img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Planning consents: new housing, conversions and a water wheel

Words:
Will Jennings

A water turbine on the site of Richard Arkwright’s original mill is among the latest schemes to win planning permission as well as residential projects in Devon, Oxford and London

  • Credit: Resonant
  • Credit: Resonant
12

Oxford domestic conversion

Client Annie Sloan
Architect Resonant Architecture
Planning authority Oxford City Council
Planning ref 22/00599/FUL

For many decades and until recently, 33 Iffley road had been used as offices, with permissions granted in 2020 for conversion into a single residence dwelling. Now, Resonant Architecture has gained permission for a rear extension as part of that project, offering an extended ground floor and basement for client Annie Sloan, a local businesswoman, paint seller and colour expert.

The new extension is formed of two varied arches in a light structure formed largely of glass, a light touch upon the semi-detached villa, which is within a conservation area. One arch opens on to a new dining area, itself open on to a new open-plan kitchen one step up and into the historic property. The other, narrower, arch relates to a staircase leading upwards to a ground-floor art studio, now also benefiting from the glazed-roof extension and light it will allow deeper into the plan. Over the years, and with the repurposing of the building as offices, the primary entrance has shifted from the Iffley Road frontage to the rear. The new extension not only offers an improved layout but also clarifies and tidies the formal entrance to the property.

As an office building, little attention had been given to external spaces. As part of the scheme, the rear of the house is set to become a richly biodiverse garden directly connecting to the primary living spaces within a scheme set to total £400,000.

 

  • Paignton apartment blocks.
    Paignton apartment blocks. Credit: THP
  • Paignton apartment blocks.
    Paignton apartment blocks. Credit: THP
  • Paignton apartment blocks.
    Paignton apartment blocks. Credit: THP
  • Paignton apartment blocks.
    Paignton apartment blocks. Credit: THP
  • Paignton apartment blocks.
    Paignton apartment blocks. Credit: THP
  • Paignton apartment blocks.
    Paignton apartment blocks. Credit: THP
123456

Devonshire Park, Paignton

Total net sellable area 288,000m²
Client Devonshire Park
Architect The Harris Partnership
Planning authority Torbay Council
Planning ref Reserved matters P/2019/0278 on Outline planning P/2014/0947

A former telecommunications engineering site, rebranded as Devonshire Park, will bring 254 homes to Paignton in Devon. The site is adjacent to Devonshire Retail Park, part of the client’s larger scheme, which opened in 2019. It is estimated to have a gross development value of £100 million.

Comprising a variety of semi-detached and detached short-run terraces and two blocks of apartments, the scheme may sound somewhat run-of-the-mill for such large-scale developments. However, the project's aesthetic starkly varies from an average developer-led scheme, The Harris Partnership has used an architectural palette of 'modern intent', with materials including zinc and timber across architectonically playful forms, pitched roofs graphically breaking up the rolling hills.

'This scheme breaks the mould,' says Harris Partnership director Ian Perrell, adding: 'We hope it will be a catalyst for design-led brownfield development in Paignton.' As with surrounding developments of more traditional developer aesthetic and material, the scheme is formed around cul-de-sacs and green spaces, though each structure has dedicated electric car-charging points, as well as air source heat pumps, with a future intent in the scheme beyond aesthetic form.

 

  • St Marks Court.
    St Marks Court. Credit: Fathom Architects
  • St Marks Court.
    St Marks Court. Credit: Fathom Architects
  • St Marks Court.
    St Marks Court. Credit: Fathom Architects
  • St Marks Court.
    St Marks Court. Credit: Fathom Architects
  • St Marks Court.
    St Marks Court. Credit: Fathom Architects
12345

St John’s Wood mansion block

Client Henigman
Architect Fathom Architects
Landscape architect Kin Land Design
Planning authority Westminster
Planning ref 21/06791/FULL 

This late 1800s mansion block was originally a row of terraced houses before a 1918 remodelling removed entrance steps and front doors to create the current massing, which does not have any entrances on Abbey Road, along which it sits. The block is within the St John’s Wood Conservation Area and so street-facing external changes are kept to the minimum. These include a repositioning of upper-floor windows, realignment of dormers, realignment of upper-level banding,  additional bay windows to balance the frontage, and a new entrance.

Much of the work is being carried out to significantly improve environmental performance behind the existing facade. Fathom Architects collaborated with a specialist supplier of ecological building products to come up with an approach of natural and breathable cork and clay materials, offering excellent thermal performance while exceeding existing regulations, including fire rating.

To the interior existing solid brick facade, a new skim of lime-based insulating plaster faced with calcium climate board and plaster finish is to be installed, while a grid of photovoltaics covering 93m² will be added to the roof as part of an all-electric strategy for the block. The internal spatial arrangements are being reconfigured for modern standards, overall creating 29 residences, five more than currently.

 

  • The Bishops avenue.
    The Bishops avenue. Credit: RG + P
  • The Bishops avenue.
    The Bishops avenue. Credit: RG + P
  • The Bishops avenue.
    The Bishops avenue. Credit: RG + P
  • The Bishops avenue.
    The Bishops avenue. Credit: RG + P
1234

Bishop’s Avenue retirement

Total area 21,368ha
Client Riverstone Living
Architect rg+p
Planning authority Barnet Council
Planning ref  21/6284/s73

Readers may know London’s Bishops Avenue as a gated McMansion-infused road of oligarchs, buy-to-leave-empty investments, and luxury dereliction. It has a reputation of exclusive seclusion, but times change and this scheme from rg+p seeks not only to bring life to the avenue but also interject it with contemporary flourish.

The scheme, for retirement living developer Riverstone, will provide 93 apartments, ranging from one to four bedrooms. True to the wealth of the neighbourhood, it will contain a richer quality of retirement than the average pensioner’s, with amenities including steam room and sauna, ballroom, cinema and treatment rooms.

Having picked up the project from a previously approved Wolff Architects Scheme (21/6284/s73), rg+p proposed a 'more conceptual approach' as well as reducing the massing of the previous project through a reduction in units from an initial 103, reduction in car-parking by 55 spaces to 89, and a change in design aesthetic that rg+p says responds more to the Hampstead Garden Suburb Conservation Area.

Ben Walton, rg+p’s design director and project lead, says: 'In keeping with nearby properties, the front of the scheme follows a mansion house appearance with ground-floor arched windows and decorative chimneys that complement rich brick detailing that is synonymous with the arts and crafts movement. The rear of the property takes a more playful approach inspired by subterranean vaults and architectural follies.'

 

  • Credit: James Boon Architects
  • Credit: James Boon Architects
  • Aerial view of site before any restoration 1970's.
    Aerial view of site before any restoration 1970's. Credit: James Boon Architects
  • Site plan of hydroworks.
    Site plan of hydroworks. Credit: James Boon Architects
  • Water wheel elevation.
    Water wheel elevation. Credit: James Boon Architects
12345

Arkwright’s water wheel

Client The Arkwright Society
Architect James Boon Architects
Planning authority Derbyshire Dales District Council
Planning ref 22/00244/FUL

Cromford Mills is a Grade I listed complex of early industrial buildings, built around the site of Richard Arkwright’s original mill, which was built in 1771 (gloriously rendered in Joseph Wright of Derby’s painting) later destroyed by fire, but still visible within its footprint embedded within the site which forms a part of the wider Derwent Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The owner, The Arkwright Society, wanted the architects to see if it was possible to insert a new water wheel to match the 7m diameter of the missing original. It is an approach to heritage that seeks to do more than scrape back the patina of time and reveal an archaeology of place, but to enact the conceptual purpose of the site, and in doing so support its future operation and sustainability.

The original 7m wheel would have been formed of timber, though feasibility studies suggested a replica would not be justified – the reduced amount of water and slow efficiency alongside high costs of the wheel would outweigh any benefit. Instead, a dual approach is to be taken, comprising a smaller wooden waterwheel to illustrate the historical technology, with a modern turbine also installed to generate the potential of the waterway’s embedded energy, expected to be some 55 MWh per year, the equivalent consumption of 15 homes.

Site visits for James Boon Architects were easy since it is located just a short walk away in a neighbouring mill. Its office may one day benefit from the water wheel as it is the start of a wider masterplan to develop clean energy from across the site, an aim the owners relate to Arkwright’s original vision of drawing energy from the landscape.

 

  • CGI front view.
    CGI front view. Credit: Grid
  • CGI top floor.
    CGI top floor. Credit: Grid
  • CGI entrance study.
    CGI entrance study. Credit: Grid
  • CGI front view before.
    CGI front view before. Credit: Grid
1234

Kingston-Upon-Thames high street conversion

Total gross internal floor area 3,590 m²
Client Gemona Properties
Architect GRID Architects
Landscape architect LUC
Planning authority Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames
Planning ref 21/02177/FUL

At a time of changing high streets, much is spoken of permitted developments, conversion of shops to housing and demolition of existing buildings. Working with structural engineer Rees Partnership Design, GRID Architects showed that disused spaces within an existing commercial building – occupied by Wilko – could support new residential units, and that the structure was capable of supporting three more storeys containing one, two and three-bed apartments.

Those new storeys step back and recede in brick hue to acknowledge the 'area of special character' within which the building is sited, while the second and third floors were found to have structural bays that offered a perfect rhythm for one-bed flats.

Alterations are also set to be made at ground level, supporting the continued use of retail at the ground and first floor and with an eye on providing a greater sense of place at the prominent urban junction. GRID suggests the scheme can shine a light on sustainable urban densification, both creating homes and conserving existing built fabric, benefiting not only the building itself but the wider high-street context – in this case a neighbouring listed cinema and other heritage assets.

 

Latest

Steel is resilient, but fire still poses a risk. Specifying a frameless encasement system from a single manufacturer can help keep compliance and installation simple

Sourcing a frameless encasement system from a single manufacturer makes sense

A new BBA-certified membrane system is providing specifiers with a hydro-reactive and self-healing method of protecting underground structures

Discover the new hydro-reactive and self-healing product that protects underground structures

From working kitchens and tap displays to seminars and 'Grab and Go' samples, the RAK Ceramics' new Design Hub in Clerkenwell lets architects get hands-on with washroom products

RAK Ceramics opens London Design Hub

An innovative installation at Make architects' red brick HM Revenue & Customs offices in Salford manages the people flow with ease while providing a bold, spacious entrance

Innovative installations at Make's Three New Bailey, Salford

As well as having high embodied carbon, concrete is also draining the world's supplies of fine-grained sand. Now researchers have shown that recycled glass could provide a suitable replacement for 3D-printed buildings

With concrete production draining world supplies of fine-grained sand, recycled glass could provide a substitute