Bogle Architects’ proposal for a residential development on Chalk Hill, Watford has been granted unanimous planning approval by Watford Council’s Development Management Committee.
The scheme is located on a former chalk pit next to the listed Bushey Railway Arches. The Committee report highlighted how the proposal’s ‘careful design and layout innovatively responds to the constraints of the site’ and ‘will create a high quality environment that offers a suitable relationship with its surroundings.’
The scheme – which comprises 151 new flats, a small commercial unit and an under-croft car park with a total gross area of 168,500 sq ft – will revitalise the former industrial site with much-needed private and affordable housing, as well as providing generous public realm and other local community benefits.
Key to Bogle’s approach was extensive consultation with the Council and local residents. As a result of this process, two major redesigns and several adjustments were made to the proposal prior to submission to ensure that the design fully maximised the benefits it offered to the community.
The scheme responds sensitively to its local context. Six blocks stepping between four and nine storeys have been organised in a way that responds to local sensitivities around views and the nearby heritage asset. A large public plaza next to the Railway Arches and generous public green space between the blocks provides amenities for both residents and the wider community.
Mature trees along the site perimeter will be maintained, while additional trees will be planted in the public green space and the plaza. The proposed main façade material is a long format brown brick which is high quality, durable and contemporary, referencing the materiality of the context and the nearby Railway Arches. Generous glazing to the social spaces optimise the amount of natural light reaching the interiors, as well as enhancing views out.
Viktor Rohacs, Project Director, Bogle Architects says:
“We are delighted with this consent, which represents our second outstanding planning consent in Watford after winning consent on Gresham House last year. We feel this residential-led scheme makes a valuable contribution to the local area, and is another addition to our diverse portfolio of work both at home and abroad.’’