Mayor cuts ribbon on the new Altura Place
- Credit: SAFFRON PHOTO
A Dunmow garage built in 1934 in the Art Deco style has been replaced by luxury apartments with underground parking in a similar design style.
Great Dunmow Town Council mayor Mike Coleman cut the ribbon on Altura Place this week. The first apartment has been sold and is due to complete today (Thursday).
Ian Terry, chairman of Perkins Ltd and Crownfield Holdings, the developer of the apartments, said it had taken 12 years to bring the plans for the building on Stortford Road to fruition. “It has been a project of love,” he said.
Old black and white photographs of the original garage have the name JL Smith above the door, the names Sunbeam, Hillman, Austin Rover and Jaguar on the building, and Shell fuel pumps on the forecourt.
Perkins bought the garage in 1997, relocating from their Ford retail dealership in Leyton.
In 2007, the garage’s designated zone changed. It had been zoned as commercial but was now in a conservation area. Perkins explored the idea of replacing the garage with residential accommodation.
Architect Warren Smith of Design Consultants in Letchworth, brother-in-law to Ian’s son Piers Terry, investigated the possibilities.
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Several options were drawn up and were shared with Owen Wilson who was at the time Dunmow Town Council’s clerk. A presentation was made to the council’s planning committee. The feedback was they unanimously preferred a copy of the 1934 landmark, often used as a navigation point when explaining directions.
Planning consent was gained from Uttlesford in 2012 and the garage and its workforce moved to Rayne.
The 12 new apartments have been built by Elevate Construction Ltd, headed by Clifford Smith, whose family have been builders in Dunmow for over 50 years, managers Jonathan Sample and Earl Marshall, and a workforce from the local area. The work has taken three years.
Mr Terry said his son Piers’ wife suggested the name ‘Altura’ which means ‘the best’, ‘the tops’.
Mr Terry said they’ve had enquiries from a wide area, from people looking to move into Dunmow.
He added: “We hope all our work and aspirations pay off and the results of our efforts gain the approval of the residents of Great Dunmow.
“We want to thank the local companies, shops and tradespeople who have contributed to this development.”