Architects on notice for £1.5m contract due to be published later this month

The UK’s biggest housing association has put architects on notice for a £1.5m job to masterplan a major mixed-use scheme in Essex which will include up to 9,000 homes.

Latimer, the commercial development arm of 125,000-home housing association Clarion, published a prior information notice for the contract last week.

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Broadway Malyan’s designs for the Kirstall Road scheme

The Tendring and Colchester Borders Garden Community scheme, thought to be worth £3bn and spanning 1,000 acres, is one of the largest development opportunities within the group’s portfolio.

The joint project for Tendring district council, Colchester borough council and Essex county council aims to start providing the first new homes from 2025 and over the next two decades.

The current scope of the job is to secure outline planning consent for the scheme, which also includes employment space, a university campus expansion, a new country park and associated infrastructure.

The contract is split into four lots, which can all be awarded to a single tenderer and cover services up to and including submission of an outline planning application and through to planning consent.

The first lot is for a masterplanner, design code author and lead consultant, the second lot for landscape architecture, the third lot for engineering services, and the fourth lot for public consultation and engagement in support of the masterplan.

A full contract notice with the deadline to submit tenders will be published on 31 August.

Clarion has a development pipeline of 18,000 homes, with the total group reporting a turnover of £169m for the months of April and May this year. The quarterly update, posted earlier this month, would normally include figures for June but these had to be omitted because of a cyber attack.

In April, the group announced details of a record-breaking year for new housing completions. It built 2,276 homes during the 2021/22 financial year - more than 80% of which were for affordable tenures. 

In the same month it secured planning permission for Broadway Malyan-designed plans to build 1,400 homes on vacant land west of Leeds.