Single aspect III

March 11th, 2010

UPDATE: October 2016 Similar crap to the original Barber plans now going up in Kidbrooke, see Crap Flats for details on Urban Houses – spit.

UPDATE: 10/3/14 Work on site at Ashchurch Villas

UPDATE: 3/12/12

The two plots 282/292 were subsequently sold to First Base who short listed four practices of which two are known to be PTEa and MAE, the project was given to PTEa after each practice gave a presentation of their intended plans.

“25% of the apartment is stairs….”

Click the image for full site plan

Sometimes it feels like 1937 again. Allow me to explain. Within the last few years, following a conversation with my Father (an architect) about Quarry Hill in Leeds, which he had studied whilst training, I bought a second hand copy of Model Estates by Alison Ravetz and devoured it in order to continue the exchange.

More about Quarry Hill may be read here or here

Quarry Hill from Leodis

and should this ever change or be removed then you may read the same material here

Discovering Leeds – Poverty and Riches

Early on in the book the author points out that despite the 1909 Act outlawing the building of back to backs, they continued to be built in Leeds until 1937 because the authorisation for those had already been agreed prior to the act. Now more than 100 years after the act of 1909 we have plans such as the following being passed now “pending decision” (21/6/2010) with little or no comment, until just the other day.

Ravenscourt Park 282 – 288 Goldhawk Road London W12 9PF

Ref: 2009/02757/FUL

Going to:-

and typing the application numbers will enable you to look at the planning application in detail. The above was just an introduction to what I want to say.

If you view the “Associated Documents” for 2009/02757/FUL and select PROPOSED GA 1ST FLOOR PLAN you will see that the layout is that of “back to back” houses last built in Leeds in 1937 [citation Alison Ravetz Model Estate]. The flats are four stories high in some cases and have three party walls, and are single aspect.

I am not an architect, but what is the difference between a Leeds back to back and a three storey flat with three party walls and light entering only from the front? What’s more in the plans eluded to facing either virtually North, or South onto Goldhawk Road.

Here’s the architect’s take on it:-
“Every house has its own good sized piece of outside place in the form of balcony, courtyard and roof terrace.”

A roof terrace will provide outside space in a crowded city environment and in good weather but only providing adequate room for the youngest children to play in. Ok, I can hear you shouting that you live in a city apartment on the fourth floor, you have no garden and perhaps a small balcony if you’re lucky but otherwise your only chance of getting fresh air is going downstairs and walking 3/4 mile to the nearest park or sitting on the front door step and getting trampled on by people going past.  So yes, for adults living in densely packed city centre flats then a roof terrace is acceptable outdoor space for the limited days that it is usable in this climate (Southern England).  But to bring up children in?  I don’t think so.

“Roof gardens may offer a satisfactory alternative where climatic and safety factors are fully considered, but children’s play is not passively supervised as with courtyards.” . . . . . . read on

  • plopp Says:January 12th, 2009 at 6:28 pm Who wants a 69 sq m apartment divided on 4 floors? 25% of the apartment is stairs….
  • Milly Says:January 15th, 2009 at 1:02 pm Yes the sketch presentation is very refreshing, but where is the design, surely we can be a bit more creative than that, just look at Hollland!!. And in my experience living in a flat split over 4 floors does not work…

Those are just two of the comments from the page linked above, you decide what you think. How it was award winning is beyond me.

UPDATE: I went to look at it yesterday 23/6/2010 and things are looking up.  There are indications that the plans may be reviewed, for details please contact the Residents’ association at

Back of the site from Ashchurch Grove

Site at junction of Goldhawk Rd and Ashchurch Grove

Site from Goldhawk Rd near crossing

Goldhawk Road at location of crossing and proposed development

Site from entrance “E” of Ravenscourt Park

UPDATE: This development is on hold following protests by the residents associaton the Aschurch Residents Association and the subsequent intervention of Nick Johnson head of H&F Homes.

Mapping existing housing standards from CABE

UPDATE: 13/4/12 The whole project is on hold because MHT have sold 292 to a presently unknown party and 282 remains in the hands of the council who would prefer to see a single developer for the whole site.  Places for People who were to be the developer for the whole site have pulled out citing too high a cost for 292 as the reason.

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