Regeneration unlocks key worker homes

KEY WORKER HOMES: Dorchester-based RTI has developed new homes for health workers as part of the regeneration of Dorchester’s Barrack Quarter.

KEY TO SUCCESS: Dorchester-based RTI has developed new homes for health workers as part of the regeneration of Dorchester’s Barrack Quarter.

Key workers from the NHS have moved into newly built homes as part of the regeneration of Dorchester’s Barrack Quarter.

They have taken up residence in nine apartments at Barrack House, close to the Dorset County Hospital and Vespasian House.

Dorchester-based RTI, part of Redtale Holdings Ltd, has developed the essential housing on a dilapidated brownfield site in the north west corner of a former parade ground for Dorchester’s historic army barracks.

The £2.4m regeneration sits within the Dorchester Conservation Area close to the grade II listed Keep military museum and Little Keep former barracks building.

RTI is breathing new life into the area – the Barrack Quarter ­- under a significant long-term, phased regeneration masterplan.

Malcolm Curtis, chief executive of Redtale, said: “It is exciting to see the first key workers and their families from the local NHS move into Barrack House.

“As a Dorset based company, we’re proud to play our part in supporting the local community and economy, with high quality accommodation for such essential employees.

“The development of Barrack House shows perfectly how an infill development on a brownfield site can be seamlessly integrated into a sensitive and historic setting, whilst providing essential housing.

“This has been achieved despite a lengthy and occasionally frustrating planning journey, which spanned the pandemic and overcame a series of hurdles.

“The result is a carefully considered and attractive development which respects, complements and enhances its setting in a sustainable and cohesive way.”

Barrack House’s nine self-contained rental apartments comprise four units with one bedroom and five with two bedrooms for key workers and their families, up to a maximum of 23 occupants.

It has 11 parking spaces as well as cycle storage, and is within easy reach of the hospital and Dorchester town centre.

Barrack House was built using air-tight and thermally efficient construction methods along with low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies. This includes an innovative Joule Modulair All-E exhaust air pump system where hot water is distributed by insulated pipes and heating via an underfloor system.

To complement its historic surroundings, Barrack House was designed in a L-shape with red-brick and buff bounding, open black metal balconies and slate roofs to echo the 19th century military buildings on the site. The building sits perfectly within this sensitive historical setting.

It is the latest phase of the Barrack Quarter urban regeneration project at the top o’ town in Dorchester.

RTI, which is based at Vespasian House, has also converted former quartermaster’s stores into five townhouses and two apartments for open market sale.

It has gained planning consent for a residential extension to Vespasian House and a mixed-used, landmark building with apartments and commercial space and is looking to come forward with further exciting proposals as part of its overall regeneration plans for the Barrack Quarter.

The military buildings in the area were built in the 19th century and were occupied by the Dorsetshire Regiment. Following the army’s departure in 1958, they had a number of occupiers, including the local council.

Professional services were provided by Thrive Architects, Albion planning consultancy, Horizon and BCM Builds.

Redtale in association with Koori has a long track record of delivering high quality, well-designed and customer-focused developments. They include The Grove, the multi award winning Lorton Park and Monterey Place in Weymouth as well as their current development of May Bower Gardens on Portland.

The nine-strong company aims to make a difference in everything it does. Its objective is to ‘do better: better planning, better by design, better build and better customer service’.