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Reed Watts

Reed Watts Architects, London

Community Housing, Marshfield

This project, set on the edge of the Cotswolds, proposes 18 new homes on farmland, east of the village of Marshfield.

Like many rural communities, a lack of affordable housing is making it virtually impossible for low-income households to live there. Rather than rely on developers or the local authority to address the problem, local residents set up a Community Land Trust. The CLT identified a potential site and with the support of Wessex CLT and Homes England appointed Reed Watts to help them develop a scheme.

We were selected through competition having proposed a design that took inspiration from farmyard and agricultural buildings. The proposal responded to the site’s location and its relationship to the village. As greenbelt land in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the land is being brought forward as a Rural Exception Site and has the support of the local Parish Council.

Our design incorporates a large central space which will be shared by all residents. Like a farmyard, the buildings are arranged around, and open onto this space, giving the development a focal point and a space for the residents to use for play and relaxation and for community events. 

It is hoped that 12 out of the 18 homes will be offered to local residents at Social Rent levels with 3 sold to cover building and 3 retained by the family providing the land.

The project is part funded by Homes England and is to be developed in collaboration with Wessex CLT and United Communities.

A planning application has been submitted and it is hoped that construction will start towards the end of 2020.