Project – Infill residential development project on Ridgeway Road in Torquay
Client – Skyblu Ltd
Ortus Appointment – Architectural design | Planning
Construction Contract Value – £500K (est)
This is a project awash with challenges. The land proposed for development is in a conservation area (though the access road isn’t). The site falls steeply, we’re talking 1:3, away from the access down to the original Georgian villa. Prior to our involvement there have been two planning refusals (though not within the current local plan). So where do we start?
Constraints and project viability. The client is a professional property developer who wants the best return from the site so, if we start with site area, external amenity, parking etc. we have the potential for three new homes but there are the obvious constraints of neighboring amenity, visual impact and topography to consider.
Whilst our preliminary design maximized the number of units, and provided technical solution to some of the site constraints, it really served to demonstrate how an argument for over-development would be used to refuse an application.
A reduction to two units increases the space around the properties and their impact on neighbours whilst also allowing a similar GIA for the development. there are still challenges but also defensible arguments to have with the planners.
At the time of developing this application the planning office at Torbay was at the height of the Covid lag and doing anything to push back validation so a pre-app, with no time constraints, wasn’t viable. Whilst the revised proposal was unlikely to be supported we opted to submit an application to get a detailed officers report on the issues it presented to inform a revised application.
A revised proposal, for a single dwelling, will be submitted with a detailed appraisal showing how all the previous reasons for refusal have been removed and emphasizing the officers statement, in their report, that there are ‘No policies, in the local or neighborhood plan, that prohibit development on this site’.
2024 will see the pre-app submitted and a new, and hard worked, planning application for the development of this site.