"The client was faced with a potential loss of 15 plots"
The land was purchased by a developer BEFORE planning permission had been granted. When his former architects applied for consent, however, the client then learned that 50% of the site was designated Green Belt and half of it, therefore, could not be developed.
Faced with a potential loss of value equivalent to around 15 building plots - worth more than £0.75million! - Virtechs was asked to help.
Our brief was to design a site layout that would be acceptable to the Planning Department but would mitigate as far as possible the losses faced by the client
When we first viewed the original designs we realised that much could be done to reduce the costs on the scheme and at the same time create a more 'efficient' site layout. We felt we could mitigate a good proportion of the client's potential losses, but even we we didn't realise initially how close we would eventually come to a 'miraculous' result!
We achieved some substantial cost savings straightaway by rationalising the lengths of the estate roads. The happy side effect of less tarmac was to free up more land for buildings and amenity space. As we began to work through the scheme we realised that there was a real opportunity to create a more attractive layout that would at the same time be more economical to build.
Our emerging new designs meant that the proposed dwellings could take best advantage of the adjacent views over the retained Green Belt land. Perhaps sensing an improved scheme, the local authority's planning officers were amenable to discussing the precise boundary lines of the site in the client's favour and this enabled us slightly to increase the effective area of the site.
As a result, we were able - on only 60% of the original site’s area - to provide EXACTLY THE SAME number and type of dwellings as the original architect's scheme!
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