In rural Norfolk, demand for second and holiday homes has pushed house prices far beyond the reach of many local people.
More affordable homes are desperately needed in the area, but new housing schemes need to respond to individual communities. At Broadland we are building beautiful homes that complement the traditional Norfolk landscape, in schemes designed to grow thriving rural communities.
Our innovative approach customises a range of standard house types (from bungalows to 4-bedroom houses) to the individual location. We carefully select local building materials, architectural features and traditional styles to match the village’s distinctive, authentic character.
For example, at Great Ryburgh our affordable homes feature artisan brick and clay tiles, flush casement windows (with frames in two colours to simulate the weathering effects of time), and large, well-detailed timber porches with clay tiles, brick plinths and authentic eave details. At Bodham the focus is on traditional flint, while black timber cladding is used to stunning effect at Trunch.
While the interior design of the homes may be generic, it has a much higher specification than ‘typical’ affordable housing. The quality of the interiors is what our tenants would aspire to if they could afford to buy on the open market.
Throughout construction we link local firms of builders, architects and landscape architects in real time using Microsoft Teams. This approach supports the site manager to deliver the original design intent. There is no need to rely on generic standards that produce an identikit development with little respect for or connection to the local community.
Strong roots, flourishing communities
Our new rural housing scheme designs are helping to create flourishing communities. People who have lived and worked in the area for generations, and were no longer able to find housing they could afford, are now able to remain close to their roots and their families.
Norfolk is a county with an ageing population and social isolation is a significant factor. With this in mind, we ‘design in’ communal spaces at our schemesthat actively encourage neighbourly interactions. Community greens draw in children from the wider village or area to meet and play.
Importantly, because we have deliberately not differentiated the designs for our social rent, shared ownership and open market sale homes, we are breaking down the stigma often associated with social housing.
Historically, Broadland has experienced significant opposition at the consultation stage of new developments from existing residents concerned about affordable housing being built in their area. However, with this new homebuilding model, we are finding that communities are pleasantly surprised to see the quality of the house designs and significantly more amenable to new developments in their village.
It’s an example of how good design influences the way we live and the communities we live in.