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Eastlands, Hemyock

A social housing development of 5 zero operational carbon 2-storey homes

In collaboration with Mid Devon District Council, we have designed and achieved planning approval for this groundbreaking social-rented, zero-carbon operational development. 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. This 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: 12 Eastlands, Hemyock, Cullompton, EX15 3QP

Building Solution: Permanent

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

Status: Planning granted

Project Team


Funding Supports

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 Eastlands optimises the Council’s housing and parking allocation by delivering five high-quality, energy-efficient homes in configuration of 2 x 3B5P and 3 x 2B4P, each home with generous private amenity spaces.


This scheme further develops surrounding landscape by providing a communal garden and an extended footpath with better connection to existing neighbouring rear gardens. By given serious consideration of the window positions, there are no overlooking into houses located to the west. The scheme provides more formal parking for local residents whilst addressing the local housing need.


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 informal walkway with rear garden access

Potential for rear gardens to act as buffer between development and existing properties 

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

Potential provision for parking

Provision of communal landscaping

Potential Site Opportunities.jpg

Massing Strategy

The massing respects the existing line of neighboring gardens by setting back from Eastlands. Rear garden spaces are tailored to match the surrounding typology. To address overlooking concerns, the first floor features high-sill windows and skylights, ensuring privacy for neighboring gardens.

Set Back and Key Distance

The massing set back from Eastlands to allow for parking provision at the front. Distances to neighboring windows and window styles at the rear ensure no privacy issues or overlooking in the plan.

Strategic Views

Habitable rooms are oriented towards Eastlands with tall window sills and skylights on the first floor rear. This ensures privacy with no sightlines into adjacent properties.

Accommodation Mix

The scheme proposes a mixture of 1 and 3 bedroom units to serve a range of housing needs, with accessible units on the ground floor. Each unit features over 5m² of private amenity space, comprising rear gardens and ancillary space in the front garden.


Vehicular Access

The existing site access from Eastlands will be retained for vehicle parking and pedestrian access to units. Introducing access parallel to the massing helps reconnect the site to the wider context and existing footpaths.

Pedestrian and Cycle Access

There is two new pedestrian access points proposed from Eastlands allowing for easy access for residents and allowing for multiple entry points and well as improving connectivity to existing footpaths. Cycle stores are to be located within rear garden space. 

Noise and Pollution

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


Public Consultation

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The public consultation took place in on 8th December 2022 at the point where the team had certainty that technical issues were resolvable and therefore there was some confidence that what was presented to the community would be a fair representation of the scheme for which planning permission might be sought in the future.


In November 2022 a mailing was sent out which explained the overall aims of the scheme and included the general massing. ZED PODS in collaboration with Mid Devon District Council have reached out to all residents within a 100 meter radius, to request feedback on the outline massing and landscape design of the proposal. We aimed to make the consultation as effective as possible by distributing a newsletter.

Public Consultation Feedback

The online consultation event was attended by ZED PODS and representatives of Mid Devon District Council housing team, the variety of attendees enabled the team to answer both architectural and planning policy questions. The public consultation was attended by several members of the public, their comments are listed and paraphrased below, we have removed names for privacy: 


1. Concerns over parking amounts and replacements 

2. Concerns over loss of storage units 

3. Concerns of overlooking to neighbours gardens 

4. Concerns of architectural quality and suitability


Concern 1 was addressed by ZED PODS, who clarified that the proposed development would contain 16 parking spaces, almost double the 7 spaces that currently existed on the site, and that all planning policy was being followed. 


Concern 2 was addressed by representatives of Mid Devon District Council, who clarified that the storage units were rental, all rental periods would be honoured, and that many of the units were not currently occupied.


Concern 3 was addressed by ZED PODS, who informed residents of the obscured windows to the first floor, which would remove issues of overlooking.


Concern 4 was addressed by ZED PODS, who assured residents of the material selection and high quality build of ZED PODS units. 

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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