When the former Bembridge Primary school site fell into disrepair, questions were raised by the local community about how the land would be used, with particular concern over how beneficial any new build would be for the residents of the village on the Isle of Wight.
ERMC Limited were instructed by Vectis Housing Association to develop a residential design solution for the vacant site. The proposals submitted represent a considered design approach, reflecting the specific site constraints and needs of the local area. To facilitate the ‘Lifetime Homes’ ethos, benefits such as removable floor panels for through the floor lifts, provision for ground floor showers, stair lifts and hoist routes between the master bed and bathroom, allows the building to adapt alongside the needs of its occupants.
In Affordable Housing development plans laid out by the Local Authority, 35% of proposed buildings are required to be offered as part of the scheme, which in this specific design would amount to 5 homes on the site. However, was agreed that all 13 new homes would be offered as part of the scheme – either sold or rented by the Local Authority.
Care was taken to ensure that the site offered residents space and flexibility comparable to homes of the surrounding area, therefore careful landscaping and level-access facilities were employed, achieving a harmony with the local vernacular and providing a comparable plot density.
The result was a huge success, with many praising the balance between affordability and design, and with most of the dwellings already occupied before the grand opening, it is already providing substantial benefit to the local community.