Stirling Prize winner appointed to Somerset scheme through London framework

Mikhail Riches Uplands Nailsea planning consent 1

Mikhail Riches’ consented Uplands scheme is a ’rural sister site’ to the practice’s Stirling Prize-winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich, said the council

Contractors have been put on notice for an offsite Somerset housing scheme designed to be built using modern methods of construction and described as a rural sister site to a Stirling Prize-winning housing scheme from two years ago.

Mikhail Riches won planning for 52 Passivhaus-certified homes near Bristol last week after being selected through the Greater London Authority’s ADUP2 framework.

The Stirling Prize-winner was appointed to the West Country project in July 2019 following a competitive tender process using the framework.

North Somerset Council will begin procurement of a delivery partner for the development this summer with the aim of work starting on site early in 2022. The scheme is designed for manufacture and assembly of MMC panellised construction throughout.

The scheme, on council-owned land at The Uplands in Nailsea, a former 19th-century industrial town eight miles southwest of Bristol, is described as landscape-led and includes communal gardens and wildlife corridors. It has electrical vehicle charging throughout.

Director Annalie Riches said it was an example of “what a forward-thinking council can achieve”.

The 52 Passivhaus homes will be a minimum of 10% above nationally described space standards and include space for home-working. The scheme includes smaller homes for downsizers and eight bungalows that can be adapted for wheelchair users.

Mikhail Riches Uplands Nailsea planning consent 2

Mikhail Riches’ Nailsea housing development has electrical vehicle charging throughout.

Juliet Bidgood, chair of the Design West review panel which reviewed the scheme at three stages before and during lockdown, said: “We were inspired to see North Somerset leading by example using a strategic site to promote the high-quality design of housing by commissioning a talented design team.

“The project is a valuable demonstration of how contemporary low-carbon approaches to architecture can contribute new character and difference while learning from the local vernacular of a place.”

Uplands is the second scheme to be brought forward by the council as part of its development programme.

In October the council appointed Keepmoat Homes to deliver 425 MMC homes on land it owns at Parklands Village in Weston-super-Mare, including 15% zero-carbon homes and 75 volumetric units. Both have been received Homes England Local Authority Accelerated Construction funding.

The project team included Seed Landscape Design, Momentum Engineering, Greengauge and Vectos, along with Johns Associates, Jones Lang LaSalle and Rider Levett Bucknall.

Mikhail Riches won the Stirling Prize in 2019 for Goldsmith Street, a highly sustainable council housing development in Norwich.