Innovative school project scoops national award

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Building Control Team is thrilled that one of their customers has scooped a prestigious national award.

The Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards saw Abbey School Chester win the ‘Best non-residential conversion’ category for the conversion of a listed disused hotel to a school for autistic children. Part of the judging process for the LABC Awards assesses the quality of the relationship between the architects/developer and their local authority building control team.

LABC represents all local authority building control teams in England and Wales.

The Council’s Building Control Team nominated the development for the award earlier this year and achieved success at the regional North West heats before going on to face stiff competition at the national grand final.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said:
“Congratulations to everyone involved in this wonderful project. Our Building Control team assigned two building control officers to ensure continuity and same day inspections throughout this project. On site design meetings early in the process established clear strategies for building control elements like fire safety, access and energy use.”

Kate McDonough of the project’s architects, Barron Design Ltd (BDL), said: “This was made possible by a close collaborative relationship between all the relevant Council departments and BDL. The School is called, Abbey School for Exceptional Children, and we at BDL have always aimed for the building to be exceptional too."

Alex Read Director at Read Construction said: “Read is delighted to have been recognised nationally for the Abbey School project.  The challenges which included the Grade 2 listing, city centre location and COVID were overcome through the collaborative approach of the whole team. All members should be deservedly proud.”

More than 750 leading construction industry figures attended the LABC Building Excellence Awards at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel to acclaim best practise, quality and standards in construction.

If you would like Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Building Control experts to be part of your development’s team please email: or call 0300 123 7027.

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