Twice refused development takes top award
AN INNOVATIVE housing development on a Grimsby-area site twice previously refused planning permission has won a national award, with praise for the architect and the local authority.
The eight-homes design, which has a strong walled garden theme, and is proposed for land off Ings Lane, Waltham, has succeeded in the Housing Design Awards.
It was one of 13 projects from 400 entries to receive an accolade, with judges recognising the authority collaboration and exemplary design.
The scheme is the work of Jonathan Hendry Architects of Holton-le-Clay, with North East Lincolnshire's stance on the plot also vindicated.
Twice refused planning permission and upheld on appeal, it has proved third time lucky for the private developer, who is now seeking to finance the build, having gained consent late last year.
Mr Hendry, currently Young Architect Of The Year, not only collected the award with his wife Katy and North East Lincolnshire Council representatives, but he and Jason Longhurst, head of the local authority's development services, gave a presentation on the project at the British Museum in London.
He said: "They were interested in our approach. A typical approach for a site like this is to have an access road that has a turning head at the end, and is then broken down to individual plots.
"We created a series of garden rooms, organised around a walled garden. Each had a formal garden and a walled kitchen garden.
"It is reminiscent of the gardener's cottage, with glass houses and terracotta to give your typical potting shed feel. That is what the judges acknowledged, it was a reinvention of the suburban typology."
Of the politics, Mr Hendry said: "The site had a difficult planning path. There were two refusals, one for 18 and another for 30 units.
"Both were lost at appeal, and I feel it got caught up on policy changes.
"Our brief was to secure planning permission working in collaboration with North East Lincolnshire Council.
"We established that it felt more appropriate to propose eight dwellings on there, and have them so that they worked with the theme of that part of the village. It is predominantly large houses set on large pieces of land."
The win came on the same night Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre won a RIBA award, as reported.
The complete overhaul of the former chapel was designed by the Holton-le-Clay practice, with Andy McDowall the project architect.
The win means it is now on the long-list of projects to be considered for The Stirling Prize, the ultimate architectural accolade.
It ranks among the Olympic Stadium and a golden wedding chapel in Blackpool.
The project, highlighted by a BBC show, is one of 50 UK projects to go forward to the October judging, out of 739.
Mr Hendry said: "We did incredibly well to get a national award. It is great for the project and great for the area. It says a lot about what the project was trying to achieve.
"It has created a new social hub, a place where people can gather. People have to enjoy a building architecturally, if they enjoy it, they want to come back. The two things together, the design and the function, make it sustainable.
The centre, just off Caistor Market Place, features the town library, a café, heritage displays and exhibition space, with facilities for classes and meetings to be held.
Mr McDowall, who collected the award at the East and West Midlands RIBA Awards event in Leicester, said: "It was great to go and pick the award up."
Speaking about the television factor, with presenter Sarah Beeney and her team pouring over the project, he added: "It consumed time and put pressure on the project, but the result is a great community facility."
It is not the first time Jonathan Hendry Architects have done the double. Museum Court, a mixed use commercial /residential development in Lincoln did the same in 2010.