Our work on the Reserved Matters application follows on from an Outline Approval, won at appeal in 2015. The site, located to the south of Lenham railway station, delivers 72 much-needed new homes (including 29 affordable) for the area. It is Phase 1 of a wider masterplan vision for South Lenham.
The widespread retention of existing mature landscaping has driven the vision of the scheme. In keeping with the wider urban grain of the village and parish, development density varies across the site to deliver a number of key ‘character’ areas. These make best use of the site’s natural features and add value to their retention and long-term maintenance, including the preservation and enhancement of key ecological habitats.
The scheme benefits from exceptional approach to landscape-led design, with the site entrance serving the dual function of a gateway to not only the current site to the west, but also the historic village of Lenham to the north. This context has been approached with great consideration, with the proposed landscape buffer and built form providing a sympathetic response to this sensitive edge.
Native species avenue tree planting defines the eastern end of the main access road, and continues in pockets through the development to enhance the more urban character of the denser heart of the scheme. The retained tree belts along the southern boundary and through the northern edge of the site have been incorporated into the design, and serve a valuable streetscape function in the design as well as mitigating impact on the long-term habitat considerations of local ecology.
The history of Lenham as a medieval ‘market village’ gives it a rather unique character, retaining much of the vernacular tradition of this typology but also benefitting from the modern community infrastructure of a larger settlement. The proposed design of the new dwellings reflects this, with strong reference to traditional materials and detailing. Character areas within the layout create a cohesive approach to the overall design, whilst still allowing the flexibility of materials palette and detailing that is necessary to best integrate local vernacular with the proposed development.
The majority of the dwellings are a combination of multi-stock red brick, with either off-white weatherboarding or vertical tile hanging. Dwellings that perform a wayfinding function in the wider streetscape composition are in a smooth-faced white render, reflecting a similar tradition of contrast in the village centre. Roofs are predominantly a mixture of clay tiles, with reconstituted slate used sparingly to complement the placemaking and wayfinding strategy within the scheme.
Posted on | by Seb Willett