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Glebelands Park, Leicester - light case study


This housing development was the first phase of the city’s major urban expansion; which eventually will comprise 3000 – 3500 houses, industrial/business areas, schools and a village centre.

Phase 1 is made up of 100 houses; 30 of which are affordable homes. The desire to do good SuDS has been included as a part of this wider project for over 20 years. It was a case study in the CIRIA SuDS ‘bible’; C523 2001 (page 105 and following).

At that time it was envisaged that building on site would begin in 2003; it has taken a bit longer than that; but the principles set out initially adhered to have been maintained. It has been important to ensure that SuDS happened in the first development here; to set an example for following phases.

The housing is a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom housing; 30% of which is affordable housing. When the development parcel was put out to the market there was limited interest. The developers who won the contract were not known in the city. There was a lot of learning to be done on all sides; and a reluctance to depart from tried and trusted development principles. Initial designs were very conservative. What helped was having clear principles enshrined from the outset in published design guidance for Ashton Green as a whole.

The scheme was very important to the city; and as a result many consultants were brought in to help with all aspects of the design; including ecologists, landscape architects, landscape/drainage engineers and many others. There was lot hanging on the development as the first parcel and the need for SuDS could have been seen as a drag on the whole scheme. A careful path has been taken to keep all partners involved. The end result is a housing area where houses sold quickly and which is being valued by its new residents.

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