The Kingsway, Bedford
The scheme consists of 33 flats, 27 in the 5-storey block are to be let to Bedford Hospital and the 6 in the 3-storey block will be occupied by Aragon tenants.
This project was in the Paragon Partnership consisting of Aragon Housing Association, Heckler Associates, Employer’s Agents and Cost Consultants, MEPK Architects, Philip Harvey Associates, Structural Engineers and ourselves as main contractor.
The site had numerous problems from start to finish. Initially, the building was a Tile Warehouse, which had been unoccupied for some years, we had to convince the planners the building was not suitable to be taken over by another business as they are always keen to keep employment sites.
The architects had very long negotiations with the planners on design details which delayed the commencement considerably.
The building is of traditional construction with concrete plank floors. Some of the planks weigh almost four tons, too heavy for our self erecting tower crane to handle. With the weight and reach required we needed one of the largest mobile cranes in the country.
Getting all the materials to site was indeed a challenge as Pilcroft Street, the rear access, is very narrow and there was continual liaison with adjoining businesses to ensure we had clear access when required.
EDF were the power providers and were incredibly difficult to deal with, particularly their legal side with very protracted negotiations.
The building now completed is a credit to all concerned, the client, design team, us as the contractors, particularly Mick Hockley the Site Manager.
A landmark on the Bedford landscape when you approach the town from the south east.