Hackworth Close comprised the design and build of 14nr modern homes for the over 55s, consisting of 10nr bungalows and 4nr apartments.
The homes were constructed on the site of a former sheltered housing unit that no longer met current living expectations, utilising the brownfield site. The development was nominated for LABC awards, short-listed in the Best New Housing Development and Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development categories.
The scheme won a Bronze CCS National Site Award 2020.
The bungalows and apartments were single-storey, 21st century-styled, and domestic in scale, with the apartments utilising the falling gradient of the site to offer level access and private, level gardens. The foundations were strip footings to the bungalows and raft foundations to the apartments, all with a traditional brick and block superstructure.
The apartments had direct and easy access to private, level gardens and were bright and contemporary inside-and-out, with large full-height windows to help the flow of natural light through the homes. The external walls comprised a mix of render and timber weatherboard cladding with grey uPVC windows, creating an aesthetically pleasing frontage with concrete tile roof coverings.
The new homes to the south of the site were arranged around a shared courtyard garden, encouraging community formation for mutual support and to combat social isolation and loneliness. The courtyard also provides much needed safe play space for visiting families.
A low-impact recreational trail through the existing wooded area encourages a healthy lifestyle for the more able residents.
The development has been designed to knit into the existing development pattern, offering active street frontages and a sealed site perimeter for secure, safe and well-overlooked external areas.
The site arrangement defines semi-public, semi-private and private spaces through boundary treatments. To ensure that the development was attractive, functional and sustainable, the layout of the development was underpinned by the Building for Life 12 (BfL 12) quality mark, which was used as a design tool throughout the planning process with the scheme performing positively against it.
In the absence of national space standards for new homes, using BfL 12 as a design tool allowed the project to be clearly focused on providing a high-quality residential development to suit the needs of the residents.
Further to this, public consultation events were held during the design development stages to involve the local community and councillors in the plans. This meant we were able to identify local views and aspirations for the site which in turn ensured that the development met the expectations of the community.
The design team was committed to producing an environmentally sustainable development based on ‘fabric first’ principles. The building fabric specification ensures low running costs for residents, achieved by meeting or exceeding the latest revision of the Building Regulations Part L1A: 2013 requirements, which targets limiting heat gains and losses, and efficient building services. Ultra-fast fibre-optic broadband is provided to all homes, allowing users to consider the use of assistive technology for their future living needs.
The parking provision for the development is based on the Durham County Council Parking and Accessibility Standards 2014 and in-part utilises previous off-highway parking for the previous Dean Park Grange sheltered accommodation.
Tolent provided thousands of combined hours at no cost to the client, to support design development, cost plans and planning and pre-commencement activities as part of our commitment to the partnership. A key feature of the framework is the collaborative culture and behaviours that have been achieved by Tolent, the client and consultants, working together to achieve success.
Hackworth Close was built to an exceptionally high standard, delivered on time and within budget and demonstrates Tolent’s ability to deliver a pioneering development in a sensitive residential location ensuring residents have a safe, inclusive and affordable place to live.