HTA Design secures planning for 276 MMC homes with Countryside and Homes England on a flagship site

HTA Design secure planning permission from Dacorum Borough Council for Phase 2 of Spencer’s Park, comprising 276 homes in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, for client Countryside in partnership with Homes England.

All of the homes will be built using modern methods of construction, varying from modular, through panellised, to enhanced traditional construction, in a demonstration project that will compare and contrast each method’s performance over time. Spencer’s Park is the largest of eight sites included in Homes England’s Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Research Commission. Data collected at these eight sites will be made available to developers and the wider industry to promote understanding of these new technologies and benefits of MMC.

The new homes at Spencer’s Park Phase 2, of which 35% will be affordable, will comprise a mix of one, two, three and four bed residences. Sustainability is central to the proposals, with renewable energy, high levels of building insulation, walking and cycling and public transport infrastructure, EV car charging, extensive retained and proposed soft landscape as well as the benefits of offsite construction all playing their part.

Green space is prioritised in the development, and our design incorporates extensive public realm, with new landscaping focussed around existing mature trees to create a network of green links and spaces, complemented by swales and ponds. In conjunction with providing a landscape rich in opportunities for residents’ amenity and recreation, our landscape design will increase biodiversity on the site by 22%, including the introduction of 346 new trees, as well as bird and bat boxes, and new hedgehog routes.

Our design responds to the context of Hemel Hempstead, reflecting its status as a New Town with the use of traditional materials and forms that harmonise with a rural setting, detailed in a clean contemporary way that associates with the best of the town’s Twentieth Century heritage.

Simon Toplis says “Spencer’s Park is a unique project and has proved a wonderful opportunity to continue working with Countryside and Homes England on a flagship site, collaborating with two local authorities to deliver a place that integrates our architectural, landscape and Modern Methods of Construction expertise. A sequence of carefully elaborated character areas lies at the heart of the vision, and the development will play a vital part in advancing the sector’s understanding of MMC through Homes England’s Research Commission, whilst also delivering a fantastic place to live where access to nature is prioritised – truly “bringing nature home”.

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