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Crofts Estate, Sandford 

A social housing development of 5 zero operational carbon homes in flood zone 3 area

In collaboration with Mid Devon District Council, we have designed and achieved planning approval for this groundbreaking social-rented, zero-carbon operational development situated on a brownfield garage site within flood zone 3. This initiative aligns with Mid Devon District Council's ambitious objective to construct new affordable housing units and introduce innovative housing solutions by revitalising underutilised areas.It strives to enhance the quality of life for current residents through enhancements to public spaces and external landscaping. The Crofts Estate project represents a key component of the Council's comprehensive five-year plan for social housing development.

Project Information

Client: Mid Devon District Council (MDDC)

Location: Sandford, Crediton, EX17 4NR

Building Solution: Permanent

Scope of works: Full Turnkey Service (RIBA Stage 0 – 7)

Status: Planning granted

Project Team


Funding Supports

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Councillor Simon Clist.jpeg
Transforming our council-owned sites into affordable, low carbon homes that help towards our climate agenda is huge boost for the area.

Councillor Simon Clist

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing and Property Services

Mid Devon District Council


Building affordable & energy-efficient homes

Mid Devon District Council has received grant funding from the “Affordable Homes Program 2021-2026”, a £11.5 billion of capital funding over five years to enable the supply of approximately 162,000 new affordable homes. In addition, the Council has received additional funding under “Brown Field Release Fund” as part of a total award of £660k to build 50 social-rented homes at six regeneration sites across the district.

Full Turnkey


This project was executed through a full turnkey Design & Build process, encompassing all stages of design according to RIBA standards, planning application, offsite manufacturing, module delivery, onsite groundworks and construction and handover. The proposed development at Croft’s Estate optimises the Council’s housing and parking allocation by delivering five one-bed high-quality, energy-efficient homes, each home with generous private amenity spaces. Additionally, this initiative enhances the surrounding landscape, offering level access and improved connectivity to the existing neighbourhood context.Careful attention to window placement ensures there is no overlooking into adjacent houses to the east. Furthermore, the scheme includes designated parking spaces for local residents, effectively addressing the area's housing demand.


Telegraph pole with overhanging cables running parallel to site

Existing informal & formal parking spaces

Close proximity to neighbouring property

Road width 3.7m - 4.9m

Single story bungalow units

Street character with typology mix of 1 and 2 storey dwellings

Existing garages and storage units

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Keeping within existing rear building line

Retention of existing retaining wall

Potential for green verge to act as buffer between development and existing properties located to the rear 

Potential site for building location with max building height of 2-stories

Potential provision for parking

Provision of communal landscaping

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Massing Strategy

The massing has been set back from Church Parks and Crofts Estate to allow for ancillary space. As the site sits  topographically lower than the surrounding units the ridge height of a two storey mass is significantly lower. The topographical advantage was considered given the lack of overshading or overlooking concerns on site.

Set Back and Key Distance

The proposed massing has been set back from both Crofts Estate and Church Parks to allow for parking provision towards the front and gable end of the scheme. The large distances to the windows of any surrounding buildings there is no opportunities for overlooking or privacy concerns within the proposal.

Strategic Views

Habitable room spaces have all been designed with primary windows and balconies facing towards the large tree folliage at the front of the scheme. There are no views into either of the adjacent properties

Accommodation Mix

The scheme proposes 1 bedroom units to serve a range of housing needs with accessible units located on the ground floor. Each has a 5m2+ private amenity space provided by an external balconies.


Vehicular Access

The existing site access from Crofts Estate will be retained for vehicle access and pedestrian access to units. Introducing access from Church Parks reconnects the site to the wider context as well as allowing for further parking provision for the area.

Pedestrian and Cycle Access

There is two new pedestrian access points proposed from Church Parks and Crofts Estate easy access for residents and allowing for multiple entry points and well as improving connectivity to existing footpaths. Cycle store is located off Crofts Estate to ensure accessibility for all residents. 

Noise and Pollution

The position of the massing increases distance between habitable spaces and mains road arteries with amenity grass land, defensible planting and ancillary space creating a buffer zone. Mass acts as a screen for private communal staircore and habitable spaces. 


Construction off-site to minimise disruption and site installation


 Building Regulations Application

 Construction Phase Plan


Project Brief approved by the Council 

Undertook Feasibility Studies

Agree on Project Budget

Prepare Project Programme


Building handed over to the Council


Develop Business Case

Review Project Risks

Review Project Budget

Undertook Site Appraisals


Architectural Concept approved by the Council and aligned to the Project Brief

Obtain pre-application Planning Advice

Initial Cost Plan


Planning application submitted


Residents move in


Project Timeline

Current Stage: RIBA Stage 4 — Technical Design

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