Affordable Homes, Shropshire

Stages 1-3 Feasibility – Planning

DJD Architects were appointed by Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing, the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO), managing and developing affordable housing for Shropshire Council, to carry out a review of sites within their ownership for development potential.  These included underused garage courts and open spaces across Shropshire.

Initially DJD Architects performed a wide ranging series of feasibility studies for the sites. Working closely with the client and quantity surveyor, eight sites were identified as being economically viable for development. As the majority of the sites were infill sites, the feasibility studies involved analysing complex constraints such as over looking, relationships with existing developments, environmental considerations, and often navigating a large amount of statutory services crossing the sites. The client provided data regarding local housing need which DJD Architects also took into account when proposing a suitable housing mix for the sites. 

In total 36 new homes were proposed across eight sites taken forward to planning. The sites varied in size, the smallest accommodating two houses, the largest seventeen bungalows.

Prior to planning, DJD Architects led public consultations on behalf of Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing. Out of this some design changes were incorporated into the proposals to allay public concerns and reduce potential resistance at planning, whilst maintaining a favourable mix of unit types. Ecological and arboricultural constraints were also identified on the largest of the sites. Adjustments were therefore required to maintain areas of important habitat in mitigation, as well as environmental enhancement through landscaping proposals.

An original tranche of six planning applications were submitted in January 2015, all of which gained approval. Subsequently two applications for sites which required extended negotiations with service authorities and local councillors were submitted in February and March 2015. Both of which were also approved.

Stages 4-6 Technical Design – Handover

Following the successful applications for planning permission on the sites, the client chose a package of five sites to take forward to construction.

DJD Architects were appointed by the successful contractor, Speller Metcalfe Living Ltd, to be the project architect post contract. The client required rapid commencement on several sites, in order to meet funding deadlines. DJD Architects, working closely with the contractor and the rest of the design team, were able to provide the technical drawings in order meet the client’s funding deadlines. As DJD Architects were able to produce the SAP energy assessments ‘in house’, it was possible to make adjustments, where necessary, to the technical details to ensure compatibility and quicker turnaround of the drawings.

DJD Construction Consultants were also appointed by the Client as Party Wall surveyors for the sites, enabling direct communication and fewer points of contact within the design team.