Winner of the Maldon Conservation & Design Award

BUILDING CONSERVATION AND DESIGN WINNER – The Tower, Lower Burnham Road, Latchingdon

Six exemplary projects received awards in the annual categories of Building Conservation, Design, Sustainability and Nature Conservation.

The main contractor of this project was Aston Group. This award is for the residential conversion of a redundant water tower. The tower was constructed in the 1930’s out of reinforced concrete but had been redundant for over thirty years. A small ground-floor extension accommodates the entrance hall and a finely crafted timber staircase. At first-floor level, the former water tank now comprises bedrooms, bathrooms and a gym. An extension has been constructed on top of half of the water tank, creating a second-floor level. This contains an open-plan living, dining and kitchen space. The top floor is illuminated by a glazed wall facing southwest which opens onto a large balcony. The design maximises the spectacular views across the River Crouch. The new extensions have been vertically clad in red cedar and the concrete painted in a subtle grey colour. Many of the internal fittings are industrial in style to reflect the building’s former function.

The judges were hugely impressed by what they agreed was an “outstanding” scheme. Its stunning design, quality materials and appropriate detailing have resulted in a building that is both “innovative and inspirational”.

Councillor Penny Channer, Chairman of the Judging Panel, said: “Participating in these awards is one of the highlights of my year. The 2016 winners are particularly impressive, and highlight what good work is done across the Maldon District to preserve and enhance our precious natural and built heritage.”

Michael Thomas purchased the water tower with his brother. The architect for the whole scheme was Mr Thomas’s daughter, Helen Thomas.

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Credit: Landscape Photography, Ian Barnes Photography




Paving the way forward for Whitefield Academy

Whitefield AcademyAston Group took part in the development of a new path for Whitefield Academy students to create better accessibility to their school allotments. It was a great team effort between Aston Group, Osborne Property Services and hire-company Speedy Services who between them donated machinery, materials and the man-power to build the path to the school allotments over the summer.

The allotments are built on quite a steep slope and the last part of the access involved a rough track that cut across the slope, making access difficult. The Whitefield Schools allotment has already proved its worth in terms of both fun and education, now more of their students will be able to benefit from using it.

Principal Laura Pease said “We are very grateful for the difference it will make to the lives of our children and young people. The new path makes it possible for wheelchair users to reach the allotment and makes it easier for everyone else too. If Whitefield Academy were to pay for it, our little path would have cost us £4,200.”

Read more here


Supporting our future workforce

Alex Law Quantity SurveyorAlex Law has successfully completed a one year apprenticeship with Astons as a quantity surveyor. Here is his story about why he chose to do an apprenticeship and the benefits of learning this way.

I’m Alex Law, I’m 19, and I’m currently training to be a quantity surveyor.

I have always been interested in the building industry as my family have been heavily involved in it.

I chose to do an apprenticeship as I never really fancied the university route, and doing an apprenticeship meant I could not only learn in my chosen career path but I could earn an income to fund myself. I find this way much more effective as I can practice as I learn, so the skills stick with me better.


Celebrating five successful years working together

One of Waltham Forest’s and Aston Group’s greatest achievements is 5 years (60 consecutive months) of 100% compliance for gas servicing. This was achieved in March, 2016.

Gas Safety Checks are a legal obligation and are vital to ensure resident safety. Aston Group gain access to every Waltham Forest Housing property which total in excess of 8500 properties. This is a huge achievement and something to which most Social Landlords can only aspire.  Our challenge is to ensure that this level of performance is maintained in future months and years.

This achievement is an outstanding example of how teamwork, motivation, and the dedication of all involved can achieve results.

Handyman Day at St Patricks Court

St Patricks Handyman 4 copyAston Group employees organised a handyman day on Friday 27 May 2016. The team offered the elderly and vulnerable residents of St Patricks Court the opportunity to get jobs/small tasks that they were unable to carry out themselves undertaken by Aston Group employees.

Our team consisted of Ed, one of our builders, Vicki and three apprentices, Tyler, Josh and Harry.

During the day Ed undertook painting of a hallway and bedroom ceiling along with making good around a ceiling rose following a flood from the flat above. Feedback received from the resident “Clean & tidy work, done a very good job their attention to detail excellent.  Well done Aston Group, a company that wants to give something to the community.  Hats off.  Thank you”. 


Fun and games at St Josephs School

St Josephs School Barking

The children at St Josephs School haven’t been able to use their playground and climbing frame for two years as it wasn’t in a good condition or a safe place to play.

Aston Group were initially asked by the School in Barking to replace just the soft play area under the climbing frames approximately 60m². We managed to get a great price for them so they decided to have the entire playground, all 220m², resurfaced.