Our architects and sustainability experts have submitted a planning application for 200 homes in Battle, East Sussex. Our vision for Blackfriars is to develop a highly sustainable contemporary housing development, which is future proofed for the transition to Zero Carbon while also respecting the local heritage and landscape. 

Our team utilised the challenging site constraints and winding spine road to create three distinct pockets of habitation allowing for differing yet symbiotic design rational whilst maintaining the local vernacular across the development. The planning concept also reflects the requirement for modern methods of construction to be utilised in the delivery of the scheme. 

To reflect Rother District Council’s current work in developing a carbon neutral vision for 2030, the desire to tackle the climate crisis needs to drive the vision and design for any new developments in the area. We have been instructed by the council to provide architectural and sustainability services up to and including a Reserved Matters Application (RMA) for a housing development, following the receipt of outline planning permission being granted in 2019.  

The plans submitted for approval aim to create a distinct sense of place that draws materiality and character from the local area, while also meeting the challenges of a highly sustainable and connected community. The defining qualities of the development have been designed to be a rich, green landscaped setting with distinctive pedestrian routes and a mix of maisonettes and houses alongside shared amenities and garden space. 

Charlotte Booth, associate director of sustainability and wellbeing, said: “As with all of our projects, the Blackfriars housing development has our seven core design principles at its heart, ensuring that climate resilience, wellbeing, biophilic and low carbon design meet with cost effective and value-adding approaches.  

We have a number of key sustainability objectives for Blackfriars, including a fabric-first approach, no fossil fuels, a site-wide CO2 reduction target of 31% over current Part L, and Home Quality Mark certification is being considered across the site.  

All of the homes for this scheme are designed to significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, while minimising energy costs for residents. Also featured in the development will be dwellings built to Passive House principles, along with earth-sheltered thermal mass properties to highlight and celebrate the sustainable aims of the project.” 

In addition, Community allotment space has been provided along with vegetable boxes within each garden, and excellent connectivity to existing local amenities and transport routes to decrease dependency on motor vehicles, aligning with the sustainability aims of the local authority, which has declared a climate emergency. Electric vehicle charging points have been incorporated to encourage sustainable car use where it remains necessary. 

A decision on this planning application is expected in spring 2021.