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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 116 - Creating an attractive high-density development

116 - Chatsworth Gardens, Morecambe

Lancaster City Council with the Homes and Communities Agency commissioned a development competition to fundamentally improve the quality of the housing stock in Morecambe’s West End. Morecambe suffered a complex set of social issues, including a transient population based in multiple occupation, poor quality properties formerly used as guesthouses, high crime rates and benefit dependency.

The project objective was to attract a new population of families, and single persons or couples to create a more balanced and sustainable community. The scheme also sought to act as a catalyst for further regeneration changing perceptions, and raising the aspirations of the local community. Places for People with Peter Barber Architects have responded with an innovative solution to this seaside location, which works with the existing street network and tackles the sometimes difficult interaction between public and private space by taking most of the private space to roof terraces and creating a block pattern of single aspect dwellings. Nearly all properties have a private courtyard which includes services, refuse, storage, and cycle parking, leading to their own front door, spacious home and private roof terrace. All homes have an allocated on-street parking space viewed directly from the property, whilst two pocket parks create a community focus and promote social interaction.

The proposed 1.06ha scheme provides for 101 homes at 95dph including 31 two-bedroom houses, 39 three-bedroom houses, 4 four-bedroom houses and 18 one-bedroom apartments. The site is generally two storeys in height, with three-storey elements on the busier streets and a single five-storey dwelling acting as a landmark. An additional nine homes are proposed as duplex livework units. The development clearly indicates that high density does not necessitate high rise.

Other Information

  • Location: Lancaster City Council
  • Project Team: English Partnerships, Lancashire City Council, Places for People, Peter Barber Architects
  • Site Area: 1.06ha / Density: 95dph


UDC2 Section - Integrated Design 

Proposed low rise, high-density development at Chatsworth Gardens has created a strong sense of identity, generous space standards and innovate ways of providing amenity areas on roof terraces and courtyards.

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