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Artform wins approval for homes on disused tennis courts

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Artform Architects has won permission for four family homes on the site of an abandoned tennis club in south Manchester

According to the practice, the 616m² backland plot development on the edge of the Whalley Range conservation area is a ’contemporary take on the surrounding Victorian semi-detached houses’.

The studio said it had to overcome ’seven policy tests’ to negotiate the proposals past Manchester City Council’s tough stance on backland schemes.

Work is expected to start on the site, formerly known as the English Martyrs Lawn Tennis Club, in December.

English martyrs tennis club ground floor

English martyrs tennis club ground floor

The architect’s view

The site for this scheme in Whalley Range, Manchester was previously used as a tennis club which over time had become disused and derelict due to dwindling member numbers. We were approached by the client at the start of 2018 who had purchased the site in order to develop it for residential use. The brief was to design a series of houses on the plot that dealt with the various constraints and responded to the surrounding context to provide high quality family housing.

As a backland site surrounded by neighbouring houses on three sides, there were several constraints which needed to be addressed during the design process. As Manchester City Council’s policy is to ‘not normally grant consent for residential development on backland sites’, seven policy tests had to be applied before planning permission could be considered.

Site 2

Site 2

Existing site

Working closely with the council and taking on board planning officer’s comments as well as feedback from neighbouring residents, we were able to develop a proposal that minimises any overlooking or overshadowing of neighbouring amenity space whilst still providing four three-storey family houses that exceed national described space standards.

The proposal seeks to regenerate the derelict site with a simple row of four new build dwellings arranged as two pairs of semi-detached houses. These have been designed to ensure the scale, size and proportion are all in keeping with the local context and provide a visually engaging response to the local architectural character of Whalley Range and the nearby Conservation Area, which is characterised by Victorian and Georgian housing. Through a carefully selected pallete of materials and an attention to facade treatment, the scheme provides a modern yet sensitive addition to the housing mix in Whalley Range. Each house has front and back gardens with large areas of glazing to maximise natural daylight and allow for generous views across to the mature trees at the rear which frame the site along it’s northern boundary.

English martyrs tennis club close up elv

English martyrs tennis club close up elv

Project data

Location - Whalley Range, Manchester
Type of project - Residential
Client - Mai Construction
Architect - Artform Architects
Planning consultant - Indigo Planning
Structural engineer - JEM Consulting
Main contractor - To be confirmed
Funding - Private
Tender date - To be confirmed
Start on site date - December 2019
Completion date - Autumn 2020
Contract duration - To be confirmed
Gross internal floor area - 616m² (154m² per house)
Form of contract and/or procurement - Construction management
Total cost - To be confirmed

English martyrs tennis club site plan

English martyrs tennis club site plan

Site plan

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