Planning Appeal Win! Apartment Building, Upton

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The Bazeley Partnership, in collaboration with planning consultants Bell Cornwell, have gained a fantastic planning appeal win for this apartment development in Upton, Bude, following a refusal by Cornwall Council’s full planning committee. A 9No. two & three bedroom apartment building with on-site parking, and inclusive of a fabulous, lift accessible penthouse apartment. The development at Serendah, Upton, was inspired by the dramatic coastal location, with uninterrupted sea views on clear days from Lundy Island to Trevose Head in Cornwall.

Serendah Apartment Building - The Bazeley Partnership

Apartment Building – Objective

Our client wished to provide a strong combination of both architectural and sustainable design to the site. Our objective, therefore, was to design a building that provides for the local economy, compliments neighbouring properties and excites the community around it.

The ambition for this proposal was to create an outstanding contemporary development, providing 9No. high-quality, two and three bedroom apartments positioned around a central shared access space, in a prime location. The much needed development will replace a domestic bungalow built in the 1960s. This will allow for the gap in the market for high-quality accommodation in Bude, to be filled.

Although there’s been an influx of housing developments in Bude in recent years, they’ve been aimed more at the mid-range and affordable housing markets. There is, therefore, a considerable demand for high-quality accommodation within the local area. The Serendah site is consequently ideally suited to families, couples and the retired. All those who wish to live in the idyllic Upton location.

Serendah Apartment Building at night - The Bazeley PartnershipConsiderations for the Apartment Building

There were plenty of considerations to be made for the Serendah development. These included: neighbouring symmetry concerning massing and scale, avoiding the imposition of the surroundings, and of course, an attractive design. 

Scale & Massing

Although the proposal is a private development there was an opportunity to create a small but significant planning gain. This is because the proposal will result in the creation of a new small community. It was important to keep the scale of the apartment building in line with the running theme of the surrounding area; two-storey domestic residential properties as well as the adjacent three-storey apartment building, Piran Heights. 

The building forms arrangement, orientation, stepping and layering on the site break up the building mass and results in a sympathetic scale and form with a common architectural theme. Serendah Apartment Building massing - The Bazeley Partnership

The scale, massing and contemporary appearance reflect many recently built forms and planning consents achieved in Bude. This development consequently creates a local architectural uniformity and style.

Aesthetics

The proposed building’s thin gull-wing roof design, which floats above a continuous glass clerestory and an artfully expressed structural frame, also offers the ideal vessel for rainwater collection and a discreet mounting platform for solar panels. 

The apartment building additionally acknowledges its more traditional neighbours in the symmetry of its façade. The building balances its abstract gestures with the use of more traditional materials of stone, render and the colour, grey. The result “is a great combination of architectural design with sustainable features.”

More contemporary detailing and styling have then been applied to this familiar form and massing arrangements. For example, elements of gull-wing styled roofing and modern glazing ratios and proportions. 

Serendah Apartment Building proposed design - The Bazeley PartnershipAccess

Access to the site as well as Bude itself was important where wishes for this development are to be noted. Apartment accommodation, within walking distance to Bude, yet set in this coastal viewpoint is a rare occurrence by any standard. Let alone finished to such a high-quality specification. 

Bude town with all its amenities i.e. shops, schools, surgeries, public transport, is a 20-minute walk along a County Highways footpath via Marine Drive. A more scenic route from Upton can be taken via the coastal path to Summerleaze Beach or countryside alongside Bude Canal. These routes are also serviced by buses.

Serendah Apartment Building location - The Bazeley PartnershipThrough the exploration of placemaking, the development sets to create a well-functioning small community within the wider town-wide community. This will add to the overall character and quality of the local and wider area.

It’s all in the details

The granted development consists of nine units; two maisonettes, six apartments and one penthouse apartment. Each possessing shared amenity and garden space, and an individual external terrace or balcony space. 

Every unit is allocated two car parking spaces plus a secure 4.5m3 capacity storage facility for bicycles, surfboards, wetsuits etc. Accessibility has been addressed via communal lifts and staircases for all relative accommodation units. Recycling and refuge storage facilities will be provided on site also.

Serendah Apartment Building parking - The Bazeley Partnership

Cornwall Council’s Design Review Panel 

Importantly in agreement with our client, The Bazeley Partnership chose to present the final planning scheme to Cornwall Design Review Panel to review and critic the scheme before submitting the planning application.

The Design Review Panels aim is to improve design quality in the built environment. Its role is to review development proposals and provide feedback to developers, clients and local authorities. 

Design review is a very valuable opportunity to get additional expert help with a project. It was given a huge boost by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), reinforcing its role in ensuring high standards of design. 

The Cornwall Design Review Panel does not have any statutory planning function in its own right. Its guidance reports do, however, form a material consideration for Cornwall Council’s statutory planning function as empowered by the NPPF2 Para 129.

Ultimately, careful design consideration for the site, from inception to final proposals, with review and input from Cornwall’s Design Review Panel, delivered the Planning inspectorate Conclusions…

‘I have found that the proposals represent good design whilst respecting the character and appearance of the immediate vicinity and wider landscape and seascape setting’.

Closing thoughts

As with all projects, revisions are important. As a result, we now believe we have an aesthetically appealing and architecturally sustainable housing development in line with its surroundings and original objectives. A great development for Upton.

Each stage will be documented so keep an eye out for our progress reports. To ensure you’re up to date with our current projects, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Houzz.

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Medieval Tithe Grade II* Listed Barn Conversion by The Bazeley Partnership Architects in Cornwall