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Watery Lane, Tiverton

A social housing development of 10 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 10 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: Somerlea, Willand, EX15 6PY

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 through the construction of 10 energy-efficient homes in configuration of 8 x 1B2P and 2 x 1B2P M4(2). Each dwelling features spacious private garden areas. 


The development enhances the surrounding landscape, ensuring level access and improved connectivity to the existing neighbourhood. Careful consideration of window placements prevents any intrusion into neighboring houses, prioritising privacy. The scheme includes 19 designated parking spaces, with four specifically reserved for disabled residents, effectively addressing the local housing demand.

Massing Strategy

The massing maintains the same footprint as previous demolished structure, as well as using the existing distance between neighbouring building as a buffer. The existing building line created by the streetsape informs the positioning of the mass as it sits back further from the public road as to not to appear dominating of the current streetscape. Retention of existing informal footpath improves access to the site and connects to the wider context.


Set Back and Key Distance

The proposed massing has been set back from the road in order to create easy access parking. Maintaining the same form as existing buildings offering extensive green buffer to the rear of the proposed massing in the form of gardens and native meadow with tree planting. There is no opportunity for overlooking as the proposed massing achieves a lower ridge and eaves height.


Strategic Views

Habitable room spaces have all been designed with primary windows facing towards the front of the propoerty onto public road with amenity grassland and defensive planting acting as a buffer in between. Living space is located to the rear with spacious rear garden with high fencing along with native meadow and tree line beyond.


Accommodation Mix

The scheme offers a mixture of level access 1B1P units along with two 1B2P M4(3) units to serve a range of housing needs. The proposed unit mix offers generous amentiy space with optimised design for wheelchair accessibility along side public and private amenity space for recreational use.


Vehicular Access

Existing site access via slip road from Watery Lane will be retained in order to serve existing neighbouring properties rear garden vehicular and pedestrian access. Existing public footpath North East of the site will be retained with a new footpath running behind proposed rear gardens in order to improve site access and permeability. Parking will be location on Sunningbrook Rd. allowing for ease of access and improved connectivity.


Pedestrian and Cycle Access

Pedestrian access for 1B1P units will be off Sunningbrook Rd with parking and cycle storage running parallel. New footpaths allow for site access to 1B2P units as well as improving site permeability to accessible amenity spaces whilst improving connectivity between Sunningbrook Rd, Watery Lane and existing Sycamore Rd footpath access.


Noise and Pollution

The position of Massing increases distances between habitable spaces and roads with amenity grassland and defensive planting creating a generous buffer zone. The 1B2P units are backed onto Watery Lane with rear gardens and high fencing creating privacy and distance from potential street noise. Increased Biodiversity to the rear of the site helps to counteract any pollution caused from increased vehicular traffic


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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