Apartment building in Kingswood, Surrey for Whiteoak Developments Ltd
Preferred Partner Involvement
Planning permission has been granted for the erection of an apartment building comprising 9 x 2 bedroom apartments by the Development Control Committee at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. Having originally obtained permission for a pair of detached dwellings on the same site the applicant recognised the sustainable location, combined with the size of the site meant that the land could be put to better use for apartments. Recognising a local need for residents to down size to large apartments rather than leave the area was also a key driver in proposing apartments.
The split-level Arts & Crafts design was created to address the topography of the site as well as break up the massing that is usually associated with larger apartments in the Borough.
The applicant was committed to the project which first began 6 applications previously in 2014 and needed to go to appeal before the principle of the design approach could be agreed. The application site lies within a Residential Area of Special Character and directly opposite the Kingswood Conservation Area. In addition, the protected trees within the site and access arrangements required specialist expert advice throughout the process. Technical issues relating to trees and highways were expertly handled by ACS Consulting and Preferred Partner, The Stilwell Partnership. Three other Preferred Partners were instrumental to the success of the project, including The Heritage Advisory, Petrow Harley and The Polygon Studio.
Another triumph of patience in the face of adversity for the applicants who set a clear brief for the development of this site and had the faith to trust the designs proposed despite requiring lengthy pre-application, application and appeal processes to reach the positive end result. Put simply, without appealing the original decisions the Council would not allow a viable proposal or make the best use of the land. Whilst speaking at committee on behalf of the applicants we cited the recent Government White Paper: Fixing our Broken Housing Market, which recognises the role played by small to medium sized developers who are keen to get the housing market moving and build out their permissions in good time to provide a boost to the housing market. The only downside being that the site has laid dormant for 3 years waiting for a permission. One day after permission has been granted and the conditions applications are already being prepared.