CRL assists developer with structural defects insurance for historic glassworks renovation

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CRL has assisted in arranging flexible structural defects warranties for a £3.25 million luxury residential renovation of a historic former glassworks.

The structural defects insurance specialist was selected by J G Woodcock to work with them on the restoration of one of the country’s largest glass manufacturing sites, The Royal Brierley Glassworks in Dudley, West Midlands, which dates back to 1776.

The heritage site has now been transformed into an award-winning residential development of 10 two and three-bed houses and 17 one and two-bed apartments, which have all been sold.

CRL was appointed midway through the scheme following the passing of entrepreneur and property developer John Woodcock in 2014, who was head of family business J G Woodcock.

The Royal Brierley Glassworks in Dudley – awarded a Royal Charter in the early 1900s – was bought by J G Woodcock in 2006 and had been in a state of ruin for more than 10 years.

J G Woodcock Contracts Manager John Turner said CRL were appointed to put retrospective structural defects insurance in place and protect the properties by supplying a 10-year warranty certification for people buying the homes.

When The Royal Brierley Glassworks scheme completed in October 2015, the 10-year structural defects insurance cover took effect and was passed on to the tenants or owners of the houses.

It assisted the family business in seeing through their father’s vision of creating luxury homes for families in the community, while sensitively restoring this historic building.

John said: “CRL took all our requirements on board and worked with the local authority to supply a warranty that suited our individual circumstances.

We needed a project partner to assist and support us on the scheme. CRL was that partner, they formed a relationship with us and made the process easy as opposed to creating more red tape and resistance. There was a lot of emotion involved in this project for our family and they were sensitive to the circumstances as well as the unusual stage of construction to be instructed.

The historical site brought numerous issues for the developer, which included maintaining the conservation of the building and making modern bespoke handmade metal framed double glazed windows to match the originals.

The listed chimney on the site needed work, as well as sound-proofing measures, to ensure the renovation adhered to national heritage requirements and retained the period features.

Under normal residential development circumstances, builders and contractors apply for structural warranties ahead of planning being submitted, or at least prior to the foundations being laid.

This is so structural defects insurance providers can assist on plans and inspect the development throughout construction.

Chris Branigan, Relationship Manager for CRL, said: “Our flexible solution of arranging the policy retrospectively allowed plans for The Royal Brierley Glassworks to progress with the assurance of a warranty for the potential purchasing residents.

“The conversion of the existing heritage building meant John and his team had a lot of restrictions placed on the build, we were able to take these into consideration and find a sustainable warranty solution that fitted our client’s specific requirements.

“Our flexible approach meant that we could offer them a product that ticked all the boxes and pass this on to their buyers. I have since visited the finished site and the quality and workmanship is incredible and a credit to John and his team.”

The appointment of CRL came following a recommendation from JHAI Building Control.

Cementing a strong working relationship, CRL is arranging structural defects insurance for three further J G Woodcock projects, including a £2.7m barn conversion, a new residential estate of five homes and a new half-a-million pound new build home in Telford.

John Turner said: “As a family business with a visual legacy to realise at Glassworks, we needed to know our development was being sensitively and efficiently handled. We deliberately sought project partners that we could form personable relationships with.”

He added: “CRL has been brilliant, a valuable partner on this project and several further schemes of ours. The level of customer service we have received from CRL has been phenomenal.

We would recommend CRL to any residential developer or local builder that could benefit from the expertise of the team, to ensure the highest quality standards and cover.

“They removed the headache and complexity of the warranty process by managing it all for me. This enabled us, the developer, to complete our tasks on time and to budget, we would not be without CRL.”