The Grand Exchange, Bracknell Project Update

UPDATE: Fellows have successfully completed Phase 2 of the enabling works at the Grand Exchange, Bracknell for Seven Capital. The scheme is the redevelopment of an existing bus depot to provide 242 residential units and 225m2 of commercial space over 11 storeys.

This exciting, marquee scheme for the town, required extensive above ground demolition and an intensive remediation programme to prepare the site for our next phase. In addition to the grubbing up of the existing yard, and decommissioning of underground services, there was an EHO requirement for site wide remediation of contaminants. A job well done by the project team, including DB Remediation Ltd.

Following the commencement of the development in January 2019, Fellows and the project team have been working closely with Seven Capital and our preferred contractor to develop an efficient, cost effective development within the constraints of the original planning consent. There have been inevitable changes to the external façade driven by value, constructability and safety, and we have been working with the local planning authority to agree to changes that do not affect the character and nature of the development. In addition, the project team have been working alongside the local planning authority to agree the necessary information to discharge all of the pre-commencement planning conditions, which enabled commencement of work on site in November 2019.

In conjunction with this, Fellows have been working behind the scenes managing the statutory obligations required of the development, including the agreement of a party wall notice with Bracknell Forest Council, agreeing and complying with a Basic Asset Protection Agreement with Network Rail, and negotiating a public sewer diversion with Thames Water. All of this has been undertaken alongside a wider procurement & tendering process as the Seven Capital look to agree a formal price, programme and start date with our preferred contractor for the building contract.

Preparation for the demolition commenced in July 2019 with the decanting of the existing tenants from the site and the formal disconnection of utilities and services. Demolition of the above ground structures commenced in November 2019 following the formal notification of the discharge of all pre-commencement conditions for the site. The works were completed in December 2019 in readiness for the New Year and remediation works commenced in January 2020 for a period of 9 weeks.

With these works completed in March 2020, Fellows are excited for the next phase of development and the commencement of construction.

It is anticipated that the works will take approximately 27 months and the project will be handed over to Seven Capital in the Summer of 2022.