The philosophy behind the development of the Yealm has always been to celebrate the local community, which has been intrinsically linked with the former hotel for the past 100 years. It only seemed natural, then, to use the best local businesses for this much-loved heritage building’s redevelopment. Here, we celebrate the many talented and varied tradesmen and companies who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to see owner Simon Friend’s ideas and dreams for the Yealm become reality.
Red Earth’s ethos of investing in the local community is reflected in its choice of main building contractor. Devon Contractors, an independent company established in Exeter in 1946, has longevity and an illustrious 70-year history. These well-respected building contractors pride themselves on employing local people, using local suppliers and contractors and choosing projects that will benefit the local area environmentally and socially and are not purely financially driven. This collaborative ethos made them the perfect partner for The Yealm.
(Tim Beattie – Site Agent, Devon Contractors)
While Devon Contractors has made the Yealm a reality, developer Red Earth provided the vision for the project. Standing on the site back in 2016, with the possibility of buying the former River Yealm Hotel and looking out over the estuary, owner and managing director Simon Friend saw a wonderful opportunity to breathe new life into a delightful old building and in doing so, create homes with some of the most enviable views in the South West. Founded by Simon in 1997, Red Earth has always purchased sites in areas where Simon can say “we would love to live here”. Simon is a firm believer in the personal approach. And building lasting relationships, not only with the design team and contractors, but with the local community as each project evolves, is part of a unique ethos that Simon has created. Overseeing every aspect of the development process in its entirety – from land acquisition, planning, design, and build, right down to engaging with local residents and eventually the new homeowners – Simon has a close connection and personal involvement with each and every project.
Returning to the very beginning of the project, Exeter-based Grainge Architects helped Simon’s vision for The Yealm become reality. With experience and reputation spanning nearly 30 years, Grainge Architects have a formidable portfolio of practical and imaginative design behind them, so were an obvious choice for designing The Yealm. And with a good working relationship already in place with Simon, Grainge Associate Architect, Peter Harflett, took to creating plans that would bring The Yealm into the 21st century.
Working with a heritage building like the former Yealm hotel takes a huge amount of skill and sensitivity for those involved in the project’s development, but Kingsbridge-based structural engineer PCA Consulting, established in 1979, specialise in challenging projects. PCA worked closely with Devon Contractors because the structural alterations to the former hotel were complex. All works progressed in parallel, so PCA had a site-wide interest in all elements of the build. The new balconies, for example, are a dramatic feature of the building’s conversion. PCA integrated them to support the floor as well as elements of the roof structure.
Historic projects can also throw up all sorts of complications, so understanding cost implications was key. Having worked with Simon Friend for more than 10 years, quantity surveyors QSPM Consultants understood his development raison d’etre of delivering quality with both panache and sensitivity. One of the leading Quantity Surveying and Project Management practices in the South West, the Plymouth firm is the Contract Administrator and Quantity Surveyors for the Yealm, providing effective cost planning and budget control, best value for money and ultimately, sustainable profitability. With access to current cost data across the spectrum of construction sectors in the region, QSPM were able to provide accurate advice on the cost implications of the Yealm.
Logistics are another key plank of the success of a complex development. Trace Design Consultants provided the Yealm with a complete transport planning service, delivering innovative and cost-effective solutions. The Exeter-based transport and civil engineer combined expertise in transport planning with sound commercial understanding, always striving to minimise financial exposure, maximise the development potential of the project and devise intelligent and environmentally friendly transport planning solutions.
Hulley & Kirkwood practice exclusively in the design of mechanical and electrical engineering services associated with buildings and have provided the Yealm with the essentials: from heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and cooling systems to myriad electrical capabilities. With more than 60 years’ experience, the company create projects that consider future use, have outstanding resilience, are more sustainable and will ultimately make a difference and add value to the local community – values that go hand in hand with Red Earth’s development of the Yealm. Established in 1953, they are one of the largest specialist independent practices in the UK.
Another essential component of working on a heritage building is getting the sound insulation right. Red Twin were brought on board to design, analyse and control sound at the Yealm. Based on their extensive experience of designing residential buildings across the UK and Channel Islands, Red Twin were chosen to set out an appropriate standard of sound insulation, which has been set higher than the building regulations to reflect the luxury nature of the development, with a targeted improvement of 8 dB. It was a complex task due to the acoustic design of the old building’s out-of-date construction methods and materials. Another challenge that Red Twin overcame during the design was to devise new floor constructions that did not raise the finished height of the floor while still maintaining the desired performance.
Championing the Yealm’s stunning homes is Claire Northmore, who is leading the sale of the apartments and houses on behalf of Marchand Petit, the estate agent behind the luxury development. Under her leadership, two apartments have already been sold and reservations are being taken off plan. Claire manages Marchand Petit’s Newton Ferrers branch, which opened in 2004 in response to increasing demand in the area and which swiftly became a recognised brand in the local community. Claire has been working for Marchand Petit for 11 years, with nearly 16 years’ experience overall in estate agency in Devon. During this time, her passion for property continues to grow, along with the enjoyment of meeting customers and assisting them with their search for a new home in a professional and knowledgeable way.
Promoting new homes is key to successful sales. Red Earth developer Simon Friend chose Made with Maturity headed up by Ben and Clare Stirling to work alongside Claire and the Marchand Petit team to assist in marketing the Yealm. Their ideas, energy and ability to understand his aims were evident right from the start. The husband-and-wife team are the directors of Made With Maturity, a Plymouth-based full-service web design and digital marketing agency for clients across the South West and the UK. They started work on the Yealm in December 2017 and developed digital and printed marketing materials to help promote the development, based on a passion for the project and an understanding of the area. This included innovative ideas such as using the elegant Victorian hotel’s exterior for inspiration for the project’s branding, an interactive website highlighting each individual luxury home and the rich history of the former hotel and Newton Ferrers, and a beautiful one-off magazine, River Life, to celebrate the life, work and people of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo.
Reservations are now being taken off plan. If you’re interested in finding out more, please visit the pricing section of our website or do contact Claire Northmore from Marchand Petit (Newton Ferrers office) on 01752 873311 or email Claire. If you would like to be kept up to date with all the latest news from The Yealm, please register for our regular email newsletters.