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Wild Ash Croft

Murston, Kent

Wild Ash Croft Final View 01

Sector: Master Planning, Regeneration, Residential
Client: AmicusHorizon
Project stage: Planning

Wild Ash Croft is located in Murston, Kent. This residential scheme provides a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom houses designed for affordable rent and shared ownership, and includes a new communal amenity area to complement the new homes. The units have been designed to Design Quality Standards, Lifetime Homes and to achieve the equivalent to Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 and Secure By Design level 2.

The scheme is designed on the former site of Ceres Court and prior to this historically the area was used as farmland. The site consists of three existing residential blocks which were acquired as stock from the local authority in 1990’s by AmicusHorizon.

The existing residential accommodation was identified by AmicusHorizon for regeneration to provide much needed family homes for the area. Historically the site has suffered with social problems, much of the accommodation is single bedroom units which do not provide the family accommodation which is much needed in this area of Kent. AmicusHorizon launched an architectural ideas competition in 2014 to address these issues to seek a high quality design approach to the provision of future housing in the area.

Frederick Gibberd Partnership was the successful practice, with our ideas welcomed as a ‘breath of fresh air’. The practice’s concepts sought to instil some much needed quality and character, bringing inherent security and a defined sense of place and character to the area. The new proposals for Wild Ash Croft arrange residential family housing to the perimeter which addresses the historic site issues of boundary security. The existing MUGA, play space and fitness areas have been incorporated into the scheme together with an existing memorial garden to the north east of the site. The proposals have woven together the varied external spaces to bring a landscaped core to the scheme. This landscaped area sits at the heart of the scheme offering communal external space for all age groups to play, meet and relax to instil a sense of community and ownership of this special space which has strong natural visual surveillance from the proposed units.

The materials pallet we selected drew on the influences of the locality. We recognise the importance of any new scheme of this scale sitting comfortably within the existing built context but we also saw this as an opportunity to elevate the built material quality of the environment. We have identified expressed brick motifs in the nearby local and have expressed this through feature bands and projecting headers to the scheme. We have proposed a mix of red and buff brick which tie into the varied mix of brickwork and detailing within the locality and the use of metal seamed panel cladding to create crisp and strong detailing.

The design of units have a strong recessed porch and key units have recessed ground floors and terrace spaces created at ground floor to give depth and articulation to the facades whilst maintain successful well planned internal layouts which meeting the design standards. 

Winner of the Kent Housing Group Excellence in Development 2018