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February 6, 2020
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Mawby Drive



Accent Housing Group & Hill


Mawby Drive

This green-field edge of settlement exception site (adjacent to the small village of Fulbourn) afforded our clients the opportunity to provide much needed affordable homes, for local residents, within their existing community. This exception site is of a similar nature to that of LA1 Marchmont, being green-field and located at the edge of an existing settlement.

Accessed off Balsham Road, this scheme emulates the existing urban grain of the village and the architectural vernacular design including the palette of materials. The layout and scale of the properties affords an active frontage to the access road to Fulbourn, we have endeavoured to create a sense of arrival by orientating the apartment building in line with this road. All the properties have generous gardens that back onto open fields, bounded by the existing hedgerows, which will be maintained and preserved. The vernacular materials and detailing were derived from detailed analysis of the local environment and agreed in collaboration with the local planning officers. We engaged in discussions with the officers, throughout the design process, to ensure that the scheme met with their approval and any objections or issues were resolved ahead of submission.

The selection of materials were kept simple, not only to reflect the local context but also to keep costs low and within a tight budget. Consideration was also given to future building maintenance, throughout the proposed life of the building, to ensure that there was not significant cost impact to client and the management company at a later date.

As the architects we aimed to make best use of the site, accommodating 14 units in a sensitive manner that would enhance the village and contribute to the environment. The shape of the site was quite irregular, with awkward boundaries that did not lend themselves easily to the location of standard dwelling footplates. Hence, our response was bespoke, with careful positioning of fenestration to create active frontages and to take advantage of solar gain yet mitigated privacy or over-looking issues. The simple use of gable fronted roof forms to a select number of properties enabled us to create interest and identity to the development without adding extensive construction costs for unnecessary architectural details. All properties were designed to homes England and Nationally Described Space Standards.