The Cloisters, Hitchin

Howard Cottage Housing Association

RLP provided Architectural, Project Management and Quantity Surveying Services for this project for the Howard Cottage Housing Association, which consisted of the alterations, and improvement of St Saviour’s Cloisters.

Originally built in the 1870’s to provide almshouses for the adjacent church, the buildings were gradually extended through the Victorian period to include a chapel. As the buildings recently fell into a dilapidated state, Howard Cottage agreed to take over the properties and bring the accommodation up to current housing standards. There were originally a total of 13 units with a church meeting room, many of the units being bedsits, and undersized. Our proposals involved a reduction in overall units to 10 units, all one and two bedroom flats, and the association has used the properties to increase their over 55’s local housing stock.

Although not Listed, the buildings were seen as a key part of the local conservation area. The local planning authority required our scheme to remain sympathetic to the original ‘cloister’ style, retaining the character of the original courtyard development through the modernisation scheme. The central shared landscaped courtyard has been enhanced, the housing association involving the local college to assist in the design of the landscaped area to promote local involvement.

The scheme was completed on programme and with a value of approximately £850,000, under the budget.

Client: Howard Cottage Housing Association.
Contractor: BSG Property Services Ltd.
RLP roles: Architectural Designer, Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor
Structural Engineers: Philip Harvey Associates Ltd
Services Consultants: WSP