SixtyK Consortium named as preferred developer for former school site

Communities and Local Government Secretary Ruth Kelly has announced the winning bid for the redevelopment of the former Rowan High School site in Mitcham. The site will be developed as part of the Government’s successful Design for Manufacture competition, where developers were challenged to build a house with a construction cost of £60,000.

The Design for Manufacture competition aims to demonstrate that it is possible to build a high-quality home for a construction cost of £60,000.

It was launched in April 2005 by John Prescott to address the major increases in construction costs in recent years. English Partnerships is running the competition on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government. The winners of the competition will get the opportunity to develop homes on 10 sites identified by English Partnerships.

The figure of £60,000 is a target construction cost, not the total development cost or final sale price. By focussing on purely the cost of construction, the Design for Manufacture competition aims to improve construction efficiency, quality and design. The cost efficiency should have an impact on total scheme costs and will help to make homes more affordable.

Councillor David Williams, Leader of Merton Council said:

“The new Administration support an environmentally friendly development and will seek to ensure that there is a good mix of different kinds of housing and community facilities on the site.”

Speaking at the Housing Design Awards, Ruth Kelly said:

“The bid by the SixtyK Consortium will be an exemplar in sustainable development with over 70% less carbon emissions compared with 2002 standards including renewable energy technology, a combined heat and power facility and rainwater collection and recycling.”

Merton Council’s Plans & Projects team have worked closely with English Partnerships over the past 7 months developing a planning and design brief for the site, which includes:

· Approximately 230 homes,
· 30% of which will be affordable for key workers and rent
· A further 10% will be made available for first time buyers.
· The original school building will be retained and converted to flats
· A new local health centre will be built on Rowan Road
· A new scout hut will be provided within the development
· One third of the site will become a new local park for East Mitcham
· Approximately 10% of the entire development’s energy needs will be met by renewable energy on site.

The site of the former Rowan High School is the largest site in the DfM competition and is also th