The masterplan for Spectrum Housing Association presented a unique and exciting opportunity to redevelop a locally significant site; the site was formerly used by the Devon and Dorset NHS Trust, and owned by the HCA. The former hospital site contains a mosaic of valuable habitats and supports many protected species as nature has slowly been reclaiming the site over the last 20-30 years. The landscape proposals therefore look to help to retain and enhance these habitats and the wildlife they support whilst creating a attractive and stimulating landscape setting for the development.
The site represents an under-utilisation of an brownfield development site. The masterplan for 210 dwellings for Spectrum Housing Association required 40% affordable tenure and 60% market sale properties. The brief required the integration of Lifetime homes and Building for life standards. The site is adjacent to a SNCI (Site of Nature Conservation Interest) and therefore demanded a carefully considered approach to landscape that was integrated into the masterplan from an early stage.
Key to this approach was appropriate stakeholder involvement and consultation particularly with Natural England. White Design developed a detailed site analysis identifying acoustic buffers, protection zones, easements, rights of way from the outset to reduce risk on a complex site. We engaged with the planning authority from the outset to ensure the approach to the site was consistent with policy and where not variations were agreed.
As part of a multidiscipline offer White Design landscape are involved in the master planning of the site as well as the LVIA chapter of the environment statement.
As the master plan develops there are some key themes that the landscape evokes, a real sense of place building upon the woodland edge setting, distinctive character areas which respond to the proximity of the varying habitats and a simple and robust materials palette that relate to those used elsewhere in the nearby New Forest.