South Downs Road, Bowdon
One of the areas finest and few remaining plots, having the enviable status of overlooking Bowdon Cricket Club. The scheme replaces a 1960's dormer bungalow, with a high quality contemporary piece of architecture.
The site occupies a 1/3 acre plot overlooking Bowdon Cricket Club, and was acquired by Novo last Autumn, having been in the same ownership for several decades.
South Downs Road is one of the areas most sought after locations, The Meadow is one of the few remaining 'plots' undeveloped.
Supported by Architects MCAU, Landscape Architects DEP, and Planning Consultants Eden Planning, this scheme proposes a contemporary and high quality piece of Architecture within the Bowdon Conservation Area.
The scheme sits on a site currently occupied by a single dwelling house known as ‘The Meadow’. The site consists of a partly visible frontage onto South Downs Road, whilst the flanking and rear elevations to neighbouring dwellings are well screened by dense mature vegetation and a retaining wall to 25 Langham Road.
The existing site of approximately 0.12ha currently contains a single dwelling of approximately 200sqm / 2159 sqft. This property consisting of a ground floor, plus a first floor within a tall vaulted roof space is intended for demolition to create space for a replacement dwelling on site.
The site sits within Character Area C of the recently extended Bowdon Conservation Area.
Access to Bowdon, Hale and Altrincham town centres are only a short distance to the north. Altrincham and Hale having railway stations for connections nationwide, whilst Altrincham has connections to the metrolink tram system for easy access to Manchester city centre and
other outlying towns. To the south, road access to the M56 which connects to major A roads is a short 5 minute drive.
The development is supported locally by excellent schools including Altrincham Grammar and amenity facilities, with the Bowdon Cricket, Hockey and Squashclub situated directly opposite the frontage of the site.
The site is located along South Downs Road, with a frontage of a low stone boundary wall that is supplemented in height with dense vegetation of shrub planting and mature trees to form a level of privacy
screening to the property. The property itself can only be seen more clearly at the vehicular entrance gates from the road as there are very limited views of the existing dwelling from the street / surroundings due to the frontage vegetation and site arrangement/ boundaries of other properties.
The other site boundary walls and fences are of a variable nature dependent on the shared party line of the neighbouring properties, with a timber fence and mature planting to each flanking neighbour along South Downs Road. To the rear a retaining wall with mature planting and large mature trees defines the boundary to 25 Langham Road, which as a plot sits over 1m above the rear garden of the proposed site.
The current setting provides an attractive green backdrop for the site as a whole. Whilst a slightly elevated site affords views over the Bowdon Cricket, Hockey and Squash Club
The proposals see the existing 1960's property replaced with a new dwelling, using high quality design and materials that positively contribute towards the beautiful conservation area setting. The design is considered to be 'contemporary' using subtle references and connections with the surrounding character, whilst avoiding a pastiche appearance.
A two-storey contemporary, architecturally designed five-bedroom dwelling of 265sqm (GEA) will be re-provided. This replacement dwelling will be positioned east- west on the site in a broadly similar position to the existing dwelling and would maintain the building line and urban grain along South Down Road. The building has been pulled away from the eastern boundary when compared to the existing arrangement on site to reflect comments received from officers and the preference for views through the site to be opened.
The proposed replacement dwelling would continue to be set within mature, landscaped gardens which encircle the property on each side maintaining the mature landscape character and the key trees identified within the site.
At ground floor, accommodation would include an open plan kitchen and family area across the rear, opening out to the garden area; a more formal lounge and retreat/games rooms would be positioned to the sides of the, dwelling either side of a central entrance hall area.
At first floor, five bedrooms with associated bathroom and en-suite would be provided. The main bedrooms would have a view over the cricket ground at first floor level, opening out to a terrace area, with three further bedrooms located at the rear of the dwelling.
CHARACTER & APPEARANCE
The character and appearance of the proposed dwelling has been carefully considered in relation to the varying architectural styles of the Conservation Area.
In order to preserve and enhance the conservation area, Architects MCAU have made subtle reference to some of these key architectural features. The contemporary interpretation of key elements including asymmetric gables, brick detailing, band courses, flat roof bays, chimneys, ensures that we avoid pastiche design whilst providing a high quality piece of architecture that enhances the conservation area.
A single high quality light grey/buff facing brick in Flemish bond is proposed, taking reference from the traditional Bowdon brick whilst reflecting the light coloured render of the existing dwelling.
Subtle changes in mortar colour and joint type will help provide variation, whilst hit & miss / projecting details provide light and shadow to help articulate the elevations.
Slate roofs compliment the conservation area, with simple clipped verges, eaves details and hidden gutters. The existing stone boundary walls and mature landscaping will be retained to preserve the character of the site and area.
The main brick elevations in Flemish bond have a flush mortar joint in a light grey colour providing a smoother finish as reflected in the Bowdon brick properties nearby. Darker mortar and recessed joints help articulate the expressed elements of brickwork.
The asymmetric gable to the front elevation is an interpretation of the gables found in the area including Grange Road, whilst the flat roof expressed bay provides balance to the main elevation and takes reference from a feature of 72 South Downs Road.
Brick detailing and band courses found in the conservation area are referenced by projecting headers, soldier courses and hit & miss screens. These provide articulation through use of depth, shadow and texture to the elevations.
To preserve the character of the CA, Landscape Architects, DEP have proposed the retention of as much of the existing mature landscaping to the site boundaries as possible.
All healthy trees and hedges are to be retained, and existing stone walls fronting the highway and to the rear garden are to be retained and repaired as necessary.
Existing levels of lawned areas to the side (west) and front garden are retained using low level brick walls. These delineate a new sandstone path, perennial plant beds and permeable gravel strip to the rear of the dwelling.
New gate posts, gate and a permeable resin bound gravel surface to the driveway are proposed.