Croft Architecture Ltd provided pre-auction advice to the client for a disused car park site in Dresden, Stoke-on-Trent. Pre-auction, the site already had planning permission for two three bedroom semi-detached dwellings which were subject to numerous planning considerations.
Our brief was to develop the scheme for new affordable housing in Stoke-on-Trent based on the current planning consent.
Upon meeting with client and surveying the site, it was clear that there was an alternative advantageous planning direction to take. We could immediately see that there was the opportunity to maximise the potential of the plot, from just two new homes into four new dwellings.
By increasing the number of properties on the site it would, not only boost the quantity of muchneededquality modern starter homes in Stoke-on-Trent, but also maximise the clients' investment on the site.
Although the land had been purchased with planning consent for two dwellings, we could see that the site had the potential to accommodate extra new homes, whilst improving the overall design and layout of the scheme. The design of the new homes was successfully reworked and this provided the client with a new planning submission for four two bedroom townhouses.
The benefits of modifying and re-submitting the new drawings for two extra dwellings would vastly increase the profitability for the client. The revisions to scheme would now economically utilise the space of the vacant site within a sustainable location.
The small dimensions of the site presented a challenge to enhance and increase the number of dwellings on the plot, whilst improving the aesthetics of the design.
The necessary amendments were made to resubmit the planning application to change the current approval for two dwellings into four two bedroomed dwellings.
We prepared a strong case to support the planning submission reinforcing our clients’ application. There were no planning reasons not to approve the new scheme for the new affordable homes in Dresden, Stoke-on-Trent.
Approval was permitted, good news for the client as the uplift in land value is much greater, delivering a greater return on investment.
To discharge the previous conditions from the prior application the new planning consent requested an archaeological written scheme of investigation.
Confirmation of the sites' historical significance was not provided by the planning department but since the client acquired the site we have discovered that the land in the area of was owned by Freehold Land Societies that came into existence in the 1840’s from a political movement organised by Liberal radicals to effect Parliamentary reform. In recognition of the movement the street names in this area of Dresden were presented the names of prominent national liberals.
When the Longton and Dresden Freehold Land Society purchased the farmland of the Dresden Estate a Bridle Path ran across the land from Longton to Trentham. The pedestrian Bridle Path was included into the 1850 street plan and it’s still on there today! This area and the Bridle Path offers the chance to take a walk through the history of British Social Reform Politics.
Although the number of new homes on the site has doubled, careful design consideration was given to modify the design to ensure that the new affordable housing relates to the historical context, style and character of the neighbouring properties dating back to the 1800’s.
The new dwellings will sympathise with the existing street scene by emulating their architectural style, using traditional materials with a contemporary twist interpreting the detailing on adjacent properties. The simple yet effective detailing of the new design provides the contractor a straightforward scheme to construct at minimal cost.
The additional new dwellings take full advantage of the land available. They all provide a generous amount of floor space, rear landscaped gardens and a car parking space for each new home.
The new affordable homes provide:
3 storeys of living accommodation.
Two substantial bedrooms.
The top floor room has been designed with an open ceiling following the shape of the roof structure to create a spacious bedroom.
Large open plan living, kitchen and dining accommodation.
Rear garden space.
Off road private parking facilities.
New affordable housing in walking distance of the local community facilities & transport network.
The modified design solution for the new affordable housing in Dresden bears minimal visual impact on the street scene and responds to the living needs required for new affordable housing.
Whilst the client has obviously been able to gain a significant return on investment on the site, by doubling the number of properties on the new town centre development. The neighbouring residents and future homeowners have also considerably benefitted from the aesthetically improved design modifications.
The new affordable homes will now correspond well with the historical significance of the area and the adjacent buildings. The design of the new homes now reflect and enhance the character of the immediate surrounding area. In addition the proud new homeowners of the affordable homes also set to gain from the functional design improvements, together with a more aesthetically appealing home.