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Hydrock on the team to design sustainable urban village in Exeter

1st Jul 2020

Our civil, structural and geo-environmental engineering teams are part of the project team supporting Eutopia Homes to transform 15 acres of redundant storage land to the east of Exeter into a £130m inter-generational community providing 465 new residences.

The project, which will create a vibrant new neighbourhood, will redevelop Exmouth Junction, a former Network Rail site on Prince Charles Road in Exeter which has been under-utilised as a former railway interchange site for three decades.

Working alongside the architects, Darling Associates, and CBRE as the planning consultant, Hydrock have delivered detailed structural and civils infrastructure design up to RIBA Stage 2, and site investigation work, with the scheme achieving planning approval in March 2020.

Hydrock’s Bristol-based structural and civil engineering team will now progress the scheme through all the RIBA stages to completion starting with RIBA Stage 3 sub-structure and civils infrastructure designs. We are also co-ordinating the highly specialist proprietary superstructure systems which our initial work recommended to minimise foundation loads and the use of concrete. Our team is also managing the related site applications with Network Rail.

In addition, having completed site investigations, Hydrock’s geo-environmental specialists are now preparing the supporting documents for the enabling works tender including the remediation management strategy to inform the enabling works package and a geotechnical design report for the earthworks.

With a strong emphasis on place-making, Eutopia Homes vision for the former Exmouth Junction site is a vibrant community of starter homes, family houses, affordable housing and apartments to rent and buy, all within an urban parkland setting.

Of the 465 residential units, 230 will be designed and built exclusively for rent, including 57 discounted market rent homes, all enjoying on-site amenities such as co-working space, a gym and a residents’ dining room. A further 122 homes will be for open market sale and 48 will be for affordable housing. In addition, the scheme will also include a 65-unit retirement facility. With a range of unit sizes, the scheme is designed to attract young professionals, first-time buyers, families and downsizers.

Sustainability is at the heart of Eutopia Homes’ vision for this site which is just over a 10-minute walk to Exeter city centre and half a mile from the University. The focus is on green space, public gardens and squares, and footpaths and cycling routes to encourage sustainable travel. There is a reduced focus on car dependency reflected by the limited number of parking spaces and the provision of an on-site car club and a large number of bike spaces.

Image courtesy of Darling Associates.