Development at Baltray
McKevitt King Architects recently obtained planning permission for a very attractive development in the picturesque village of Baltray.
Baltray is a small traditional village with a linear form and irregular pattern of buildings comprised of predominantly single storey interspersed with two storey construction. The site has an enviable location close to the estuary of the River Boyne, with easy access to the village centre and the waterfront. Within walking distance of the village centre amenities and bus corridors along with the waterfront character will contribute positively to the quality of life for residents of the proposed scheme and will ensure a quality user experience. The proposed housing development will complement the existing housing stock which comprises of predominantly houses, ensuring a balance is achieved in the housing supply. The proposed use for the site as a residential development is compatible with adjoining neighbouring uses which are predominantly residential in their nature. The open space and setting in and around the site will provide a variety of exterior spaces with character areas such as vegetation and soft landscaping with green space near natural watercourses that will allow the community to gather and reinforce the neighbourhood setting.
The proposed scheme is in line with the development of the traditional village and does not detract from the existing form of development. Integration with the existing context and preservation of the character provided by existing hedgerows and geographical features such as water courses nearby the site are an important factor in considering the development’s potential for successfully delivering a scheme that reinforces a sense of identity of place. The proposed density is in keeping with the context and the ambitions of the Louth Development Plan.
The proposed layout has been designed to retain the character of the existing site defined by the landscaping and built features. The proposed new buildings are laid out to ensure a sense of place is provided. The existing stone wall at the front of the site will be required to be removed and setback to provide adequate width for vehicles and pedestrians. The area of the site which is highlighted on the Louth Development Plan as being in the flood plain and zoned as public space will be utilised to provide public and open space for the development. The dwellings have been designed to overlook this space. Landscape features and the provision of high-quality architectural finishes for the proposed development will help to reinforce the identity of the locality. The proposed scheme contributes to the views both into and out of the site.
The proposed buildings have been designed with the principle of passive solar gains achieved by siting the dwellings to maximise the solar orientation. Passive gains will ensure that the proposed buildings are efficient in terms of their energy consumption by harnessing energy from the sun and storing this in the building’s thermal mass and releasing this slowly as the external ambient temperature lowers at night time thereby reducing the need for heating at certain times of the day. The sites are adequately sized to allow for future extensions if required by homeowners in the future.
The proposed dwellings are designed to have access to outdoor private spaces and rear gardens. First floors of dwellings are designed so that they do not overlook other private amenity spaces. The external spaces have been positioned directly off the main living spaces of the individual dwellings for ease of connectivity and to add to their user friendliness. All of the proposed dwellings are dual aspect which will afford residents a greater level of amenity in their homes. The dwellings achieve east, south and west light during the day. Achieving this dual aspect has been achieved along with creating a balanced and considered elevational treatment.
The existing context at Baltray has informed the approach to the detailed design of the proposed scheme. This includes the material treatment and detailing of the existing dwellings and the integration of these materials and features from the built environment into the new elements of construction along with the landscaping design.