Keeping Busy!!

We have been particularly busy over the last few weeks, completing and submitting three significant planning applications.

Manor Farm, Andover

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Firstly, working with Adrian Barker at Lucid Planning we completed the design proposals for the redevelopment of Manor Farm, nr Andover. We have been employed directly by the site owners on the development of the former farm building site for residential use.

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Situated in open countryside between the villages of Monxton and Abbotts Ann this has been a long process which required some innovative thinking to resolve the strategic planning issues. This has also involved extensive negotiation with the Planning Authority at Test Valley and local residents pressure groups. It has been a lengthy project extending over the last 18 months and the application is now heading towards a committee date in the middle of June. Fingers crossed.

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The design has been developed in close co-operation with the landscape architect and has played particular regard to the setting and context with the open countryside. The original farmyard buildings have been retained to create a sense of continuity and the shared open space will act as a landscape buffer as well as creating opportunities for allotments and community facilities

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North Brook End House, Steeple Morden

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Secondly, by contrast, we have submitted a Full Planning and Listed Building Consent Application for North Brook End House, Steeple Morden. The site overlooks our long-standing project at the neighbouring Stud Farm and is for a private client.

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The work has involved detailed design proposals to reflect the need to respect the historic fabric. We have also involved Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR Ltd) who have prepared the accompanying Heritage Statement.

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The proposals are for a two-storey rear extension, which has been carefully integrated with the existing building, as well as internal alterations to create a new en-suite facility. These elements required a great deal of detailed work to ensure they could be satisfactorily implemented without disturbing the existing building fabric.

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South Street, Bishops Stortford 

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Finally, we have completed the design work on our town centre project in Bishops Stortford. Our client has purchased a former Co-operative Buildingon the corner of South Street and Station Road, which has, frankly, seen better days!!

 

The existing floors have been re-modelled to suit flexible future uses with an additional floor of residential apartments being added at second floor level. New external treatment to the elevations is proposed in response to the setting of the Conservation Area.

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Detailed massing models have been prepared utilising a 3D base model prepared by Joanna James Ltd. We have inserted our site sketch-up model into the wider context so that the impact can be fully considered.

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Forge DS Project Updates!

Regeneration Projects

Regeneration of previously developed urban sites remains at the heart of many of our projects.

Major news for the year included the Former Brewery Site, Portslade which was granted Planning Consent in August. After an intensive period of work immediately preceding the Committee it was passed by an over-whelming majority. The proposal includes a mixed-use of 48 residential units, in a mixture of new build and conversion, together with a Creative Arts complex providing start-up, low rental employment space.

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The proposals retained the conceptual principles that have been at the heart of the project from the outset with a careful blend of context and contemporary design. We are in continued discussion with our Client and look forward to the stage of the project.

Our first site in Hertford, the Former Waters Garage on North Road has continued on site whilst on the opposite side of the road!! …. construction work has started on 60-68 St Andrew Street. Both projects are complex insertions within close proximity to grade II Listed Buildings. The archaeological investigation which was required on 66-68 as part of the planning conditions was completed and a start on site was made in Summer. The hybrid construction of steel and masonry is well underway and the shape and form of the building is now evident.

On a different scale construction is nearing completion at North Brook End Stud on Dragonfly Barn. Marketing advice has been taken and the property will be brought to the Market early in the New Year – the impressive interiors and panoramic views have been very well received so far and we look forward to a successful sales process.

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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.

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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.

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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.


 

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.


 

Former Thatched Cottage, Silver Hill

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.

 

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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

 

 

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We are pushing towards a submission of the formal planning application in the very near future.


 

St Silas, Cheltenham YMCA

Work is well underway on the conversion of the former St Silas Church Centre to create 21no new units of accommodation for the young people of Cheltenham. Forge Design Studio have worked with the Contractor, Somerset Carpenters Ltd to develop the final design proposals. Experience has shown that the building fabric will need to be capable of withstanding some robust treatment. Operating within the constraints of the existing building we have created the most cost effective, long-lasting detailing possible within the budget.

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Externally, the building is being given a new ‘overcoat’ with cladding to the upper section and render to the base, new windows and doors through-out will complete the work.

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The building will provide move-on accommodation for the residents of the main at Vittoria Walk, Cheltenham who have progressed with the support and help of the YMCA. Funding for the project is being provided by the Borough Council, Homes and Community Agency and the YMCA.

The Contractor is making good progress and is on programme to complete in summer 2017.

 


 

 

Forge Design Studio’s Year in Review!

Brownfield Development

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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