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Sycamore Road

A social housing development of 13 zero operational carbon 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 helps maximise the Council’s provision for housing and parking by providing 13 high-quality energy-efficient homes. It aligns with Mid Devon District Council's ambitious objective to construct new affordable housing units and introduce innovative housing solutions.

Project Information

Client: Mid Devon District Council (MDDC)

Location: 6 Sycamore Road, Tiverton, EX16 6JL

Building Solution: Permanent

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

Status: Planning granted

Project Team


Funding Supports

Existing Site Condition
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 helps maximise the Council’s provision for housing and parking by providing 13 high-quality energy-efficient homes in configuration of 10 x 1B2P and 3 x 2B3P, each home with generous private amenity spaces.


This scheme further develops surrounding landscape by providing level access with better connection to existing neighbouring context. By giving serious consideration of the window positions, there are no overlooking into houses located to the north east. The scheme provides more formal parking for local residents whilst addressing the local housing need.

Key Considerations

General Polices: Any new development should be designed to accord with the provisions of other relevant policies in the Adopted Local Plan, most notably being designed to be in character and keeping with the surrounding area. Also new development should be in accordance with the provisions of Adopted Local Plan Policy S3 - Meeting Housing Needs. 

Massing: any new development should be followed the existing typology of housing fronting Holly Road. Take consideration of the scale and bulk of the dwellings, especially those facing east onto Sycamore Road. In terms of roof/ridge heights to assist in breaking up the mass of the built form of what would be quite a long row of dwellings compared to those immediately adjoining the site. 

Overlooking: consideration of overlooking from the raised (first floor) level at deck access level.

Parking: Any additional parking to on site requirements will be free to use by the local community.

Public Consultation

Public Consultation.jpg

The public consultation took place in on 7th 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 three members of the public, their comments are listed and paraphrased below, we have removed names for privacy: 


  1. Concerns over Mid-Devon housing replacement and moving policies 

  2. Concerns over consultant and surveying intrusion 

  3. Support for the principle of redeveloping the existing housing stock 

  4. General support for the design and landscaping works.


Concern 1 was addressed by representatives of Mid Devon District Council. The current building is currently being de-occupied, residents have a choice of moving to a new social rent council house in the local area, or waiting to be rehoused in the proposed development. It is important to note that whilst there were questions about the process, there was support for replacing the existing houses which were determined to be in very poor condition, and developing new housing. 


Concern 2 was addressed by ZED PODS, who assured the residents that prior notice would be given before any surveys or works. 

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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