Silverlake Vacation Home Community, Dorset

Landscape master planning and detailed design

Client

Habitat First Group

Background

The Landmark Practice is working on behalf of Habitat First Group to deliver a sustainable vacation home community at Silverlake in Dorset.  The development, of up to 1,000 holiday chalets/lodges with associated infrastructure, was granted planning permission in 2015 via a hybrid application.  Outline permission was granted for the Landscape Masterplan and Design Framework for the overall development, and full permission for the landscape measures, car parking, entrance gates, sales centre, access road to the first phase of holiday units, and permissive footpath.

 Description

The scheme has been designed with Willmore Iles Architects to create a landscape ‘template’ within which the development sits.  The template provides an overall sense of unity and cohesiveness, with embedded opportunities for visitors to enjoy nature, open space, landscape and recreation. The design also responds with great care to the ecological sensitivities of the nearby Dorset Heathlands European sites by providing an Area of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenscape (SANG), as well as extensive areas of landscape and woodland planting, nature conservation areas, bird watching hides, informal and formal recreational facilities.

The Landscape Masterplan and Design Framework was granted outline permission by West Dorset District Council in January 2015. The Design Framework details the design approach, outlines the development framework, and establishes a number of overriding site principles which underpin the design treatment for each character area. The Framework illustrates how these principles will guide the landscape and architectural integrity of the overall development, particularly in the context of the special character of West Dorset.

The development of the Design Framework and masterplan led the structured approach to the emerging scheme through the planning process.  This involved significant and positive consultation with West Dorset District Council via frequent meetings and discussions over a three month period with the planning, urban design, conservation and landscape officers.

 Client benefits

The first phase of the development, known as Beaumont Village, was granted planning permission in May 2015.  This area covers 31 units and comprises a community building, recreational play area, and Spa with an ancillary utilities.