Gin CPD Tour 2017!

We followed up the success of last year’s away day with another CPD Trip on Friday 3rd November.

This year the simple instruction was to make sure we left our car at home!

After rendezvousing nice and early, Claire, Loretta, Mike and Nick, set off in the fog from Southampton Parkway just before 9.00am and headed to the new Children’s Centre at Tadley by the architects, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt. A modest building on a tight site to a very restricted budget this shows you what can be done with dedication, determination and creativity. An admirable scheme which has been very well received by the community it serves.

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From Tadley we headed south to Kings Worthy, home to the latest site led by the HAB company, founded by Kevin McCloud. For those that don’t know –

HAB stands for Happiness Architecture Beauty

“These are the values we hold dear. We were set up by Kevin McCloud in 2007 to challenge the way identikit volume housing was built in the UK. The houses and places we build respect the local context and biodiversity; are strongly rooted in history, landscape and the community; and are sustainable, beautiful and a pleasure to live in”
Click here for more information.

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The architect is Jon Pardey and the completed buildings, garden and external spaces were looking very good in the autumn sunshine. The quality, compared to many other standard ‘issue’ housing schemes was very impressive! Whatever you might you think of Grand Designs this development is certainly trying to improve the standard of everyday housing.

 

Lunch was held at the River Cottage Restaurant in Winchester courtesy of Hugh! – another high recommendation in great surroundings

For the last stop of the day we travelled north to Laverstoke Mill, the home of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery – Thomas Heatherwick was responsible for the masterplan and regeneration of the mill including the amazing greenhouses. It was only polite to indulge in the Gin cocktail Masterclass!

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The ‘Laverstoke’ was a firm favourite amongst the cocktails – if you haven’t visited you should try and get along to see it and sample the experience!

Special thanks to our Director, Mike, for organizing a brilliant day out filled with 3 interesting projects and delicious gin!! All within 45 or so miles from the office, nice!


 

Call For Sites!

We are delighted to receive two new instructions to prepare outline feasibility proposals for sites within Test Valley Borough Council.

Working with Adrian Barker of Lucid Planning  we are preparing initial material for consideration under the recent Call for Sites issued by the Local Authority. Developing the links set out by our involvement with our colleagues in the Connected Collective this is a perfect example of our ability to help our clients from the most strategic level through to the delivery of detailed planning and construction advice.

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Details of the process are set out in the extract from the Local Authorities website as follows –

SHELAA & Brownfield Sites Call for Sites Submission Form 2017

This process should be used to promote land for the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). The information you submit will be used by the Council to inform future housing and economic land allocations within future Planning Documents and on-going monitoring within the Borough including calculating the five-year deliverable housing land supply position.

With regards to residential and economic uses, the Council will accept sites for a net gain of 5 or more dwellings and sites that are 0.25ha (or likely to provide at least 500m² of economic floor space) and above.

 This form should also be used to put forward Brownfield sites for inclusion on the Brownfield Register.   

Attached are the aerial shots of the sites which need to remain anonymous at this stage. Should you or your client need any similar advice please contact the office.


 

Former Brewery Site, Portslade, Brighton, Permission Granted!!

We are delighted to confirm that the final proposals for the regeneration of the Former Brewery Site at Portslade were approved at Brighton and Hove City Council Planning committee on 9th August. After healthy discussion, the vote was carried by a majority of 10:1 and the next chapter for the site can proceed.

Portslade_high street cropGround Floor and Workshop building to accommodate Phoenix Arts.

The final scheme includes 48 homes of which 11 are new build, 7 are renovations of the existing cottages and 30 are apartments created within the original Victorian Building. Parking and access is created within a new shared courtyard which will also provide a valuable area of open amenity space.

In addition, Phoenix Arts, Brighton are the likely tenants for the 6,500 sqft of studio/gallery/café space proposed for the ground floor of the Tower and Workshops fronting onto the High St. This is a particularly exciting element of the scheme as it will provide further much-needed, low rent studio space for Brighton’s creative community.

Portslade_detailDetail of renovated tower.

The scheme has involved a tremendous effort by the whole team, who have tackled numerous demanding technical challenges, and represents approximately 24 months of hard work.

We look forward to being involved in the next stage of the project.


 

New Instructions!

 

Two new instructions have been received for residential development in Uxbridge and Leatherhead. Working with our joint client from the successful re-development of the Former Sun and Harrow site in Ware these two opportunities present interesting and different challenges.

One site is home to a business selling RV’s and the other has potential for backlands development as well as PD on the existing office block. They are typical of the type of sites which require careful handling to ensure that value is enhanced whilst in their own, relatively small way helping to tackle the shortfall in affordable, accessible housing.

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Work is underway on the projects with the intention being to submit planning applications as soon as possible.


 

The Rose & Crown, Aston

The formal application for the re-development of the Rose and Crown Public House has been made to the Local Authority. Full Planning and Listed Building Consent is sought for the re-modelling and re-use of the existing buildings – the barn and the pub, as well as the new residential development in the former garden.

The pub has been derelict and boarded-up since 2014 and our client has sought innovative and creative ways of bringing it back to life in a sustainable and viable way. There is a strong local pub market and so we have proposed a unique micro-brewery and pub focussing on craft ales and spirits as a unique ‘offer’.

Retained trees within the garden have helped to create a strong sense of place with a focus on a shared garden at the heart of the residential layout. The design of the houses has responded to the context and setting, reflecting the local architecture.

 

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We have worked with JPS Landscape Architects on the design of the external spaces and with Keith Hornblower to develop these traditional visuals which we think capture the essence of the design well.

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A consultation with the Parish Council was undertaken at the Annual General Meeting on the 27th April 2017. Our final designs and visuals were presented at this meeting, see presentation boards above.


 

Pub Crawl in Hertfordshire

 

Work is being completed on the Planning Applications for our two Pub projects in rural Hertfordshire.

Hand drawn sketches are proving to be the order of the day as we aim to portray the importance of context when considering the future of these important community facilities. Both projects involve work to Grade II Listed buildings which will seek to ensure that the viability and sustainability of the businesses are secured for the immediate future.

 

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Mike has even had to get a new pencil sharpener as he ‘draws’ on some traditional techniques – not a cgi in sight!!

The residential content of the proposals will fulfil a real need for a variety of new housing stock within each village.

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Both projects are due for submission in the next few weeks.


 

Competition Entry

Amongst a busy schedule we managed to fit in time to submit an entry to the RIBA Competition for a Co-living Project in Forest Gate, London.

The intention was to have some fun with the project, so when faced with the brief, which asked us to select one object which represented the concept of Co-living, in true Forge Design Studio we thought of our stomachs!!

Competition 1

A well known brand of sweets seemed to perfectly encapsulate the idea of community, individuality and connectivity. Unfortunately, the judges were obviously not ready for this and we didn’t get short-listed. Too bad. However, it was a really enjoyable exercise and gave us the excuse to buy several bags of Revels to have with our coffee in the studio.

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Attached are 2 of the 4 sheets that we submitted. We thought you might like to see them!