Thanks mainly to fires and German bombs, the Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts have been through

six scout huts in 110 years – hence the troop’s name, Phoenix.

A 21st-century scout and boating centre

above image of the proposed new Phoenix hut by architects, McDaniel Woolf


Capital Appeal for our New Phoenix Scout Hut

The final cost for phase 1 of the  build will be £670,390 and we have raised an amazing £544,175 towards the appeal.  we now need your help to keep the appeal going. Phase 2, the boat deck at £86,00 to be built when more funds become available.

…And not charged or included in the cost of the building are the well over £40,000 worth of voluntary hours given by architect and surveyor and over £45,000 already  spent on charges for specialist services related to planning application.


What is Project New Phoenix?

In 2009 Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts recognized that the current scout hut was not fit for purpose. And so began what has now been nearly a decade of design, public consultation, planning permission, technical detailing, tendering, fundraising, and not forgetting contributions from the troop themselves.


Why do we need a new hut?

Put simply, the current building has served us well, but it is wearing out and no longer meets the needs of modern scouting or current regulations.

The limited size of the main deck restricts the indoor activities that can be offered. It doesn’t have separate toilets for boys and girls, and other general facilities are poor. The services (heating, plumbing, drainage and electricity) are constantly requiring maintenance. Facilities need to be brought in line with current legal requirements for equal access and inclusive design, sanitary provision, catering and health and safety compliance. All of these need additional space.

To ensure that all stakeholders had a say, the troop and local community attended workshops in March 2010, with many exciting designs being produced by the children. Once the architects designs were underway, there was a further open consultation in January 2012 and a follow up article in the Ham and Petersham Magazine. A refined scheme was presented at the Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Forum in June 2013. The P&H web site has also continued to update on developments.


What will the new building offer?

The new building will be in the same location as the current hut, but it will be larger in size to meet the needs of the growing troop, as well as more onerous legislation. It will have approximately 50% more floor area for several reasons:

– An increased main deck, with additional height, will provide better space for indoor games and other activities during winter.

– Facilities need to be brought in line with current legal requirements for equal access, sanitary provision and catering facilities, all requiring more floor area.

– New, separate male and female WCs and shower facilities will be provided, as well as a separate disabled WC, which can also be used by adults.

– The size of the boat deck needs to be increased to provide space to carry out boat maintenance, as well for as safe storage.

– A separate, dry store for camping equipment, tents etc is located away from the wet boat deck.

– Storage spaces directly off the main deck allow for safe stacking of chairs, folding tables etc.


Kish Kindergarten uses the hut during term time, so the new design also has their requirements in mind.

It will also serve as a community building, being hired out for family celebrations and community functions  in the locality.

Windows will bring natural daylight and ventilation into the main deck and kitchen, as well as providing a visual connection for leaders and supervisors between inside and outside activities. Also the kitchen, often the hub of many activities, will have a direct servery link to both the main deck and the field outside.


How has the design evolved?

Douglas House Meadow is in Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), which has the same protection as the Green Belt. To get planning permission, the new design had to comply with planning policy and be of a ‘high architectural and urban design quality’. Development on MOL can only be acceptable if it does not harm the character and openness of the MOL. The design evolved following a pre-planning consultation and feedback from LB Richmond.

Because of the remote location and a history of arson attacks and vandalism, the building has to be constructed from practical, durable materials. The predecessor to the current scout hut, known as the ‘Iron Deck’, was constructed in corrugated sheet. Metal was selected again as an appropriate material because it is robust, as well as redolent of naval architecture, reflecting the Sea Scout heritage. A number of similar boating and agricultural structures can be found along our stretch of the Thames.

Douglas House Meadow is in Flood Zone 3a, meaning that there is a high probability of flooding. New buildings in these zones have to be specially engineered. The existing concrete foundations have to be removed and new, specially designed piers constructed to support the raised structure, creating a free-flowing flood storage void beneath. The materials have been specially selected to resist water damage, should a flood occur, ensuring longevity of the building.

Taking a long term view will ensure that the new hut will last for many decades with minimal maintenance. Entirely new services will be provided, including new drainage, which will solve a lot of ongoing issues. Where possible, materials are self-finished, for example the internal block wall finish will be exposed and the doors all have a factory-applied paint finish, all avoiding the need on-going redecoration. The block sports flooring is expected to last up to 50 years and is resistant to fire and water.


Where will the money come from?

The fundraising target for phase 1, omitting the boat deck, is currently £670,390. Karin leads the fundraising team, tirelessly applying for many grants and donations, as well as organising activities to generate money and raise awareness of the appeal.

The new construction will be approximately 410m2. For a building of this size, with complex site conditions. special structural requirements and enhanced environmental performance, the cost represents good value for money. Yes, £670,390 is a lot, but the price has been benchmarked per m2 against other recently constructed scout buildings, with positive results. The team has value-engineered the design at every stage and in addition, a full specification and technical details were produced to enable the scheme to be competitively tendered.

How can I find out more?

The group executive committee, architect and project manager would all be happy to answer any further questions, so please just ask.


Architect McDaniel Woolf Fiona McDaniel + Richard Woolf 020 8332 1981

Project Manager Julian Sheraton-Davis

020 8755 3605


Get Involved and help us build this hut!



For more information on the above please contact Karin.

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