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Smith Young lodges homes plans for Liverpool ‘green wedge’ site

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Liverpool-based practice Smith Young Architecture has submitted plans for seven homes on open land close to the River Mersey 

The £3 million scheme in Beechwood Road, south of Liverpool city centre, will be built on the Otterspool green wedge, an open area of designated green land between built-up areas of the city.

According to the council’s planning policy, the committee should refuse developments that ‘would affect the predominantly open character of the [city’s] green wedges or reduce the physical separation between existing built-up areas’.

However, the practice has said that the green wedge will be enhanced through its proposals by doubling the number of trees on site and arranging the homes in a ‘non-linear configuration’.

If the plans are approved, work is expected to start on site in early 2018, with a completion date scheduled for 2019. 

Floor plans

Floor plans

Source: Smith Young

Floor plans

 

Project data 

Location Beechwood Road, Liverpool
Type of project Private housing
Architect Smith Young Architecture
Planning consultant The Planning Studio
Tender date Mid to Late 2017
Start on site date Early 2018
Completion date 2019
Contract duration 12 to 15 months
Project value £3 million

Model 1

Model 1

Source: Smith Young

Plans for Beechwood Road by Smith Young (model)

Architect’s view

The housing shortage throughout the country has lead us to question the use of open space and green belt development in many ways. With the established mass housing developers’ repeatable failing to provide unique contextual green belt housing schemes, the answer must come from SMEs who can show that environmentally sensitive, contextual development can enhance its location. Located on the southern outskirts of Liverpool city centre, Beechwood Road falls within the wider context of a green wedge, a specifically designated area of open space with the purpose of creating a visual and physical break between built-up areas. These very same principles have been fundamental in the design approach for the project.

By formulating a set of rules from the outset the design proposal evolved into an exploration as to how each decision could enhance the existing setting. Using philosophies from the Picturesque movement, each vista has been carefully considered to give a painterly quality to the landscape. This has been achieved by doubling the number of trees on the site, which reinforces the visual and physical break whilst enhancing the green wedge. By arranging the houses in a nonlinear configuration and interweaving each plot between the existing mature trees, the proposal respects the existing environmental condition by treading lightly on the site, while an organically formed shared surface landscape design ties the project together.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It all depends on the new residents keeping their nerve and not chopping down trees growing too big and too close to their houses - and, given the predicted increasing likelihood of stormy weather, I wonder whether these houses might prove costly to insure, in the fullness of time?

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