Combe Valley

St Leonards, Hastings

On behalf of Hasting Borough Council, Metropolitan Workshop were asked to develop the Bulverhythe Lower Tier to create a high-quality residential development. The proposed development comprises of 192 new homes, 40% of which are affordable. The proposed homes are predominately a mix of 2 and 3 storey terraced family housing with a small number of apartments.

At first glance, the Combe Valley site looks ideal for development. It is an easily accessible, empty rectangle surrounded by natural assets and opportunities for new pedestrian connections. However, initial perceptions can be deceptive: Two-thirds of the site is in flood zone 3, and it is politically very sensitive, with local residents having suffered severe flooding for years, their interwar homes uninsurable. The proposal mitigates flooding by creating a series of new parks which are aligned with three existing pedestrian routes across the site. Their attractive landscape features attenuate water to reduce the likelihood of flooding for new and existing residents. In order to mitigate resident concerns about overlooking, two and three storey homes are arranged in short terraces, orientated to preserve existing views through the site. Homes within the flood zone are raised upon car ports, creating distinctive townhouses which front the parks and mews streets.

Team: WT Partnership (QS) / XCO2 (M+E) / Alan Baxter Associates (Structures, Highways) / Maddox Associates (Planning) / LUC (Landscape) / Ambiental (Flood)

"This scheme is about providing opportunities for our residents to live healthy, fulfilling lives. It’s an aspirational development that will use innovative design and construction techniques and raise the bar in terms of standards and quality; acting as an exemplar for future schemes in Hastings."

Lead Member for Housing, Hastings Borough Council

The architecture is inspired by local heritage. Homes are clad predominantly in brick, with red and light grey tones which reference nearby Victorian housing. There are also a small number of detached mews townhouses clad in pre-weathered timber panels, referencing the dark grey net shops of the local fishing fraternity.