Community Led Housing in Shropshire

DJD Architects are pleased to have assisted our client, Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing to achieve full planning consent for sixteen new affordable houses and bungalows, along with twenty-four new apartments and bungalows for an independent living community of older people, in the village of Weston Rhyn, Shropshire. Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing is the ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation) for Shropshire Council.

The development will deliver much needed housing for affordable rent and shared ownership, comprising two and three bedroom houses, and two bedroom bungalows, along with the twenty-four affordable rent two bedroom accessible apartments and bungalows in the independent living community.

The project was developed as a Community Led Scheme working with members of the local community to design properties that meet the local housing need and respond to the village.  This included consideration of the type and tenure of the properties to meet the local need, arrangement of the properties to minimise impact on neighbours, the design of the landscaping, providing biodiversity enhancements and additional sustainability measures including air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels. The design of the communal facility for the use by residents of the independent living community, new houses and the rest of the village was also an important part of the discussion. Including how the facility could be used to support home working, and be as flexible as possible to meet changing needs.  It was a great experience working with the steering group, who were proactive and positive throughout and we think that this will show in the finished project.

The independent living community is designed around the HAPPI principles (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation), with good circulation, flexible spaces, level access shower rooms, external mobility scooter stores for each home and private winter garden (apartments) or patio (bungalows). The apartments include a centralised ground source heat pump system to provide low carbon heating and hot water. The homes are centred around landscaped courtyards with a mix of patio space, lawn and raised planters which we hope residents will take ownership of.

Planning consent was gained in November 2021 and the Client is in the final stages of appointing a contractor for a start on site in the new year. We are looking forward to seeing the project start to take shape.

Project Details
Client: Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing
Work Stages: 1-6
Dates: 2019 onwards
Approximate Value: Not disclosed
Contractor: J Harper and Sons (Leominster) Limited