Having worked on Audley projects in Birmingham and Bristol, Balfour Beatty was contracted to develop a detailed design and pricing proposal for Cooper’s Hill in 2016. This led on to the award of the full construction contract for the scheme.
Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the delivery of 78 luxury retirement properties, a health club, swimming pool, restaurant and library, using various in-house capabilities, including piling, temporary works and plant services.
The contractor is already on site carrying out a £3m enabling works package, with main construction works due to start in the autumn.
Dean Banks, managing director for of Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction Services business, said: “The award of this contract is another example of the importance of early contractor engagement. Our long-standing relationship with Audley has enabled us to work together to deliver a proposal that provides us with a solid foundation from which to excel in the build of this new development.
“With our teams already on site, we are primed and ready to start main construction works. On completion, we will have seen the scheme through from project outset to full realisation.”
Audley managing director Kevin Shaw said: “The retirement village model is very different to that of traditional house-builders; building the villages is the first step, but Audley then continues to operate and run those villages, so it is essential that we work with partners that understand this significant difference. We have a proven track record of successful projects with Balfour Beatty; they have always shown a real understanding of the Audley proposition and the need to meet the growing demand for high quality retirement properties. This is the natural next step in this partnership and we look forward to moving forward with the development of Audley Cooper’s Hill.”
The 67-acre site is the former Brunel University Runnymede campus, which was purchased by Audley last year. It was originally sold by the university to Oracle Homes Runnymede in 2007 for £46.5m and plans for a £150m mixed housing development got council approval in 2011 but never went ahead.