Many thanks to Reed Holland Associates who have provided the below update on their project (now on site) on Kingston Road in Taunton, that they brought to our South West Design Review Panel back in December 2013 ...
"Reed Holland Associates were appointed by our client, No. 1 Kingston Road Limited, to prepare a planning application for the demolition of a former snooker hall and nightclub opposite the entrance to Taunton Railway Station and its replacement with a new block of 40 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The design proposals represented a major application for a five-storey block of flats of a contemporary design.
During the pre-application period, it was recommended that the scheme be brought to the Design Review Panel for their appraisal. We presented our scheme to the Panel who engaged us in some exchange and debate that was helpful and in some instances challenged our own thinking in a positive way. To our surprise Panel members suggested that there was scope to include an additional level of accommodation in the centre of the building; however, the design was in its later stages at this point and so the client chose not to alter the design at the time.
The planning officer’s report to Committee contained a helpful summary of the views and opinions of the Design Review Panel, with which he was in agreement. His recommendation was for approval, and when it came to the vote the Committee voted overwhelmingly in favour and the application was approved.
With commencement came certain challenges, the first of which was the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) in excess of £50,000 payable to Taunton Deane Borough Council. Following that, complex discussions with Wessex Water had to be undertaken regarding the trunk sewer passing through the site. Added to that, the site had to be CFA (continuous flight auger) piled due to poor ground conditions. Furthermore, it has been necessary to partially close Railway Street, blocking vehicular access for almost 12 months.
The obstacles overcome, the building is now under construction with the steelwork nearly complete, having reached the fifth floor. It is clear at this stage that the Design Review Panel was correct in their assessment that the massing could support an additional level – although this was not the original intention, the design of the foundations and steel frame make it entirely possible. The client is currently liaising with Taunton Deane Borough Council to gain planning approval for a sixth floor comprising a further four apartments.
Reed Holland Associates is a creative architectural practice based in the south-west with a reputation for innovative and sustainable design. With over thirty years’ experience, we undertake projects of various sizes in the residential, commercial, industrial and education sectors.
The practice is responsible for several community-based and sporting facility provision projects in the south west. These include the Centre for Outdoor Activity and Community Hub, or COACH, in Taunton.
Other projects include new corporate headquarters for Shearwell Data on Exmoor and a number of mixed use schemes for sites in Somerset, Devon and Dorset and further afield".