Forge Design Studio is delighted to confirm that one of the first e-mails received on our return to work in 2019 was confirmation that approval had been granted for the re-modelling and refurbishment of the Barn Conversion at Cold Harbour Farm.
Located in the rural village of Ashwell the commission came from a recommendation from Sarah and Douglas at North Brook End Stud. Always nice to be introduced by an existing client!
The owners had bought the Barn in the knowledge that a substantial amount of work might be needed to turn it into their dream home. We have worked closely with them to create a completely new plan arrangement which will create the type of free-flowing, welcoming contemporary space that they were seeking.
The re-organisation of the existing bedrooms and removal of a long dark corridor together with the new rear extension will substantially improve the arrangement of public living and private spaces. We’ve also opened-up the relationship to the outside garden spaces, both front and back.
We look forward to developing the working drawings and assisting our clients in the procurement and construction of the scheme.
Sites at the Former Waters Garage and 66-68 St Andrew Street
Recent site photographs on a very sunny day in Hertford. Construction of two of our projects are well underway on site.
Located in the St Andrew Street Conservation Area, the restrictions of the site are plain to see and have given rise to quite different design solutions. Both schemes are heavily constrained but demonstrate how effective use can be made of even the trickiest of sites to facilitate regeneration and successful development.
The Former Waters Garage site creates two distinct areas – the first has utilised and restored the original coachworks to create a unique frontage with a discreet mews development to the rear which has echoes of the workshop building that it replaced. Secondly the rendered terraced villas pick-up on the original, distinctive semi-detached buildings along North Street.
Diagonally opposite is the site of 66-68 St Andrew Street which immediately abuts a pair of historic grade II listed cottages. By re-forming an original historic street pattern, we have created 4 unique, residential units around a shared courtyard.
Our clients, the new site owners, Leary Developments Ltd, have recently purchased the cottage next door which has given us an excellent opportunity to open up the rear area and will create a great shared private space for the mix of units which surround it.
The close proximity of the busy roads has imposed constraints on the construction process which we helped address within the building methods. As can be seen, good progress is being made on both sites with a number of sales being secured off-plan at Carriage Court (Former Waters Garage) and a great deal of interest being expressed at 66-68.
We look forward to seeing the successful completion of both projects before the end of the year.
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.
Work is underway on the projects with the intention being to submit planning applications as soon as possible.
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.
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.
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.
Design work is continuing on the plans for a new house at Silver Hill, Shenley.
In order to replace the burnt-out shell of the Grade II, Former Thatched Cottage, negotiation has been undertaken with the Local Authority and Historic England. The exceptional circumstances behind the case have been demonstrated and an ‘in principle’ agreement has been acknowledged with the Case Officers subject to agreement on the detailed design. Impact on the green belt and the adherence to planning policy are being addressed within the current phase of work.
Detailed surveys will be carried out on the what remains of the existing fabric to record its condition.
Design principles have been established and we are carrying out 3d massing studies as well as physical modelling to fully explore the impact on surrounding areas. The design of the replacement house has been the subject of much discussion with the client and his family
We are pushing towards a submission of the formal planning application in the very near future.
2016 saw a major success at the Odyssey Health Club in Stevenage when our project for 70 new residential units on previously developed brownfield land was granted planning consent, having been voted unanimously at committee. The development faced the added constraint of being in the green belt having had a history of previously failed attempts at redevelopment.
A carefully constructed application was drawn-up by the design team which thoroughly examined all aspects of the project and presented a fully considered strategy. Ultimately the Local Authority accepted the proposals which included a comprehensive masterplan for the future development of the Health Club and all its associated parking and access requirements.
At the opposite end of the spectrum we are working on a new gatehouse cottage proposal at Calcott Hall, Sturry which is re-using an existing footprint to promote plans for a new dwelling.
We also carried out a pair of feasibility studies on previously developed education land in Winchester for a local contractor in conjunction with a well-known Registered Social Landlord. We were supporting their bid for the land which was ultimately unsuccessful, on the grounds of finance, but we were praised for our innovative and comprehensive approach.