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 41 Units and Over category is sponsored by Kier Western. Beechfield View, Torquay was announced the winner at a Gala Dinner at St Mellion International Resort on May 8 th 2014.
More about what our judges had to say…
Beechfield View, Torquay
Nominated by Torbay Development Agency
Project Value: £20m
This is the second short list achieved by Beechfield View, already having been recognised in the category of Eco Project of the Year.
The objective of the project was the delivery of a flagship mixed tenure sustainable eco-development following a full analysis of housing need in Torbay. The idea was to identify the best possible mix of tenures to create a mixed and balanced community, including disabled people, key workers, older people, couples and families.
The result is 144 much needed homes for different types of occupant and includes 25 apartments for the over 55s with priority to local residents wishing to downsize; 16 general needs rented apartments and 16 houses; 20 intermediate rent apartments with priority to keyworkers; 15 shared ownership apartments and 2 houses; 32 open market sale apartments and 10 houses, plus 8 wheelchair adapted dwellings that were bespoke for specific clients.
Low-carbon, energy- efficient design is geared towards reducing energy bills, using a number of renewable energy components including photovoltaic roof tiles and a mechanical ventilated heat recovery system that recycles heat within each home.
The design of the homes is eye-catching and unusual, including large overhanging eaves, deep window reveals, wing walls with wrap-around balconies and a good quality finish.
While it has a contemporary feel, the natural stone which is a key feature throughout the development has been particularly well received by residents, planners and the wider community.
The finished development has a distinctive and striking character, where the build form complements the landscape, with split level housing and underground car parking successfully balancing the topography of the site.
Frobisher House, Plymouth
Nominated by Midas Construction
Project Value: £5m
Frobisher House is an eight-storey student accommodation complex located in the heart of Plymouth City Centre amid Plymouth University’s main teaching facilities.
The project aim was to address the growing need for additional student accommodation in Plymouth whilst regenerating an integral part of the city centre. Outdated and crumbling buildings needed to be removed and replaced with a modern new structure which would both embrace its environment and improve the city skyline.
Following demolition of the existing buildings, construction began to create the unusually laid-out student complex which has been built on two separate sites divided by a narrow road. The complex includes 112 en-suite study bedrooms arranged into 17 cluster flats within a six-storey block, and a further 22 bedrooms configured in flats in a three-storey block on the other side of adjacent Trafalgar Road. The development also includes a supermarket store on the ground floor of the larger block.
The cluster flats feature between 4 and 11 bedrooms each and some unique facilities include blue sky study space areas mixed in around the cluster flats, laundry facilities, storage areas designed for cycle and water sports equipment, a cinema room and state-of-the-art kitchens and bathrooms.
The design took into account the surrounding environment and was cleverly constructed to blend in to the adjacent buildings and the historic structures in the city centre, while also offering something modern and fresh.
Cedar-style boarding and stone banding were included to complement adjacent buildings, and the penthouse levels were designed to blend into the skyline.
The aim was to breathe new life into a dated part of the city centre but without creating a new-build which clashed with existing architecture.
Manor Court, Cossington Somerset
Nominated by Strongvox Homes
Project Value: £8.6m
Manor Court is a development of 47 dwellings built on a dilapidated, village centre site at Cossington near Bridgwater in Somerset.
Cossington is a former winner of ‘Best Village of the Year, Somerset’ so the developers were conscious of the many local elements of distinction and set the new structures within well landscaped surroundings. The new development had to sit comfortably within these surroundings and provide a positive contribution to the village.
The new houses were designed to include local details including stonework elevations, distinctive roof tiling and distinctive local walling. The layout was focused around ‘soft’ road ways and defined with good quality landscape planting.
The development was facilitated by the provision of a new, purpose-built, village hall replacing the previous temporary structure. The village hall now enables the local community to generate a regular financial income stream by hiring the new meeting rooms to local businesses, Local Authorities and child care services for week day use. It also enables the committee to sponsor and fund specific events for the local village.
The new development had to be designed to meet current energy requirements and the Village Hall needed to be built to ensure low energy running costs, which was achieved by the use of natural light were possible, efficient heating systems and PV installations.
The Village Hall is frequently used by the local community and wider area. A wide range of events are held, the success of which are recorded on the Village Hall’s website. The housing element of the project was completed to a high standard and the majority sold quickly in a poor market – a sign of a quality development in a much needed location.
Rowes Meadow, Stoke Gabriel, Devon
Nominated by Linden Homes
Project Value: £6.9m
Rowes Meadow is a development of 43 new homes using 31 different house types, with 35% classed as affordable housing. It is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the northern edge of the picturesque village of Stoke Gabriel in the South Hams, Devon, on land previously used for grazing horses.
The development features a collection of two, three, four, five and six bedroom homes, all created to reflect the rich architecture and heritage of the area. Each cluster of homes is linked in intimate groups, with both private and shared courtyard spaces and with the affordable housing element indistinguishable from the open market housing.
The land was identified as a proposed housing allocation site in the Rural Areas Site Allocations Development Plan Document in order to assist with meeting local housing requirements.
There had not been any new homes built in the village for a number of years and so there was a definite need to provide local housing. However, as the village is so quintessentially English, it was very important that the development was as characterful as its surroundings and that the homes blended in and didn’t stand out as brand new homes.
Rowes Meadow was designed to reflect the varied styles of the older buildings within the village core, which has evolved over time and incorporates various architectural influences, including small vernacular cottages and village houses, to larger Victorian or Georgian style villas.
A palette of colours and materials were used including traditional stone, render of different colours, slate roofs and high stone boundary walls, making the development look like part of the village and reflecting the rich architecture and heritage of the area.