This site of just over one acre is located within the North Wessex Downs AONB and on the edge of Cholsey, one of the larger villages in South Oxfordshire. Formerly a builders’ yard, it was vacant when we were approached to develop proposals for its re-development.
Eight large buildings occupied the site, the majority of which were uninsulated barns in poor condition, previously used for materials storage. Others were used as workshops and offices associated with the business.
RPA Architects were asked to provide planning consultancy services as well as architectural design. Responding to relevant planning policies and presenting a strong case in negotiation with the local planning authority was key - for example it was was necessary to address a perceived loss of employment and demonstrate that it was misplaced. It was also necessary to meet local requirements for affordable housing, provide landscape and neighbour impact assessments and address sustainability, flood risk, ecology, waste management and highway issues.
The scheme we devised will provide 14 new 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed homes together with a fifteenth unit, a 4-bed home achieved by converting the former headquarters office building. The design and layout of the development has been carefully considered, ensuring that amenity space, distance between properties and parking provision are all met.
In the rush to build more homes there is a concern that housing developments (large and small) are all too often characterless and predictable. We believe that a high-quality design-led approach can generate increased value for developers and investors as well as providing homes which are adaptable, resilient and good value for money.