The redevelopment of Richards House, Didcot, follows a complex Town Planning strategy implemented to regenerate this prominent town centre site for Cranbourne Homes. After undertaking an initial planning feasibility report, our Town Planning team advised on a hybrid approach to secure permission for 19 residential units through a mixture of conversion and new build. The site is within a Conservation Area which further engaged our in-house heritage expertise.
The existing building was originally designed for office use but had only been in partial occupation in recent years. Located close to Didcot town centre, the site provides an attractive location for a mix of one and two bedroom flats to meet existing housing needs in the area. Permission to convert the existing two floors of office accommodation to residential was sought through the Prior Approval permitted development route.
Due to the limitations of the ‘Class Q’ application method, conversion of the significant empty loft space to residential was obtained through a separate full planning application, increasing the utilisation of the existing building footprint by a third.
To complete the adaptation to residential use, an area of extension to the existing building has been designed to provide ancillary communal and social space for residents to enjoy. Three new-build apartments have also been carefully designed as a detached block in the southern corner of the site. The new building borrows from the language of the existing with contemporary detailing and improvements to the external areas, parking, and soft landscaping, to deliver a development of new homes in a sustainable location.
The successful Town Planning narrative behind this project demonstrates the benefit of a strategic staged approach. Our Architects and Town Planners have worked closely together to achieve a successful outcome for this scheme. Following the granting of planning permission at the end of 2019 the project has now been tendered to local building contractors with a view to achieve practical completion in 2021.
West Waddy are also involved with the regeneration of another complex Town Centre site in Faringdon – to find out more take a look at the project page for ‘Marlborough Street’.