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Victory at last: RCKa wins appeal for Herts retirement homes

Park House, Hampenden by RCKa
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RCKa has won planning for its retirement housing for developer PegasusLife on an ’undevelopable’ site in Harpenden, Hertfordshire 


The project for PegasusLife was given the go ahead after a planning battle which saw the proposals, which were rejected by St Albans District Council, go through an appeal and a public enquiry.

Before RCKa was appointed to the development in 2013, six planning applications had already been submitted for the contentious site which had remained unoccupied for 14 years.

Replacing a derelict former residential home, the approved scheme includes 38 flats, communal facilities and a community café.

The development features three separate pavilions linked at ground floor by communal and community spaces. The pavilions have been staggered within the landscape to reduce the scheme’s massing and increase its access to daylight. At ground floor level a colonnade links the three blocks.

The white painted-brick housing is arranged around a central courtyard which is designed to encourage social interaction.

Howard Phillips, CEO of PegasusLife, said: ‘Harpenden is set among the rolling Hertfordshire countryside and has a great appeal to potential buyers. At PegasusLife we want to revolutionise the retirement sector and deliver residential communities designed by award-winning architects and landscapers that provide unique living environments and thoughtfully planned outdoor spaces. Park House, Harpenden is a prime example of this.’ 

Tim Riley, director, RCKa, added: ‘Given the acute housing needs and scarcity of land faced by many commuter and greenbelt towns such as Harpenden, sites such as this offer an opportunity to deliver much-needed housing and vital community infrastructure in sustainable town-centre locations.

’The appeal decision is a striking endorsement of PegasusLife’s commitment to a design-led approach.’

He added: ’The scheme demonstrates that high-quality architecture can simultaneously increase density and raise quality - which in this case was fundamental in unlocking a previously undevelopable site.’ 

Park House, Hampenden by RCKa

Park House, Hampenden by RCKa

Project data 

Location Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Type of project housing
Architect RCKa
Client PegasusLife
Structural engineer Symmetrys
Services engineer Max Fordham
Quantity surveyor Rise
Project management Rise
Landscape architects Camlins

Park House, Hampenden by RCKa

Park House, Hampenden by RCKa

Park House, Hampenden by RCKa

Park House, Hampenden by RCKa


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