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Richard Merrills Cv


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Richard Merrills Cv

  1. 1. Curriculum Vitae Richard Merrills Director ONC, HNC Building Studies,BA (Hons) B. Arch (Hons), Diploma in Professional Practice & Management RIBARichard is a Chartered Architect and Director at Watson Batty Architects Limited leading the Housing & RegenerationTeam. He has a major influence on design strategy and technical quality on a number of projects.Richard has undertaken a variety of public and private sector residential projects, procured via Design & Build, traditionaland PFI routes. He has led the PFI bids for Excellent Homes for Life in Kirklees and the Little London, Beeston Hill andHolbeck Housing Leeds.He has also completed some large masterplanning regeneration commissions, which involve extensive public consultation,as part of New Deal, HMR Pathfinder and SRB funded initiatives.Kirklees Excellent Homes for Life PFI for Wates Living Space & Regenter Watson Battys Role: Architect Project architect for the delivery of 30 sites across the Kirklees area and management co- ordination of the team in the delivery of the overall project. Watson Batty are working alongside Regenter and Wates Living Space to deliver 500 new build Flats across over 30 different sites within the Kirklees area. We are Lead designers for the General Needs and Wheelchair accessible Flats. The units are all to be constructed to Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 which is the largest of it’s kind in the UK. The homes have been designed to meet the long-term needs of occupants which are well laid out with good space standards which will enable flexible use by the families who live in them. The design of all units aims to achieve Lifetime Homes Standard to meet the changing requirements of tenants throughout their lives by making homes more flexible, convenient, safe and accessible. Richards Role: Project DirectorValley View, Heptonstall - Pennine Housing 2000 & Strata Construction Watson Battys Role: Architect The existing sheltered housing located on the Valley View site had been in low demand for many years. Refurbishment was found to be undesirable and conversion, not cost effective. In their place, 22no. 2 bed, 3 person newbuild apartments both for rent and shared ownership were required. All of the new apartments are designed to comply with HCA Scheme Development Standards (S.D.S) to an Eco-Homes standard of "Very Good". 4no have been designed as fully compliant specialist wheelchair units. Value approx £2.9m Richards Role: Project DirectorRashcliffe Hill Road Redevelopment, Huddersfield for Sadeh Lok HA & Strata Construction Watson Battys Role: Architect The project involved the demolition of existing high/low rise flats and bungalows to make way for new build social housing for larger families. The scheme was designed in accordance with Scheme Development Standards. Value approx £4 million. Richards Role: Project Architect then Project Director
  2. 2. Curriculum Vitae Richard MerrillsLittle London, Beeston Hill & Holbeck Housing PFI Bid Watson Battys Role: Architect Watson Batty were appointed as Lead designers as Part of the ‘Community Solutions for Regeneration’ Consortium. The Bid Team included Lovell, Morgan Sindall, Chevin Housing Group, Latham Architects, SLR Consulting and WYG Consulting. The PFI bid involved the detailed design and strategic masterplanning of several sites within the Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck areas of Leeds. The scheme was for approximately 850 new build houses, apartments and bungalows. There was to be a tenure mix across the scheme of Private Sales, Social rented and Shared ownership / home-buy units.The scheme looked to not only live up to Leeds City councils aspirations for the are, but sensitively stitch into the existing urban fabric of it’s immediate surroundings.As well as the New build we were also involved in the design of the conversion, refurbishment and external remodelling works to existing Leeds City Council properties. Richards Role: Project DirectorTwin Valley Homes - North Road, Blackburn Watson Battys Role: Architect North Road is our first project procured via the Riverside Framework and has proved to be a success in terms of team working. The residential units formerly located on the North Road site were demolished some years ago by Twin Valley Homes as they were poor quality, undesirable and difficult to let. It was identified at an early stage to be a priority site for redevelopment as it represented the continuation of the overall regeneration of the Lincoln Road estate area. This newbuild scheme, which was completed on site in 2010, provides 29no. family dwellings consisting of 20no. 3bed, 5 person houses, and 9no. 4bed 8 person houses. The scheme tenure mix includes for the provision of 14no rented units and 15no shared ownership units. The properties are arranged around a new mews court. Richards Role: Project Director
  3. 3. Curriculum Vitae Richard MerrillsThurnscoe Redevelopment, Barnsley - Keepmoat Homes Watson Battys Role: Masterplanner & Architect Following our successful masterplanning work with Barnsley MBC at East Thurnscoe and the REEMA Estate we were involved in the developer bid that would bring many of our strategic ideas to fruition. We were appointed by Keepmoat to be their lead designer for the bid. We were joined by GVA Grimley and SLR Consulting to help produce a high quality, sustainable, deliverable solution to enable the communities of East and West Thurnscoe to unite and be part of securing them a long-term future. Our vision for Thurnscoe provided a variety of housing types and tenures in an attractive and well maintained neighbourhood, which benefits from a rural outlook and proximity to local services. It strengthened Thurnscoe’s role as a residential settlement serving wider employment markets, through new housing investment and improved linkages to the local station. Our proposals for Thurnscoe introduced significant green space and amenity value through the creation of a green space network. Households would benefit from attractive views across formal and informal open spaces, which provide a variety of use and activity, including formal areas of play, enjoyment and relaxation. A series of character areas would be created, defined by housing type and form, and set within an overall masterplanning strategy to ensure the development of an integrated neighbourhood. We have successfully obtained Outline Planning approval for the 875 unit masterplan, and Detailed Planning approval for the 161 units which make up phase 1. The project started on site in early 2010. Richards Role: Project DirectorBurnham Avenue, Bierley - ROK & InCommunities Watson Battys Role: Masterplanner & Architect Watson Batty Architects were involved with the proposed scheme at Burnham Avenue located within the former Bradford council estate at Bierley. The site had been cleared by Bradford Community Housing Trust (now InCommunities) with a view to redeveloping for new family housing. The original Brief looked to provide a completely newbuild for sale option, however, following consultation with residents and a review of the housing need in the area it was decided to provide a more sustainable mixed tenure scheme. The resulting scheme of 93no. newbuild houses consisted of rented and shared ownership units with InCommunities, rented units with Manningham Housing Association (aimed specifically at ethnic minority groups) and the remainder as low cost starter homes for sale by Richardson Projects. The design brief stipulated that the For Rent and For Sale units were to be evenly distributed, whilst maintaining a consistent quality of material and aesthetics. Based on this design brief, we realised the need for a high density PPG3 courtyard approach. Richards Role: Project Architect then Project Director
  4. 4. Curriculum Vitae Richard MerrillsEdgehill Estate, Scarborough - Sanctuary Housing Association Watson Battys Role: Architect The Edgehill Estate has been the subject of a whole area urban regeneration strategy over the past few years. Watson Batty Architects developed a masterplan for Sanctuary H.A. and Local Authority owned properties. The commission benefited from the establishment of a very close working relationship between Sanctuary Housing and Scarborough Council.€ Good links were also quickly set up with the community.€ It started life as a very difficult project as the area had unique regeneration problems to be addressed, but it developed into a great success story.€ Our masterplanning commission included environmental improvements and the refurbishment of existing properties on the estate.€ Our consultation work involved the presentation of sketch proposals to residents for analysis and discussion in order to gain support for, and implement, stock transfer.€ We produced a Best Value assessment including Stock Condition Surveys and a final report that made recommendations to Sanctuary Housing and Scarborough Council. The Edgehill Estate commission consisted of the erection of 70 new build social housing units for rent, providing predominantly 2 ,3 and 4-bedroom family dwellings. The units are all located within new adopted mews courts, to create a better sense of community between the new residents, reduce high speed traffic problems, and endorse the planning objectives of the Secured by Design’ requirements. Richards Role: Project ArchitectSelby PFI - Lovell & South Yorkshire Housing Watson Battys Role: Architect Watson Batty were responsible for feasibility work, initial planning consultation work, scheme design, client & local authority co-ordination. Partnership with Developer and RSL to build new build for sale and housing for rent. Approx. value. £15million. Richards Role: Project ArchitectDudley Estate, Illingworth - Southdale & Pennine Housing 2000 Watson Battys Role: Architect We prepared a number of regeneration options for the Dudley Estate ranging from total demolition and newbuild to comprehensive refurbishment.€ Following a number of consultation events and cost appraisals we arrived at a preferred option consisting of a mix of newbuild and refurbished units including a mixed tenure of rent, shared ownership and privately owned/Right to Buy. € €We have also strived to solve the Radburn layout issues via good quality external works improvements, selective road closures and the introduction of more private garden spaces Richards Role: Project Architect then Project Director
  5. 5. Curriculum Vitae Richard MerrillsNorth Bransholme Estate, Hull - Urban & Partners in Change Watson Battys Role: Masterplanner Our commission at the North Bransholme Estate was for Partners in Change and the Residents’ Group ‘URBaN’ utilising Section 16 funding to explore the feasibility of a stock transfer from Hull City Council Housing Stock to a resident run estate. We were given the brief of attempting to remodel the existing courtyards into workable solutions. The entire estate was originally designed as a ‘Radburn’ layout which of course has inherent social problems associated with it. We prepared a series of phasing strategies to indicate how the whole project could be realised with the minimum amount of disruption. We ensured that the community were kept informed at regular intervals so they could make educated decisions and ultimately take an ownership of their Strategy Plan. The North Bransholme Planning was achieved via a very intense period of consultation with members of the community. The Plan was also to be submitted as part of the North Hull bid for Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder monies. Richards Role: Project ArchitectBank Top Regeneration, Blackburn - Twin Valley Homes Watson Battys Role: Architect The Ashworth Street and Bank Top area had been laid out in the Radburn style of the early 1970s, now recognised as an outdated approach to residential development for its lack of private, secure space around individual homes and lack of practical parking provision. The masterplan addresses the transformation of the layout to resolve social issues such as crime and vandalism and problems with existing ‘rat runs’ and poorly maintained open space.€ This was carried out through a process of consultation with the residents.€ We were also in regular contact with the appointed CABE enabler who monitored the design and masterplanning quality throughout the strategic phase of the project. The masterplan investigated utilising partial demolition and property conversion/ improvements to achieve a safer environment for the community.€ Richards Role: Project Architect
  6. 6. Curriculum Vitae Richard MerrillsMytholm Close, Hebden Bridge - Pennine Housing 2000 Watson Battys Role: Architect Mytholm Close is a newbuild housing scheme replacing five unpopular medium rise blocks of flats with 29no. new 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses and 1 and 2 bedroom flats in response to local demand.€ Located on the fringe of a conservation area, the new dwellings were designed to respond to their locality through the use of short terraces and by the choice of materials.€ The new dwellings successfully blend in with the surrounding older stone terraces.€ The layout was designed and planned in close consultation with existing and returning residents of the flats, and also the adjacent residents in the terraces who have benefited from some extra parking spaces.€ Consultation was undertaken throughout the duration of the project and involved the client, stakeholders and appointed tenant’s representatives who would be the final users of the dwellings.€ The tenants had a significant influence on the progression of the projects and the ultimate design solution as their particular circumstances were taken into account.€ Several of the houses and flats have also been designed specifically for wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties.€ An area has been provided as a children’s play area for the residents to equip as they wish. Richards Role: Project Architect Responsible for feasibility work, scheme design, client & local authority co-ordination, resident & tenant consultations and presentations.Twin Valley Homes - Whitendale Crescent, Blackburn. Watson Battys Role: Architect The New build residential scheme at Whitendale Crescent was our 2nd Riverside Partnership Scheme delivered for Twin Valley Homes. The steeply sloping site posed several design and engineering challenges, but the whole design and construction team combined well to create a very successful project. The 3 & 4 bed family dwellings were split level and responded well to the existing topography. The properties were handed over in September 2010. Richards Role: Project Director
  7. 7. Curriculum Vitae Richard MerrillsDeighton & Brackenhall Initiative, Huddersfield -Southdale, Strata Homes & Kirklees MC Watson Battys Role: Masterplanner & Architect The Deighton and Brackenhall estate has suffered significant problems of crime, anti-social behaviour and drug abuse alongside a fall in housing demand. Watson Batty’s initial involvement consisted of resident and partner consultation and strategic masterplanning. The masterplan illustrated the need for a new community centre, environmental improvements, new housing, jobs and training opportunities; village centre improvements and the inclusion of education and sporting facilities. The radical approach here required major areas of demolition that needed very sensitive and thorough consultation.€ Phase 3 represents the completion of a strategy to reactivate demand for housing in the area, improve environmental aesthetics and stimulate the development of sustainable communities within the area. For this phase, a new range of house types were designed. These provide a wider variety of external appearances across the development whilst remaining sympathetic to the building vernacular of the surrounding area. The mixture of house types has also been chosen to ensure that the development attracts a wide demographic of residents, with 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses and apartments within the scheme. The objective was to create a vibrant and sustainable community via inward investment and a mixture of housing tenures.€ Our experience of housing for rent and affordable housing put us in a strong position to successfully integrate newbuild housing for rent and for sale into a regeneration area without creating the feeling of segregation.€ Richards Role: Project Architect then Project DirectorBeeston Hill and Holbeck NRA - Leeds City Council Watson Battys Role: Masterplanner Housing-led whole area regeneration initiative including public consultation, analysis of problems and sustainability issues.€ We contributed towards the Beeston Hill and Holbeck Land Use Framework document, which was being prepared by Leeds City Council.€ Watson Batty’s involvement included an overall visioning plan, detailed courtyard remodelling, preparation of urban codes, public consultation, and stock appraisal. The areas largely consist of street-lined back-to-back terraced properties, posing particular problems in terms of car parking and private gardens. In-depth consultation gave rise to the idea of partial demolition and newbuild, retaining their character. € Richards Role: Project Architect