Client: Newlon Housing Trust
Sector: Residential
Location: Waltham Forest
Ward: Waltham Forest Council
Status: Planning

The design of our proposed residential development focuses on creating a harmonious and secure environment for future residents while incorporating elements of good design and sustainable practices. This case study highlights the key design considerations and strategies employed to enhance the local area and promote biodiversity.

Our detailed design approach emphasises the integration of quality landscaping, new and existing trees, and hedgerows to provide a safe environment for residents. By prioritising these natural elements, we can avoid visually intrusive crime prevention measures while ensuring a secure living space. Moreover, the individual house designs incorporate well-designed security features, such as robust doors and windows with appropriate hardware, meeting Q1 of the Building Regulations.

National Design Guide and Planning Policies:
To achieve a high standard of design, our development adheres to the ten key characteristics outlined in the National Design Guide. We aim to create an efficient, suitable, and sustainable development that enhances the local area. Our design aligns with the National Planning Policy Framework, which underscores the importance of creating high-quality buildings and places. The National Design Guide serves as a valuable resource, providing practical insights on achieving beautiful, enduring, and successful designs.

Biodiversity and Landscape Strategy:
An integral part of our landscape strategy is the promotion of biodiversity and mitigation of adverse effects. The soft landscape areas are designed to be species-rich, promoting local biodiversity and ecological benefits. Our landscape design incorporates both ornamental and semi-natural vegetation, offering a variety of habitats and planting structures for wildlife. The inclusion of new trees and hedgerows enhances green infrastructure connectivity, contributing to a diverse range of flowering and fruiting species on-site. Additionally, site-felled timber elements are retained to provide habitats for invertebrates and small mammals, ensuring ecological sustainability. The fencing design incorporates hedgehog gravel boards to facilitate the movement of hedgehogs.

Efficient and Accessible Design:
Our development features a well-defined route that maximises convenient movement for residents. We have carefully designed spaces and entrances to ensure safe and dignified access for all, aligning with Policy D5 of the London Plan. The single point of vehicular access, along with secure gated parking, further enhances safety and convenience. Provision has been made for accessible parking spaces and a drop-off bay for deliveries and maintenance vehicles.

Community and Sense of Ownership:
Our layout fosters a strong sense of community, ownership, respect, and territorial responsibility. Transitioning from the public to the private realm, our sequence of spaces promotes a sense of place and ownership. All ground floor units feature terraces that are visually and physically separated through appropriate means, including hedgerows. This design element enhances privacy while maintaining a sense of connection to the community.

Urban Greening and Façade Design:
In line with The London Plan 2021 Policy G5 Urban Greening, our development prioritises urban greening as a fundamental element of site and building design. The Urban Greening Factor (UGF) calculation for our scheme exceeds the minimum target of 0.4. We achieve this through a diverse range of landscape planting, including new trees, hedgerows, flower-rich grassland, ornamental shrubs, and native and non-native species. Our design also incorporates green roofs, green walls, and permeable paving, contributing to a sustainable and environmentally friendly development.

The façade design seeks to strike a balance between textures and simplicity. By alternating brick bonds and incorporating steps and setbacks, we create an engaging and visually dynamic street frontage. The use of pigmented fibre cement panels with blended colours complements the brickwork, adding texture and depth to the elevations. Galvanised metal railing balconies and Juliet balcony railings further enhance the façade’s visual appeal, breaking up the regularity of windows and providing