Acanthus were approached by Strategic Team Group (Galliford Try) to prepare development proposals for a site on the very northern fringe of Otley. This greenfield site was allocated for housing in the Leeds UDP in 2016 for up to 135 dwellings. Although 5 hectares in size the site is steeply sloping.


Promoted as a land led opportunity the scheme was finally placed with Yorkshire Housing and represented, at the time, their largest move into open market sale. This inevitably resulted in us, as architects, balancing a design approach that had to work for a contractor/client and a RP looking to sell houses whilst creating a high quality residential development that would meet the needs and aspirations of local residents and purchasers. Despite originally developing a very contemporary aesthetic initially, the design was aligned with a more commercial approach to maximise sale opportunities. Design was further complicated by significant constraints, including a 28m cross fall, a large swathe of trees benefiting from a blanket Tree Protection Order, drainage issues and the need for an adopted highway despite extreme gradients.


The resultant scheme provides 75 houses ranging from 2 bedroom affordable units to large detached 4 bedroom family houses with both detached and integral garages.  The use of red brick, render and slate grey tiles allowed the development to sit comfortably within the area whilst close reference was made to the scaling and proportions of fenestration patterns to reflect the nearby housing and to maximise the spectacular views south towards The Chevin. 


CGI's courtesy of Yorkshire Housing.