Our clients saw the potential of building new houses on an empty garden to a property for sale. With an eye toward the housing crisis, he wanted to intensify the usage of the land, which had been underutilised for quite some time.
To get planning permission for building new houses is tough enough on its own. And, to gain it in a conservation area was an even greater challenge. Our clients were feeling frustrated, as their local council was resisting planning applications in their area—mainly for new build houses, despite local demand for accommodation.
The client decided to take a risk to create three new build properties on the plot of an existing dwelling to help increase the housing stock in the local area. Without sacrificing the amenity of the existing residents and without crowding the neighbourhood, our client achieved three beautiful new build houses that provide excellent quality of living to future residents.
Our client was a developer who noticed the potential for high-quality homes on a small plot of land in London. They wanted to demolish an existing attached dwelling house with a large side and rear garden and build new houses as three detached four-bedroom. As with many new build houses, we had to deal with various spatial limitations and intensify the land usage with the maximum amount of housing. What’s more, we had to do this without creating issues with the local density of the streetscape and surrounding area. We also had to get permission to build near a covered river, making for a somewhat complex application process.
We also had to make sure our designs complied with the policies of the local planning authority for building new houses – specifically, we had to produce a residential new build design that was sympathetic to the look and feel of the nearby houses. All of this was par for the course for a backland development project. In the end, we transformed these limitations into a resource and ultimately arrived at an optimal solution benefiting present and future residents in the area.
We also decided to place the access in the middle of the house, which allowed us to get the most out of the tight plot, whilst also providing each house with ample living accommodation downstairs and a bijou garden. This we are able to do without interfering with the amenity of the surrounding homes.
To make the most out of the plot, we decided to rethink the space entirely to maximise the accommodation while fulfilling the brief our clients set us. Instead of trying to match the orientation of the previous property on a corner plot, we pivoted the footprint of the houses so that the front of the buildings faced a newly conceived parking area, something essential in a residential area of south-east London. We managed to create three-storey houses without interfering with the profile or streetscape of the area, providing enough space for comfortable family living.
By using durable, high-quality materials, we were able to maximise the standard of the houses and produced designs that matched the aesthetic of the surrounding neighbourhood. Specifically, we designed the buildings with light-brown bricks to match the look and feel of the nearby homes and made the roofs echo the style of the adjacent properties, but also provided third-storey living space.
To add modern flair and to give a sense of unity to the project, we introduced outset brickwork features and used inset windows, so creating a sense of depth on the outer façade. Ultimately, we were able to develop three family homes into the landscape, each with a clean, modern aesthetic bearing the hallmark of quality that each Urbanist Architecture design has as standard.