6. Design Statement
The Adare Local Area Plan has been reviewed to assess planned pedestrian and cycle routes and these have been incorporated into the design proposal. The roads layout within the proposed development will be designed in accordance with guidance set out in DMURS.
Northern Development Site:
Following road analysis and design in accordance with best practice, Dennany Reidy Engineers have redesigned the existing access junction (servicing the recently constructed car park) at Rathkeale Road to allow for new road access. Access to the reconfigured car park will be provided internally within the site via the new road. A one way street is also proposed from the existing Deerpark Estate southwards, connecting into the linear housing strip development. This one way street is proposed to be a shared surface, providing the people of the existing estate an accessible and safe approach to Scoil Naomh Iosaf. This shared surface will also provide a high quality public realm to the front of the existing Limekiln, highlighting its historical significance.
The proposed access point to this site is located centrally along an existing entrance junction which has sufficient sight visibility splays provided. The principles of Homezones will be implemented within this development site. Through minimising carriageway widths, reducing raised kerbs and combining pedestrian, vehicular and on-street parking to create shared surface streets we can effectively calm traffic in residential areas. Please refer to Dennany Reidy’s report included in the part 8 application for full details on the road design and traffic assessments.
The DMURS sets out objectives and standards for street design, building forms, public open space design and building material palettes, which have been taken into account in the proposals now submitted.
- The internal streets within the site, including turning circles, corner junction radii, footpath and road widths comply with the parameters set out in DMURS.
- The proposed unit forms and interface comply with parameters for the proposed street types and aims to maximise active frontage and passive surveillance, while respecting the privacy of the individual units.
- Building materials will provide sense of character and place.
- The Southern Development Area will incorporate a pedestrian/cycle ‘green route’.
- Trees, footpaths, soft landscaping and high quality public lighting is proposed within and to the perimeter of the site.
- Trees planted within the public realm will be of sufficient maturity to withstand potential vandalism. (Please refer to the JBA’s Landscape Drawing for full details on the proposed landscaping).
- Provision of individual privacy strips to each unit, providing a transition buffer from the public realm.
Site constraints & Implications on Unit Design
- The site is mostly long and narrow with an average width of 25 metres.
- It must accommodate the attenuation tanks for the N21 surface water drainage and safe vehicular access to the site.
- There is a freestanding house and a care home adjacent therefore overlooking is an issue.
- The existing car park is required for parents for dropping children off to the nearby school.
Working with these design constraints, the proposed configuration for the scheme is as follows:
A series of low cottages, semi-detached 2 bedroom units are arranged in a row along the “town side” of the site boundary. Gardens to the front and rear are minimal (under 11m in length) to optimise the use of the site; there is space to the side for off-street parking. Single storey houses are proposed to avoid overlooking and to be compatible with the scale of adjacent housing along the road.
A small turning circle is established at the top of the road. This positioning of this turning circle is partially generated by the requirement to retain a mature oak tree but also to create a “hinge” between 2 parts of the Northern site. The road is bonded by a 2 storey apartment block with windows facing the proposed green open space to provide passive supervision of the site at this point.
An existing small estate and historical Limekiln are located to the most northerly point of this site. Here a similar two storey apartment block is planned to be located adjacent to an existing duplex apartment building of a similar nature and scale. This building has been positioned to have windows from the living room area face the proposed homezone space to the front of the Lime Kiln providing passive supervision.
As part of the proposed renovation of the existing Lime Kiln it is proposed to renovate and re-purpose the neighbouring stone structure, inserting a contemporary duplex apartment into the existing stone framework (House Type G - refer to drawing P-126). In order to minimise the load on the original stone structure it is proposed to insert a steel framed upper storey inside the buildings existing walls. The metal cladding and glazing are suspended from the steel structure minimising the load. The lower-ground floor apartment will be set within the original stone structure utilising original openings for doors and windows where possible.
The proposed housing typologies to the southern site reflect the sites location in a rural town setting; incorporating densities appropriate to a village context and rural vernacular building forms, while maintaining a residential neighbourhood environment. The building height to all units located here will be 2 storey, responding to the pedestrian priority homezone square to the centre of the plan, to which these dwellings address.
It was felt it was essential to have housing units positively address both the main entrance road off the N21 and the internal perimeter of the proposed homezone area. This layout results in minimal gardens (under 11m in length) to the front and rear to optimise the use of the site The resulting restrictions on overlooking and distances between rear facing first floor windows between house types B & C where addressed by ensuring all upper floor habitable windows face towards the front elevations of the units. All rear-facing openings above first floor level are provided for ventilation/ light purposes and these will be opaque throughout.
The planned layout for the affordable housing development plots also take into consideration concerns of future overlooking within the adjoining site to the North and allow for the required 11m rear back garden. These plots will be the subject of future individual planning applications for development thereon.
The design of each unit for the proposed development aims to create active street frontage and maximise passive surveillance of the surrounding streets and spaces. A privacy strip mediates the transition from the public realm to the private dwelling. All units have external private open space in the form of private rear gardens and/or upper floor terraces. Room sizes within units meet or exceed minimum habitable room sizes set out in ‘Quality Homes for Sustainable Communities’ (DPHLG, 2007). In the houses, living and kitchen-dining spaces are located at ground level, with bedrooms on upper floors provided with generous windows. All units are provided with own door access.
In the duplex apartments, each unit is provided with own-door access and there are no communal shared circulation spaces. Upper floor apartments have a ground floor private yard accessed via the circulation core. The stairs to first floor level comply with Part M requirements for the ambulant disabled.
In order to create a safe and secure environment for residents, the proposed development emphasises an active frontage along the street and public open spaces. To the Northern site the scheme is designed in the formation of a continuous strip while to the south the scheme is designed in the formation of a courtyard, both arrangements eliminate exposed walls to rear gardens.
The internal layout design also supports the principles of passive surveillance. Generous windows to habitable rooms at both ground and first floor will maximise overlooking onto the public street. A privacy strip provides secure positions for individuals to enter and exit their dwellings, and the scale of this intermediate zone creates a usable space for the resident, further contributing to a sense of ownership and surveillance onto the street.