Sutton High Street
Sutton was historically part of the Isle of Ely, an island surrounded by fens. High Street is situated along a ridge in the fenlands, presentng a steep decline in the site from the high street, with a level change of around 12m on the site.
To address the sloping topography, the entrance is on the middle storey and houses have a lower ground floor which opens out onto a patio bound by retaining walls. To retain the natural slope of the site as far as reasonably possible, the patio areas extend up until the point where three steps allow access to a gently sloping garden, which varies for each unit. The lower ground floor presents an open plan living/kitchen/diner ideal for family living, whilst the first floor opens up to a living room with a generous vaulted ceiling, offering commanding views across the low-lying fenlands.
The scheme offers a varied design of fenestration and materiality to create a dynamic elevational composition, enhancing the character of the High Street. The proposal offers a significant improvement over the existing buildings which have fallen into a state of disrepair as they lie vacant on site.
The addition of 9 generously sized homes will positively regenerate the site, ensuring its long-term sustainability socially by providing much needed housing in the Cambridgeshire region and environmentally by proposing a Biodiversity Net Gain.
Particular attention has been paid to improving the ecological value of the site; part of the proposal includes an ecological enhancement strategy to provide an improved habitat for local species. To the rear of the site a neutral grassland will be introduced to create a suitable area for foraging and cover for faunal species known to be active on site and in the surrounding area. A new native species hedgerow will provide a habitat corridor creating an important network for wildlife dispersal across the region to ensure survival and diversity of various species. The addition of a pond creates a suitable habitat for the Great Crested Newts, safely connected by the newly introduced green corridor. In addition to this two newt hibernacula will be provided near the pond and log piles will provide a suitable habitat for small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.