Climate Change Design Environment Sustainability

A Case Study For Climate Emergency Response

Larkrise co-housing will be a mutually supportive eco development.  The ethos underpinning Larkrise is to tread lightly on the earth, preserving old and planting new to encourage wildlife and biodiversity.

Newly planted oaks will flank the entrance to Larkrise, capable of supporting nearly 2,500 different species when they mature. To north, west and south native hedges – species rich, tall and wide consisting of ancient hollies, field maples and a bird cherry will surround Larkrise, together with hazel, elder, willow and hawthorn. These hedges will be traditionally managed and nurtured. Locally gathered tree seeds have been raised to fill gaps in these boundary hedges. Protected from the prevailing south westerly winds, orchards will be planted.  As fruit trees age quickly, they create the perfect habitats, throughout the seasons, for invertebrates and birds.  

Wildflower meadows and prairie planting will be the matrix on the site. Where necessary, seeds varying from woodland to meadow specific will be broadcast. Cut grass foot paths will wind through the prairie, meadows and orchards.

The Larkrise site will drain into a partially clay lined pool.  This will attract invertebrates and in turn, birds, foxes, and bats to feed. Given time, the boggy areas, overhung by weeping willow, will be able to support native bog plants.

The householders of Larkrise will be encouraged to plant wildlife (especially bee) friendly plants in their gardens.  Allotments will be organically tended to produce as many varieties of soft fruit and vegetables as possible. Compost bins will process the arisings. Cobnuts, walnuts and sweet chestnuts will be planted to provide crops and shelter from northerly winds. Alongside the orchard top fruits, fig, quince and mulberry will be planted in the more sheltered areas.

Larkrise has taken many years of thoughtful and innovative planning at every stage with the aim is to enrich the lives of all who live there. Its prime movers hope it may provide an exemplar for future housing developments.

Written by Caroline for Larkrise as a case study for Climate Emergency Response in Hereford & Herefordshire

Design Environment Planning Press Release Sustainability

Go-ahead for ‘eco-friendly’ housing scheme in Herefordshire

COUNTY planners have approved the design of a new “environmentally friendly” 20-home community housing estate near Hereford.

Avril Shaw asked Herefordshire Council for permission to develop the land at Tump Lane in Much Birch and provide a mix of homes from four-bedroom houses to one bed flats.

The development is designed as a co-housing community.

These are intentional communities created and run by their residents where, although each household has a self-contained home, residents regularly come together to manage their community, sharing social activities as well as responsibilities, including growing their own food produce

Ms Shaw told yesterday’s (November 4) planning committee that the homes have been designed to exceed current ecological requirements.

“Much has changed in the world since the inception of this development,” she said.

“Yet the structure and ethos of Larkrise has become more relevant. We believe more urgent.”

“We note that Herefordshire Council has committed to become carbon neutral by 2030.”

“An aim that Larkrise fully supports and aspires to.”

“We have taken care to fulfil the criteria that offers a neighbourhood community, i.e. clusters of homes orientated and landscaped to offer the choice of ready meeting places via pedestrian walkways enabling safe spaces throughout for children to play.”

“All dwellings will be built to exceed current ecological standards, sustainable construction with high levels of insulation will create a low carbon footprint and low fuel bills for all residents.”

However, some 28 letters objecting to the scheme were sent to the council.

A letter from objector Mrs Rolph read out at the meeting called on councillors to reject the scheme.

The letter said it was disappointing that the officer’s report and all the supporting documentation were full of inconsistencies and contradictions.

It also said it went against the emerging neighbourhood plan and would create a “growing divide in the community.”

“The proposed layout and design of the scheme will have an adverse effect on existing residents, the character of the landscape and has not satisfactorily addressed the issue surrounding highways safety.”

However, councillor Jeremy Milln said he felt the applicants had made every effort to design the homes to meet the council’s climate objectives.

He proposed approving the scheme and this was supported by councillor William Wilding.

The committee unanimously approved the scheme

Written by Carmelo Garcia

Full article @ Hereford Times