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Carleton Clinic

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Masterplanning and architectural proposals for a parcel of land in Carlisle, owned by Homes England and being developed by Genesis Homes. Carleton Clinic is allocated for 157 homes, a new connective framework and the sensitive restoration and conversion of the existing Cumberland House into 6no apartments.

The ultimate objective is to create an attractive and sustainable new community in an exceptional landscape setting, while helping to meet local housing needs and contributing to local infrastructure requirements.

Situated at the edge of the new St. Cuthbert’s Garden Village, Carleton Clinic needed to be a continuation and a confirmation of best practice design principles.

The site draws inspiration from and supports the wider Garden Village vision. AFL’s recent works together with Homes England also ensured full familiarity of the use and application of Building for a Healthy Life (BHL) that has been informed by the NHS Healthy New Towns Programme. The masterplan therefore promotes the development of strong connections between new streets and the landscape setting, with streets aligned to maximise views out to the surrounding parkland and wider landscape beyond.

On its western edge, a strong green corridor incorporates attractive and integrated landscape as well as ecological and habitat enhancement. As part of a cohesive landscape strategy, this complements the other new public open spaces including central wooded enclaves, a new local neighbourhood green and new green spaces at the edges of the site.

The new public spaces provide parkland facilities and amenity, whilst forging new pedestrian and cycle connections across and through the site, creating new links between both established and recently constructed housing areas.

The housing mix and layout has been fully considered in its retained ecological context, creating a “neighbourhood in the woods”.

The three parcels of land offer a variation of housing mix and hierarchies. These are influenced by landscape, local design codes and market needs. The densities are varied depending on the character areas: Parcel A for example frames views out to the surrounding countryside along tree-lined streets and front gardens, allowing a sense of spaciousness and green streets.

Parcel C provides a spacious and informal layout of homes on less regularly arranged streets, providing a green seam and a complement to existing homes adjacent to the site. Both parcels A and C contain two and three bed bungalows that are designed to the requirements of more elderly and less physically mobile residents, reflecting local need and promoting a diverse community.

Parcel B provides a more compact, denser and formal layout to streets, buildings and open spaces more strongly contained by retained and supplemented trees, with the formal setting of the sensitively refurbished Cumberland House at its northern entrance.

A mix of residential and open space will provide safe and accessible environments, contributing toward a strong sense of place and community.

Part of the plans involve the sensitive restoration of Cumberland House, a focal point and key influence for design proposals. The building will be retained and carefully renovated to provide a mixture of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments across three floors, preserving the existing character of the site.

The remainder of the housing mix comprises a range of 12 house types, including terraced, semi-detached and detached homes from 2-bedroom to 5-bedrooms in size. A robust and contemporary architectural approach will create well-proportioned and modern homes which pay reference to the proportions and materials of the local vernacular.

The homes have been designed to reinforce each of the parcels within the site, attaining the needs of the local community while attracting new residents. The careful mix of housing size, type, tenure and price will create an inter-generational mixed development for residents to contribute and grow within, ultimately reinforcing a self-sustaining community.

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