Rural Housing Trust

Rural Housing Trust

Findon, West Sussex

Won on appeal, Re-Format’s housing scheme on the edge of Findon within the South Downs National Park received a glowing endorsement from the inspector, namely;

“In my judgement, the proposed design works extremely well in this location and would provide an appropriate transition from the built-up area of the village to the adjacent Downland landscape. The use of ‘barn form’ designs, appropriate massing, a spacious layout, high quality hard and soft landscaping and a palette of local and traditional materials, would result in a high-quality development that makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of this part of Findon”

G Roberts, BA (Hons) MRTPI

Re-Format worked closely with our client, The Rural Housing Trust, to produce a community of houses arranged around an ‘agrarian’ courtyard. The scheme acts as a transition between the existing suburban housing on the edge of the village and the wider open rural landscape.

In line with the recommendations of the planning department at the SDNP, the scheme at Soldiers Field Lane Findon has been developed and designed in accordance with their ‘Landscape Led’ design policy. A major aspiration for the project was to greatly enhance the bio-diversity of the site. This was achieved by setting aside generous areas for re-wilding with native planting.

The implementation of the ‘agricultural typology’ created the opportunity to develop a contextual architectural style that responds to the spectrum of building scales; from the overall massing of each ‘barn form’, down to the detailing of elements such as the windows and doors.

The four ‘barn-like’ buildings define the shared space that accommodates vehicle manoeuvring and parking whilst avoiding the suburban domestic feel associated with individual front gardens.

In contrast to the typical generic housing being constructed up and down the countryside, this cluster of dwellings around a communal courtyard, set within its ‘horseshoe’ of dense planting, will provide a well-disposed housing scheme that is tailored to its unique context.