Developing sites for a rural community
RSK provided landscape consultancy services for proposed residential developments at various brownfield sites across Cheshire. For one of the sites, a former depot at Milton Green, RSK’s dedicated team was tasked to deliver a distinctive development that would provide the rural community with a great place to live.
RSK produced baseline studies, vernacular studies, sketch options and a development framework that formed part of a study showing how the site might best be developed for residential use. This work took into account the constraints and opportunities with regard to landform and landcover, drainage, access, heritage and ecology. RSK produced illustrative sketch options to indicate the design approach to the site. These sketches provided a narrative that can be discussed with and promoted to stakeholders and that illustrates opportunities for development, biodiversity gains and connectivity to the wider landscape.
A desk study was undertaken for each site to review the local landscape character, the relevant designations, the topography, the access and the potential key views. In addition, RSK reviewed the local planning authority’s design policy to identify the key issues and considerations. Historical mapping was examined to ensure that the evolution of settlement and landscape was understood.
The desk study was followed by a site survey and a design team meeting, which included planners, to confirm and develop this initial understanding and to review the vernacular design in nearby settlements to inform the later design stages. To ensure the delivery of well-informed and considered design proposals, RSK’s specialist team worked closely with other teams within RSK, including on ecology, highways, drainage and services. Subsequently, a final option was agreed with the client.
Following an agreed site layout, RSK’s team worked towards developing a framework plan for consultation. The framework illustrates the proposed structure within which development can take place.