New 9No. Apartment Building @ Serendah – Upton, Bude
Following a refusal by Cornwall Council’s full planning committee, The Bazeley Partnership, in collaboration with planning consultants Bell Cornwell, have gained a fantastic planning appeal win for 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 in Bude, was inspired by the dramatic coastal location, with uninterrupted sea views on clear days from Lundy Island to Trevose Head in Cornwall.
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 1960’s. 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, these have 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.
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 development 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 arrangement, orientation, stepping and layering of the building forms on the site break up the building mass and results in a sympathetic scale and form with a common architectural theme.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.
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 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.
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.
Through the exploration of place making, 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.
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 aim of The Design Review Panel 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’.
As with all projects, revisions are important. As a result, we now believe we have an aesthetically appealing and architecturally sustainable housing development inline with its surroundings and original objectives. A great development for Upton.