Abbey Farm

Blunsdon

Linden Homes, Thames Valley / Redrow Homes, Western

Budget
175m
Plots
350
Hectares
23.6

Planning services relating to the submission and approval of a Reserved Matter Application in respect of 350 residential dwellings, provision of further development consisting of a future school, small convenience store, formal and informal public open space, including two equipped areas of play.

History of site

The Abbey Farm site is located on the northern periphery of Swindon, on green belt land, with the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the north and the A419 road running close to the east. The site comprises agricultural land, with dissecting public rights of way running through and leading to a neighbouring settlement.

The project

Redrow Homes and Linden Homes jointly submitted a  reserved matters planning application with equal land split and infrastructure works. The Noble Consultancy were invited by both parties to prepare a proofing layout for the development.

Design process

The project involved the detailed review of the approved outline master plan to develop a detailed conceptual plan which included 350 units including 105 affordable housing units based on the site. Drawing influence from the constraints and opportunities within the site, details of which were approved at outline stage, sketch layouts were prepared for both clients. At this stage The Noble Consultancy identified that the outline consent for 350 units could also accommodate a large proportion of the 5 bed houses which improved its commercial viability for the clients.

Particular attention was also made on the design to enhance the affordable housing within the development to give the appearance of tenure blind, elevating the dwellings to give the same massing and appearance as the larger detached private dwellings. Public consultations were held allowing members of the public to view and comment on the proposed plans. Feedback from these events were incorporated before continuing with detailed designs and the formal submission of the Reserved Matter Application.

The Application was prepared by members of the design team, working closely with external parties such as the civil engineers and landscape architects. The Noble Consultancy worked closed with both clients, incorporating both sets of distinctive house types into the design and plans, ensuring that the project was adequately resourced which enabled all interested parties to react to comments and change in a timely manner whilst working in close coordination with external consultants.

Upon approval by both developers the detailed plans were submitted by The Noble Consultancy for pre application comments to Swindon Borough Council. Due to the high-quality designs proposed on the development the Application was well received by the local authority. They were very receptive to the proposed overall plan as it provided high quality product with a mix of housing compliant with local policy guidance.

Project challenges

Preparing and submitting a single reserved matters planning application on behalf of two separate housebuilders required careful coordination to ensure the aspirations of both clients and the local planning authority were met.

An area of the development heavily discussed was how the principal road provided a safe access to the proposed school whilst achieving good permeability throughout the development and to the open space beyond. Swindon Borough Council Highways had rigid requirements to ensure that the final road designs catered for their refuse vehicles. Working closely with the Highways Officer, The Noble Consultancy were able to meet their requirements whilst also securing compromises where possible to ensure the integrity of development was not compromised and the costly provision of carriageway and highway servicing was limited.

Conclusion

The Noble Consultancy understood the aspirations of both clients for this site and delivered designs that were aligned to the vision. Both clients were happy with the design outcomes and the approval of the detailed proposals. Working with two separate clients on the same site could have proven challenging. However, The Noble Consultancy managed the process is such a way that made the process more streamline, sticking to deadlines, avoiding any undue delays or additional costs.

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  • Feasibility Planning

    Feasibility and concept design are the initial steps in developing design options for your residential development project. Our feasibility planning service evaluates the commercial potential of a piece of land before creating concepts and architectural design solutions that augment the development potential.

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  • Town Planning

    Town Planning is about much more than just submitting planning applications. There are many facets of planning and our planning team have expansive knowledge of planning matters, having accumulated many years experience working within the residential industry.

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  • Landscape Architecture

    Landscaping is an integral part to any successful development. At an early stage of the design process we identify the key landscape features for retention and potential new areas for enhancement. Our in-house landscape architecture team can devise hard and soft landscape schemes that not only perform a function but also add to the aesthetic quality of a development.

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  • Graphic Communication

    Communicating visions and detailed proposals through graphics is a key element of architectural design. Creating the best user experience and visual representation of our design proposals is what we do. From 2D plans to 3D axonometric projections and perspective visualisations, we employ various techniques and media such as hand-drawn sketches, digital photo editing and CAD software layout tools.

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