Manchester Road

Project Description:

Architectural design and planning services for a site in Cheshire.

Approval for 49 new build houses on former playing field site in Northwich.

Location:

Manchester Road, Northwich, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Scope of Works:
  • Proposed site layout options according to varying house mix
  • Full planning application submission
  • Acting as agent during the determination period
  • Plan and elevation drawings for individual house types
  • Coordination with highways and structural engineers

Having successfully completed other planning approvals for our client, we were asked to take on the architect role to explore ideas for layouts for the site. We had obtained comments from the local council identifying that due to the green space present on the existing site, there would be a requirement to incorporate a communal external space for the development.

We sought to situate the green space centrally within the scheme in order for the majority of residents to benefit from it. It also enabled the access road to feel wider on the approach to the central area of the site which was important for the narrowing site to have a sense of openness.

A mix of house types were implemented across the site, ranging from 1 bed back to back affordable housing, 2 bed terraces and 3 bed semi and detached houses. Two detached houses flank the site entrance as a ‘gateway’ off Manchester Road. The terraces houses are orientated north to south so that there are the unobstructed views into the site from the entrance. There are east and west facing windows so they benefit from daylight at different times of the day. Clusters of houses were allocated off the main branch road so that residents would feel like they have their own neighbouring community as well as the wider community of the estate. The use of shared surface paving visually identifies these clusters of houses and allows for a sense of informality and openness for the driveway access areas.

Many of the houses are arranged to face onto the communal green space as it allows longer views from the front windows and also enables natural surveillance of the street as a measure for creating a safe and secure neighbourhood. Many of the larger properties are orientated to the south of the site with south facing rear windows that will benefit from natural daylight and open vistas.

Regarding the smallest house type, the 1 bed back to back houses were proposed as a planning amendment to the previously approved apartments allocated in this location. We discussed this alteration with the clients who had discussed with various housing associations and felt that a lower scale of building would be more appropriate given the two storey height of the terraced houses opposite on Manchester Road. The smaller house types also generated less parking which was beneficial in reducing the amount of hard landscaping across the scheme.

The houses are designed to be modern in appearance and simple in form in order to be viable for a contractor / developer to build. Although the window openings, render, cladding and porches are contemporary elements of the design, we have referenced the local brick types to have a more rustic appearance, adding to the character to the site and making the scheme appropriate in it’s context. The projecting porches have been designed to provide some external storage space as well as accommodate a letterbox and meters.

Other architects had previously explored ideas for the plot and had unsuccessfully agreed a scheme that would achieve a density and design that would meet the client’s and Cheshire West and Chester Council requirements. Northedge Architecture were brought on board and have delivered planning approval for a scheme that efficiently uses the space, thus adding commercial value to the site. The allocation of the central green space, shared surfaces and materials adds a character that is appropriate for the scale of development and provides a sense of community for residents which has won favour with both the client, council and local residents.

Manchester Road

Project Description:

Architectural design and planning services for a site in Cheshire.

Approval for 49 new build houses on former playing field site in Northwich.

Location:

Manchester Road, Northwich, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Scope of Works:
  • Proposed site layout options according to varying house mix
  • Full planning application submission
  • Acting as agent during the determination period
  • Plan and elevation drawings for individual house types
  • Coordination with highways and structural engineers

Having successfully completed other planning approvals for our client, we were asked to take on the architect role to explore ideas for layouts for the site. We had obtained comments from the local council identifying that due to the green space present on the existing site, there would be a requirement to incorporate a communal external space for the development.

We sought to situate the green space centrally within the scheme in order for the majority of residents to benefit from it. It also enabled the access road to feel wider on the approach to the central area of the site which was important for the narrowing site to have a sense of openness.

A mix of house types were implemented across the site, ranging from 1 bed back to back affordable housing, 2 bed terraces and 3 bed semi and detached houses. Two detached houses flank the site entrance as a ‘gateway’ off Manchester Road. The terraces houses are orientated north to south so that there are the unobstructed views into the site from the entrance. There are east and west facing windows so they benefit from daylight at different times of the day. Clusters of houses were allocated off the main branch road so that residents would feel like they have their own neighbouring community as well as the wider community of the estate. The use of shared surface paving visually identifies these clusters of houses and allows for a sense of informality and openness for the driveway access areas.

Many of the houses are arranged to face onto the communal green space as it allows longer views from the front windows and also enables natural surveillance of the street as a measure for creating a safe and secure neighbourhood. Many of the larger properties are orientated to the south of the site with south facing rear windows that will benefit from natural daylight and open vistas.

Regarding the smallest house type, the 1 bed back to back houses were proposed as a planning amendment to the previously approved apartments allocated in this location. We discussed this alteration with the clients who had discussed with various housing associations and felt that a lower scale of building would be more appropriate given the two storey height of the terraced houses opposite on Manchester Road. The smaller house types also generated less parking which was beneficial in reducing the amount of hard landscaping across the scheme.

The houses are designed to be modern in appearance and simple in form in order to be viable for a contractor / developer to build. Although the window openings, render, cladding and porches are contemporary elements of the design, we have referenced the local brick types to have a more rustic appearance, adding to the character to the site and making the scheme appropriate in it’s context. The projecting porches have been designed to provide some external storage space as well as accommodate a letterbox and meters.

Other architects had previously explored ideas for the plot and had unsuccessfully agreed a scheme that would achieve a density and design that would meet the client’s and Cheshire West and Chester Council requirements. Northedge Architecture were brought on board and have delivered planning approval for a scheme that efficiently uses the space, thus adding commercial value to the site. The allocation of the central green space, shared surfaces and materials adds a character that is appropriate for the scale of development and provides a sense of community for residents which has won favour with both the client, council and local residents.

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