Property Awards 2014 - Michelmores

Residential Project of the Year 40 Units and Under

The Michelmores and Western Morning News Property Awards are the region's premier property competition, showcasing the very best in West Country property projects, buildings and firms.

The Residential Project of the Year 40 Units and Under category is sponsored by Taylor Lewis. Gilbury Hill, Lostwithiel, Cornwall was annouced the winner at a Gala Dinner at St Mellion International Resort on May 8th 2014.

Watch what our judges had to say...

Shortlist 2014

Gilbury Hill, Lostwithiel, Cornwall

Nominated by Wycliffe Estates

Project Value: £4.1m

Gilbury Hill is a development of 32 houses and apartments on the outskirts of Lostwithiel.  The aim of the project was to provide affordable homes to families with a local connection to the town.  To ensure the homes truly were affordable, 16 were sold at 50% discount with no shared equity and no claw back agreement. These properties remain saleable but only at the same restricted percentage of the current open market value, and only to families with local connections to Lostwithiel.

There was no design or material difference between the open market and affordable properties on the development, and all homes built exceeded Code for Sustainable Housing Level 3.  This makes all the homes sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

A strong palette of materials includes stone, slate, render, a grey finish to windows and doors, and external fittings of stainless steel or aluminium attempt to create a timeless look. The properties use underfloor heating and air source heat pumps help to make each economic and efficient to run. The design of the buildings and the flow of the site have created a real sense of community and village feel. By not being overly dense, the scheme has achieved a high level of natural openness and light. All the properties have large gardens and the apartments benefit from an abundance of open space.

By helping local people to move out of rented accommodation or family homes into their first wholly owned home, the development has enabled Lostwithiel to keep young professionals within the community, supporting local business and schools.

 

Castle Gardens, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Nominated by Blue Cedar Homes

Project Value: £6m

Castle Gardens is a scheme that is unusual in its concept and unique in Shaftesbury. The development provides nine freehold houses of varying sizes, together with six spacious apartments specifically designed for people aged 55 years and above.

The properties are designed to be readily adaptable for the changing needs of older residents, whilst appealing to a wide spectrum of ages and lifestyles for people of retirement age. The design philosophy within the properties ensures that all the rooms are well proportioned and spacious in order that downsizers do not have to compromise in terms of their accommodation, when they simply need fewer rooms rather than smaller ones. Each house is designed so that the ground floor can readily be adapted to create a self-contained living area with a bedroom and shower room, suitable for someone in a wheelchair. 

Externally, the combination of natural stone, render, slate and conservation style tiles fits extremely sensitively into the Conservation Area. A major benefit of the site is the setting of substantial trees around the entire development, and these were sensitively dealt with to create a mature setting for the buildings and both the communal and private gardens.

Castle Gardens is located at the same level as Shaftesbury’s High Street, providing a very short and level walk through the adjoining park to all the shops and facilities of the town. The scheme benefits from excellent views across Blackmore Vale, and part of the communal gardens are located within the grounds of the adjoining Protected Ancient Monument known as “The Castle”. 

 

Meadow Flats, St. Ives, Cornwall

Nominated by Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole Architects

Project Value: £4.6m

Meadow Flatscomprises sheltered accommodation units at Porthmeor Beach, St Ives consisting of 26 two-bedroom accessible homes with rooftop residents’ lounge and underground parking. 

Constructed on behalf of Devon and Cornwall Housing Association, Meadow Flats are located adjacent to Tate St Ives on a highly restricted site. The buildings were all designed to high sustainability standards meeting the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4.

The aim of the project was to create accessible, affordable homes for the most vulnerable elderly residents in St Ives. Meadow Flats replaces a series of smaller sheltered accommodation units, constructed in the 1960’s that were suffering from subsidence and damp, compounded by poor access.

The project addressed St Ives’ chronic shortage of sheltered accommodation while at the same time providing quality accommodation and an undisrupted sea view putting older members of the community in the very highest standard of accommodation.

The Meadow Flats Project has become a ‘game changer’ for rented sheltered accommodation in the area. It demonstrates that apartments with shared facilities offer a great way for older members of the community to enjoy life to the full. This includes space for mobility scooter parking, lifts and level access decks with shared courtyard spaces. The project has also enabled Tate St Ives to expand on the land to the rear.

Because of the stunning sea views, the award entry concludes: “Visitors are astounded to learn that the apartments provide sheltered accommodation rather than ‘millionaires’ penthouses.”

 

The Chardstones, Chardstock, Devon

Project Value: £2.5m

Nominated by Jameson Homes

The Chardstones comprises a scheme of ten individually designed homes on two sites within the picturesque village of Chardstock, near Axminster.

The aim of the project was to deliver high quality residential developments which seamlessly integrate into and enhance the village, providing homes designed with individuality and top-end specification and construction throughout.

Two shared ownership affordable homes have been provided as part of the project specifically to meet identified housing need within the village.

The external appearance was crucial to the success of the overall project, drawing on traditional features and blending vernacular architecture with modern construction techniques and materials. Individuality and attention to detail were carried throughout the interiors of each plot with the inclusion of bespoke kitchen and bathrooms.

The scheme provides a diverse mixture of housing in terms of size, design, price and tenure, with both sites adjoining the boundary of the village Conservation Area. The challenge to the designers was to deliver a development of the highest quality, blending traditional features with the contemporary elements of light airy spaces and open plan living.

The developers opted for a simple palette of traditionally and locally sourced materials, principally natural chert stone and a mixture of roughcast and smooth colour washed render to provide subtle variety and an individual identity to each dwelling. Limited elements of rustic horizontal weather boarding were also introduced to complete the rural appearance.