It’s the time of year when we tend to look back over the past 12 months, consider how it’s been and then, holding on to our hats, prepare to plunge into a New Year.  The need to hold on to hats this December seems particularly important, not least having just experienced the earliest heavy snowfalls in the south of the UK for many years.  Without putting too fine a point on it, 2017 was a bit of a roller coaster for our clients in the development and environmental sectors.  With annual growth of the world economy picking up, UK markets and regulatory systems remain dogged by uncertainty about where Brexit will lead us, and by the continued impact of inflation on the housing market.

It’s not all bad news however, and we’ve decided to round off the year with a celebration of some of our client’s achievements in bringing forward development which creates environmental, social and economic benefits. It takes considerable effort and time to deliver high quality sustainable development, and these are just a few examples of what can be achieved.

HAB Housing’s development at Lovedon Fields, Kingsworthy, Hampshire was highly commended in the 2017 Landscape Institute Awards as ‘an exemplar of how planning for housing on the edge of an existing settlement should be delivered’.  Lovedon Fields is a 50-home residential scheme that forms a new edge to the village of Kings Worthy, near Winchester.  The scheme embeds an integrated approach to water management, ecology and vegetation infrastructure, including a 4.6ha park and footpaths, a bike track, running circuit, natural play area, allotments, wildflower grassland and enhanced boundary planting. Follow the link to our Lovedon Fields project profile page.

Habitat First Group, which is a family-run development company founded on the principle of creating high quality environmentally sustainable holiday home communities won three awards at the 2017 What House? Awards. Habitat First Group has three sites, all within worked out mineral workings, at the Lower Mill Estate in Gloucestershire, Silverlake in Dorset, and, with outline planning permission recently granted, at Birchwood Lakes in Devon.  The What House? 2017 Gold Award for Best Design was given to the Habitat House at Lower Mill Estate, Silverlake in Dorset won the Bronze Award for Best Sustainable Development and, also at Silverlake, the Light House won the Bronze Award for Best Exterior Design.

Ecotricity’s first wind park in South Gloucestershire, at Alveston, will finally become operational in December 2017.  This scheme has seen a long gestation since Landmark prepared the Landscape assessments which supported the grant of planning permission in November 2008.  The three turbines will provide enough clean energy each year to power 5% of the homes in the district, over 3,000 local homes.

We’d like to thank everyone with whom we’ve worked over the past year. We wish you the very best for the festive season, and health and happiness in 2018.

Best wishes from everyone at The Landmark Practice.