This much needed housing project saw the development of 24 new one and two bedroom homes for the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) in Aylesford, Kent. The 24 homes were built for wounded and sick war veterans and their families, all with special adaptations to make the lives of those with disabilities easier.
The housing provides accommodation for those who are not in need of care but do require these specialist facilities. The accommodation is also being provided for younger single veterans in need of temporary housing.
The development also featured a stunning landscaped centrepiece. Originally designed by Jo Thompson for the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show, this Chelsea Barracks Garden was re-established within the new development scheme, both as part of a celebration of the RBLI and to be used as recuperation facility for the Kent veterans.
The two buildings within the project, named Victory House and Invictus Games House, are the first phase in the charity’s masterplan to build a Centenary Village which they aim to open in 2019 – their centenary year. The overall masterplan intends to create a small sustainable community for ex-forces personnel. It is close to the Royal British Legion Village where a variety of welfare, health care, employment and other support services are available, as well as 80 houses and bungalows.
The design of the scheme, led by Kent architects Clague, has emulated best practice within the region, such as the London Housing Design Guide, which sets out space standards high than other requirements. This has allowed the RBLI to offer spacious living areas to their tenants who benefit greatly in respect of living with disabilities. This has set a benchmark for the future phases of the scheme.
The veteran’s accommodation was completed on budget and to a high standard, and praise has been expressed from the funders and the RBLI themselves.
The project was shortlisted for several local awards including the Kent Design and Development Awards and South East RICS Awards.