InsideOut have had their design proposal for 72 new homes on a sensitive edge-of-town site approved at Brighton & Hove’s Planning Committee.

Concluding a 2-year collaborative planning process that included multiple pre-application meetings, a Design South East review and a public consultation, we are delighted that Gold Properties development of 72 new homes in Saltdean, East Sussex has been approved at Committee.

The site was purchased with outline permission for 60 homes. InsideOut developed a scheme with a 20% increase in units and a 167% increase in ecological habitat areas by increasing the density of the housing to release land for communal amenity and ecological enhancements.

Our starting point was the site’s location at the threshold of Saltdean and the South Downs, and the historic use as a farm. We wanted to avoid the sprawl of a typical suburban housing estate and propose a site-specific, community focussed scheme which placed people above vehicles and had a strong emphasis on public realm.

Due to its siting, landscape impact was a key consideration that was addressed through a carefully considered site layout, vernacular building typologies, a comprehensive landscaping and biodiversity strategy and locally-inspired materiality.

The layout comprises large areas of shared space, carefully designed to ensure the needs of pedestrians, vehicles and disabled users are balanced and met. Unlike traditional roads, these shared circulation spaces provide extra amenity and allow densification so that a large part of the site can be dedicated to a naturally-landscaped communal “Common”.

This Common, whilst serving to provide open useable space for residents also plays a key part in the site’s SUDS strategy, landscape buffering and biodiversity enhancements.

The residential buildings are designed as a response to the existing farmstead use of the site and the South Downs vernacular. Long barn-like buildings are clustered around yards in the northern tip of the site adjacent the National Park, whilst detached and semi-detached dwellings knit into, and extend, the existing suburban grain of the area.

Coombe Farm is InsideOut’s largest project with Gold Property Developments to-date, and marks a milestone in our masterplanning portfolio. Close collaboration with the client and contractor from the outset have enabled an economical and buildable scheme that has served to maximise the potential of the site, whilst ensuring ecological, social and landscaping aspects are enhanced. InsideOut are now developing the technical design package, with works programmed to begin in Spring 2021.


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