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Council approves Fraser Brown Mackenna’s shipping container homes


Fraser Brown Mackenna Architects has secured planning permission for a series of small one-bed homes made from shipping containers

Aylesbury Vale District Council approved the London practice’s proposals to replace residents’ garages in the Buckinghamshire town of Aylesbury with seven 26m2 ground-floor flats.

Backed by the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust, the Gatehouse Road scheme will provide low-cost homes as well as transforming a site dogged by antisocial behaviour.

Fraser Brown Mackenna said its designs ‘complement’ local architecture such as Make’s nearby Serpentine housing development.

The containers will be aligned on a north-south axis, arranged as a staggered terrace. An eighth unit will contain a laundry room and secure bicycle parking for residents.

A range of different coloured containers will be used, with decking to the front and rear increasing the usable space.

Landscaping will include grassed areas, semi-mature trees and sedum roofs to provide sustainable urban drainage and enhance local ecology.

High-performance insulation to walls, roof and floor along with low-energy double glazing will keep heating bills low and reduce carbon emissions.

The designs were developed in consultation with local residents, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service and Buckinghamshire County Council Highways department.

Fraser Brown Mackenna will replace garages with homes in Aylesbury

Fraser Brown Mackenna will replace garages with homes in Aylesbury

Fraser Brown Mackenna will replace garages with homes in Aylesbury

Former prime minister Theresa May last month called for the introduction of laws to enforce minimum space in all new homes. 

Government-published Nationally Described Space Standards already outline minimum gross internal floor areas for dwellings depending on their number of bedrooms, inhabitants and storeys. These start at 37m2 for a one-person studio with a shower room.

But it is not mandatory for councils to make these standards a requirement for planning approval, and smaller homes are being built in some parts of the country.

Planning officers said the Fraser Brown Mackenna scheme was ‘considered to protect the amenities of both existing residents surrounding the site and future occupants’. 


Readers' comments (3)

  • Far cheaper and more attractive would be some nice little timber framed cottages.
    Shipping containers are not suited for the housing of humans. The dimensions don't work; Among other things, condensation can be a problem, windows are difficult to fit and adequate insulation reduces further the already narrow and disproportionate footprint.
    I'm surprised that such a hare-brained scheme should be featured in a professional magazine.

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  • Might as well put caravans on the site

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  • Completely agree...absolutely bonkers. If this is the stage we have reached then the architectural profession is dead and is no more etc.

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