We were appointed to seek planning permission for the demolition of existing garages and sheds on a site at the rear of a residential street in Southport and the construction of a single-storey, two-bedroom residential dwelling.
Pre-application advice suggested an open-plan accommodation and advised that all openings should be carefully considered in relation to the surrounding properties. We considered this advice significantly when establishing our design principles, instigating a 12 metre boundary to the west where no openings would be allowed, to maintain the privacy of existing houses.
We also introduced a courtyard to the east of the design, to open up the plot while also maintaining enclosure and privacy for the residents of the new dwelling.
The challenges in addressing the issue of privacy both for the residents of the new dwelling and existing properties presented a number of design opportunities. Our solution recommended constructing three main ‘volumes’ or areas facing towards the enclosed courtyard.
The provision of a single-storey residential dwelling ensures that there is no over-development on the site, while the plot is regenerated and given a use that corresponds better to the surrounding area.
The height of the development is significantly lower in relation to adjacent properties. A combination of flat and pitched roofs scale down the impression of total mass, while creating design opportunities in terms of lighting and ventilation.
Our design provides and maximises natural light to habitable rooms, within the limitations of available window positions. Space for storage and study rooms are created in the pockets between the three main ‘volumes’ of the development.
Red brick and timber cladding are the main materials we recommended for the dwelling, informed by the predominant material of neighbouring buildings. These recommendations will ensure the building will settle easily into its context.
As this plot is set back from the main, access to the dwelling was also a key consideration. Our recommendation was that access to the site be granted via a private alley running along the right side of the existing property on Sidney Road.
Our solution allows for parking for two vehicles, as well as sheltered space for three domestic bins to ensure practical waste storage. The project has been granted planning permission, we are currently producing the construction drawings and the project is due on site in coming months.