The project is an innovative housing development that is seeing construction students – including bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians from West Suffolk College – work alongside Havebury’s contractor, Cocksedge Building Contractors, to build seven new homes.
The scheme, which consists of three high specification houses and four flats on a former underused garage site in Mitchell Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, is giving students unprecedented hands on experience of a real life development project. The project is expected to cost in the region of £900k to complete and has been part funded by the Homes and Communities Agency.
Yasmin Jeffery, Head of Marketing and Communications at West Suffolk College, said: “We are delighted that this joint venture with Havebury Housing Partnership is being recognised by naming the development College Mews.
“Students will be proud to say they have contributed to the building of these homes and their efforts will be remembered with the street name. It is brilliant that our students are being allowed to work alongside professionals on this project, getting invaluable real life experience of their trades and we are grateful to Havebury for this opportunity.”
Havebury Development Manager, Suzanne Newman said: “Havebury has always enjoyed a good relationship with the College so it is great to be able to offer such worthwhile work experience for students who are learning trade skills that we so desperately need in Suffolk.”
This week, the second year bricklaying students have been on the site putting their skills into practice under close supervision from professional bricklayers. They are working on the ‘first fix’ stage of the building which is when the first bricks are laid. The skeletons of the timber-framed homes are already constructed and the homes now have roofs.
Level 2 Bricklaying student Will Bloomfield, age 17, was working on site this week. He said: “It’s a great experience. Even though I have been studying bricklaying for two years there is so much to learn from a hands on project like this. I have enjoyed the chance to be part of building someone’s home, not just a practise wall at college. Also coming to work on a real site has given me an idea of what my job will be like in the future.”
Students from all of the trade courses at West Suffolk College are involved in the project and will work alongside external contractors at every stage of the delivery, including members of the Havebury team, Infinity Architects, Cocksedge Building Contractors and Oxbury and Co. All work the students do will contribute towards their course qualifications.
The original designs were submitted by HE students earlier this year on the Construction Management and Building Services courses and developed by one of Havebury’s consultant architects.