W181_Overview of development

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Essex Residential development

Location: Essex

Client: George Thompson (Great Oakley) Ltd

Eurobuild have developed plans for 51-unit residential development forming part of a wider mixed-use development in Great Oakley, Essex. Tasked with delivering high quality, sustainable homes for Great Oakley, in response to the 6% growth in annual housing demand, the design provides a range of 2, 3 and 4-bed units with a variety of terraced, semi-detached and detached house types; with affordable, standard and premium options.

Each of the standard and premium units are to be built to Lifetime Homes Standards providing for both the ageing population as well as young families moving into the area, and are to achieve Code Level 4 for Sustainable Homes resulting in a lower energy consumption across the whole of the site.

All dwellings have been designed to be able to be constructed to the PassivHaus standard.

The site is currently serving agricultural use, having previously been used from the post-medieval period onwards for arable farming, before which it formed part of the All Saints Church estate. The change of use from agricultural to residential has been supported by the Parish as well as the majority of residents within the Village.

A simple materials palette takes inspiration from the existing and traditional buildings in the Village, giving the proposed development a uniform and coherent language, in keeping with the existing character of Great Oakley. The typical ‘Essex barn’ style of black painted weatherboard will feature on the affordable and standard housing types. The premium units to the south of the site will consist of brick, white render and white painted weatherboard, materials which are typically seen throughout the Village on both the older more traditional buildings, as well as new builds.

There are three main residential areas across the site with the affordable units located at the top of the site closest to the community facilities, the standard 3 and 4 bed units occupying the centre of the site, and the premium units running alongside the southern boundary alongside the wildflower meadow and backing on to existing offsite residential properties. The division of the premium units is a direct result of the water easement running across the site, however this does provide the units with a more private environment away from the primary streets with larger plots. Where possible, units are orientated to be north-south facing to reduce the risk of overheating through east-west solar gain, with sliding timber shutters being provided on southern and some east-west elevations to reduce this risk and to create a dynamic interchanging facade.

Each unit meets/ exceeds the minimum requirements for private amenity space as advised by the Essex Design Guide, providing private outdoor space for each dwelling as well as public open space for the community.

Two main areas of open green space have been provided in the form of a Village Green to the north of the site and a wildflower meadow to the south. Both spaces are overlooked by housing providing a safe, secure and attractive environment. There is also a dedicated children’s play area providing natural play apparatus, located adjacent to the Village Green. The existing footpath connecting the School to Woodlands has been retained and upgraded, and a number of additional footpaths across the site have been provided increasing pedestrian and cycle permeability through the use of green routes, encouraging people to travel on foot rather than by car.

The scheme as displayed during a Public Exhibition procured a very good response from the local community.

The development has recently been submitted for planning approval.

See also Project no. 194 Great Oakley Village Hall & Doctors’ Surgery.