Topping out at new phase of conversion project

The Chillesford Lodge Victorian model farm conversion project is providing new homes in a rural sett

The Chillesford Lodge Victorian model farm conversion project is providing new homes in a rural setting. This is the topping out of phase two, with Bob Page, managing director of Robert Norman Construction, with owner George Watson and his daughter Lucy putting the last roof tile in place. Picture: Paul Nixon - Credit: Archant

Topping out at Victorian model farm conversion homes at Chillesford Lodge near Orford.

An event to mark a key milestone in the construction of a small hamlet on the Chillesford Lodge Estate, near Orford has taken place.

The Grade II Listed development of 18 barn conversions of the Victorian Model Farm are being built over three phases, by locally based Robert Norman Construction,

Robert Norman Construction managing director Bob Page is pictured with estate owner, George Watson and his daughter Lucy, putting the last roof tile in place for the topping out of Phase Two; an event that marks the homes becoming watertight.

The legacy project on the Chillesford Lodge Estate will preserve a unique range of 19th century buildings representing 40,000 square feet of the Victorian Model Farm.


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Model farms were designed and built to offer the best environments for raising livestock and managing farms steadings.

George Watson said: “We had a clear vision from the outset; to design beautiful homes offering a supremely peaceful and secure place to live; yet preserve the integrity of the buildings and their blissful position in the landscape.

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“We decided to appoint Robert Norman Construction as we felt that they really understood what we were trying to achieve. They also had a lot of experience in barn conversions and although we were novices in development, they treated us with respect.

“Our relationship is excellent and based on trust. We were so pleased with their approach on phase one that we had no hesitation in involving them at the very early stages of phase two.”

Work on phase two - which is due for completion in the Spring – also includes the construction of an indoor swimming pool, which will be open to the wider community in east Suffolk.

Once the development is finished, residents will have the exclusive use of a two-acre shrubbery garden and a private footpath, which links up with miles of the national routes for cycling and walking, including the Suffolk Coastal Cycle Route.

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