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Telford Street - Wick

Pentland Housing Association's Newest Development - Telford and Miller Street, Wick

The Area
Set at the heart of the Thomas Telford Townscape Heritage Initiative, the scheme is part of the wider regeneration of an area originally designed by Thomas Telford to meet the needs of the booming herring industry in the early 19th Century.

The Tenants
The 10 family houses and 6 flats will provide much needed affordable rented accommodation for local people, who will be moving in over the next few days. Half the tenants have been nominated to us by The Highland Council, the others being taken from our own housing waiting list.

The Accessibility
Despite the difficulties of fitting everything into the constraints of the existing original stone buildings and the spaces left for in-fill new builds, all the homes meet the Scottish Executive’s ‘Housing for Varying Needs’ standards, thus minimising the need to move should the physical mobility of tenants change over the years. A wheelchair can be used in most of the ground floor areas, although none are designed to full wheelchair standards.

The Heritage
A major challenge of the scheme was to combine the design and building techniques of the early 19th Century with current day living expectations and building standards. We also wished to reflect the character of this mixed commercial and residential area by retaining the relevant features of the original buildings and by using materials indigenous to Caithness.

To achieve this, we have:

* Re-used the slates from the original roofs where salvageable
* Used Caithness slate for all the new roofs
* Retained the traditional stone built chimney heads with projecting tabling below the copes
* Replaced the original rusted railway track lintels over the fish hatch openings with the same gauge
   track sourced locally

* Re-pointed the existing stone with lime mortar
* Retained the original stone arches, which were an important feature of the area included in Telford’s
  original design
* Retained the original fish hatch openings, designing the windows in a T shape to commemorate
* Designed the windows to resemble the original fixed lights with vertical glazing beads at close centres
  incorporating lapped glass
* Incorporated beading to door panels to reflect the Georgian style of the time
* Used Caithness slab to re-create dykeing and walling, and used a random stone design to create
  parking bays

* Recreated a flagstone pavement on Telford St to meet Telford’s original design guide of 6 feet (1.8m)

* Incorporated colours and finishes reminiscent of the sky, sea, coast, and ‘silver darlings’

The Art Project
Another exciting aspect of the development has been the involvement of local young people in a community art project, ‘New Media Meets Old’, the results of which have been incorporated into the buildings and now provide a point of interest for everyone passing by. The project has provided an excellent opportunity for them to work with established artists and crafts people, and to learn a wide range of traditional and new skills.

The Scheme
Developer: Pentland Housing Association Ltd, 37-39 Traill Street, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 8EG, tel: 01847 892507
www.pentlandhousing.co.uk  email: pha@pentlandhousing.co.uk

Contractor: MM Miller (Wick) Ltd, Gilmore, North Murchison, Wick, Caithness, KW1 5HL, tel: 01955 602746, email: Yvonne@mm-miller.com

Designer: Pentarq, 18 Princes St, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7BQ, tel: 01847 893212 www.pentarq.co.uk  email: Thurso@pentarq.co.uk

Art Project: Wick Youth Club, Lower Dunbar St, Wick, Caithness, KW1 tel: 01955 603174 email: annewebster2002@yahoo.co.uk

Communities Scotland
Heritage Lottery Fund
The Highland Council
Dunfermline Building Society