This project involved the creation of 28 flats for affordable rent for our client Havebury Housing Partnership.
The existing site on Withersfield Road was owned by Havebury Housing Partnership, and was in two distinct parts, divided by Stour Brook. To the north of the river facing onto Withersfield Road was a terrace of six single storey dilapidated dwellings in the conservation area, but in need of demolition & re-development. To the south of Stour Brook was a more natural, unkempt area, bordered by the brook, with mature trees along the north bank.
The brief was to create a scheme that addressed Withersfield Road and extended backwards to maximise the scrub land to the rear. A vehicular bridge over the brook would be required to provide occasional access to the rear properties for deliveries etc.
Key Challenges and Successes
- The site to the rear was unmanaged and provided little amenity for locals and although wildlife existed within the site there was a real opportunity to enhance this for the enjoyment of the local residence.
- There was an opportunity to link to the existing green corridor, which was defined by an old railway line, and provided a route through to the town centre.
- Because of the site position to the rear we had to make appropriate provision for water balancing measures, incorporating SuDS such as permeable paving and green roofs. We also made allowance for new tree planting, including street trees for shading and cooling and creating new or restoring areas of landscape.
Design and Build.
Full service from Concept Designs through to completion on site.
The proposed buildings were designed to sit within the existing landscape as much as possible with sensitive selection of form, scale and materials.
The existing topography of the site has been utilised with single storey dwellings proposed on higher level ground.
The management of retained landscape and integration of new buildings and landscape was intended to create visual links and a transition to the green corridor and county wildlife sites.
Through working closely with the ecologist, space has been created around the development to enhance existing habitat and create new habitat with boundaries that allow wildlife to pass through the site. Various habitat interventions, such as refugia and hibernacula were created around the proposed buildings, particularly within the trees and along the bank.
The dwellings were designed with “organic” edges in order to provide a softer interface with the landscape. The scheme facing Withersfield Road allowed for a shared lounge on the ground floor capturing views across Stour Brook.