Henley Road, Marlow
Proposal: replacement house
Size GIA: 321 sqm
We were instructed to provide design and architectural services in conjunction with a planning consultancy on the planning side. The client acquired the redundant former public house site following an initial encouraging pre-consultation with the District Council and these proposals follow a second round of formal pre-consultations based on developed sketch proposals taking into account detailed survey work.
The Cheerful Soul at the Hare and Hounds is currently occupied by a tenant who have entered a short term tenancy to run a cafe bakery in the existing unimproved buildings while permanent proposals are being prepared and relevant consents obtained. The first part of the proposal is to obtain change of use to a single residential unit for the former Hare and Hounds, which planning permission, in conjunction with the adjoining residential development, will provide sufficient value to fund the permanent conversion and conservation work required.
This will include the demolition of all the poor quality single storey extensions, and the refurbishment of the historic range. The Victorian elements will be retained but substantially rebuilt altered, and the resulting building will provide a 5 bedroom detached house with separate double garage.
To the left (west), wholly within the existing car park, ground levels will be substantially reduced and
a single detached house provide. The existing terraced sitting out area will be converted to a small parking forecourt with an amended crossover onto Henley Road, serving plot 1 and the conversion.
To the right (east) wholly within the area covered by the existing car park there, two substantially 2 no. 2 bedroom cottages (substantially reduced from the pre-consultation proposal) will be built in the gap between the existing building and the neighbour, Holly Tree House, served by the existing access and 4 no. parking bays.
Plot 1 overall design assessment: The site is already terraced, but the front of plot 1 is substantially built up to 1.5m above natural ground level and it is proposed to reduce ground levels on the site of plot 1 to a proposed finished ground floor level of 42m (i.e. by between 1 and 1.5m) to ensure that plot 1 relates more satisfactorily to the road, and to ensure that a combination of its low design form and physical separation (12m) will prevent the new building having an overbearing influence on the Hare and Hounds.
The house has been designed as a three bay cottage of low eave (approx. 3.2m) with the first floor accommodation built within the roof slope with small dormer windows contained within the roof slope, in accordance with the Chittern Buildings Design Guide. Fenestration proportions are modest to the public realm (with French frames only to the rear elevation), simple roof detailing, a vernacular chimney design and a simple church style porch.
Former Hare and Hounds: The existing building is explained at 1:100 and 1:50 scale on drawings EX01 to EX03, and after consultation with the Historic Buildings Officer the proposals are submitted solely at 1:100 scale; drawing EP04.
The_ evolution of the design and the heritage aspect are fully explained in the accompanying Hentage Asset Statement, but the proposals follow advice from the Historic Buildings Officer by conserving in its existing form the original medieval building. It retains the best elements of the late Victorian alterations and extensions at the rear, and sweeps away the horrid 20th century single storey extensions. The resulting proposal is quite pretty and broadly follows advice in the Chilterns Buildings Design Guide and Design SPD.
The setting back of the proposed new buildings approximately 10m behind the building line of the Hare and Hounds, reduction in hard surfaces, and proposed new structural landscaping will considerably enhance the building's current setting, and provide better views of the building's historic core from the public realm.
Finally, as suggested, we are now proposing an earth sheltered sedum roofed double garage for the former Hare and Hounds, set behind the building and recessed into the bank, with two forecourt spaces, the whole set sufficiently far back to allow for adequate parking for plot 1 and reversing, but not so far back as to compromise the Root Protection Zone of the TPO trees at the rear.
Plots 2 and 3 Design amendments: in order to help finance the considerable cost of the Hare and Hounds conservation, and in support of the thrust of planning policies advocating mixed communities, and the provision of a range of house sizes to meet the recognised severe current housing shortage, Hamden Homes have asked us to consider whether a revised design might sufficiently address the stated concerns in the Planning Officer's pre-consultation response.