The key to the design is dividing the large holding into six zones as they move away from the village centre: town-scale terraced live-work units, suburban-type terraced houses, clustered courtyard housing in a woodland setting, nearby allotments, and beyond this farm land and nature reserve.
Permaculture and the desire to provide most of the food and fuel needs for the inhabitants locally under-pins the design.
Control of the car is key. The live-work terrace is built, as is traditional in towns and villages, along a footpath with shop supplies and carparking to the rear. Pedestrian routes criss-cross the site encouraging footfall.
Routeways within the site are shared surfaces in the manner of ‘Home Zones’ and the Essex Design Guide. The five courtyards have loose gravel and timber kerbs, thereby emphasising the softer slower functions of these informal spaces.
Reed beds and ponds stocked with carp are part of the local sewage treatment strategy.
A communally-owned energy centre contains a CHP district heating system, and is fueled by wood chip and local biomass.
The courtyard housing is designed to allow expansion within each site in clear steps.
Whenever possible gardens and rear elevations are oriented to the midday and evening light.