Helix hits ground running with COVID-secure start on new homes in Oxfordshire

Newbury-based builder and consultant Helix Group has started on site with its latest new housing project, as it ensures a safe return to work after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Helix is working as construction manager with client and local developer William Hartley Developments, to build four family homes in Garsington, near Oxford. The project is set to complete in June 2021.

Mario Cilia, managing director at William Hartley Developments, said his company had experienced issues with poor-performing main contractors on previous schemes and had been pleased with the work Helix had done when it had stepped in to help complete delayed works elsewhere.

He added: “We are very keen on the construction management route as we are able to procure competitively. The key for us is to ensure we manage our costs well and that there are no surprises. The fact that Helix has such strong credentials on the cost consultancy side is really attractive and reassuring to us.

“The project is challenging at Garsington due to the groundworks needing retaining walls, etc. Helix has been really good in terms of working across its business and expertise in finding solutions to get this work done.

“We have found Helix very thorough and professional in working on this project so far. We are really pleased with how they are supporting us.”

Under a construction management relationship, Helix manages the project on behalf of the client, sharing the delivery risk and ensuring the project is delivered to the client’s budget.

Nic Davies, managing director at Helix, said: “We are delighted we have been able to safely continue our pre-construction work with William Hartley Developments through the COVID-19 lockdown. This preparation and procurement of suppliers ensures we are able to hit the ground running as we start on site with these four high-quality new family homes, on what is our second project in Oxfordshire.”

Nic added: “As a local SME contractor and consultant, it is really important to us that we are able to return to work safely and ensure we support our supply chain partners and their businesses out of lockdown. Garsington is a good news story all round.”

Measures Helix has taken to ensure safe site working include:

  • Hand sanitisation stations
  • Full PPE
  • Staggered access to eating areas
  • One-way routes through buildings
  • Permits for working in close proximity
  • Full communication of these and other steps with supplier directors, prior to any construction staff entering a Helix building site
  • Toolbox talks to reiterate these messages on site

The project at Garsington is one of several of a range of large and small developments that Helix Group has underway in the Thames Valley and wider South East. For instance, Helix will shortly complete a private development at Croft Lane, Newbury, and is pressing ahead as construction manager for Catalyst Housing Group building 185 affordable homes at Brackley.

Helix has also recently won a place on several frameworks for Octavia Housing, Shepherds Bush Housing Group, Origin Housing, Places for People and Notting Hill Genesis.

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Notes for editors:

  • Helix Group is expert in building brilliant homes through its family of Construct, Consulting and Homes teams. It was founded in 2017 by a group of friends eager to use their decades of large building contractor experience to build an SME business based on customer service excellence and the highest quality standards. Helix works on housing developments large and small throughout London, the Thames Valley and wider South East
  • For more information please see www.helix.limited