Baltic Wharf

  • Location

    Totnes, Devon

  • Client

    Bloor Homes

  • Value

    £15m

  • Completion

    2014

  • Size

    95 homes

  • BREEAM Rating

    Minimum of Code for Sustainable Homes 4 with some 5 and 6

  • Highly commended

    Public participation in planning

    Planning and Placemaking Awards 2013

A sustainable community for a riverside landscape

A community of 95 residences tied together by pedestrian-friendly streetscape, food-growing areas and a community orchard.

Baltic Wharf occupies the gateway to a former timber wharf at the southern edge of Totnes, overlooking the River Dart and flanked by a steep hillside.

The layout follows the site contours and splits into two main character areas, wharfside and hillside. Hillside character blocks mimic the meandering medieval geometry of Totnes and the undulating hill contours, while the wharfside houses respond to the straight river and wharf building geometry.

The natural steepness of the site means that many of the houses have been designed as split-level. All houses have compact gardens and many also have elevated sun terraces. The wharfside houses are angled to enjoy views up and down the river.

Each home achieves a minimum of Code for Sustainable Homes 4, with some even achieving Code 5 and 6. Every house has been positioned to have a south-facing roof and are provided with wiring for photovoltaic panels. Residents have the option to install solar panels, upgrading their homes from Code Level 4 to carbon neutral.

This main street is designed as a one-way route to reduce its width, simplify traffic flow and make it an attractive pedestrian-friendly route.

The kerb-less shared surface streetscape incorporates tree planting and raised planters, while new orchards and community growing areas behind the houses were designed in consultation with the community.

Working as appointed landscape architect for the project, we enhanced the existing landscape. The species of plants selected brings ecological benefits, as well as aesthetic appeal. To maintain the biodiversity of the site, we introduced new habitats for slow worms, birds and bats. This includes new woodland, woodland edge, wetland and grassland planting.

A circular walk incorporates key viewpoints for the enjoyment of visitors and residents and informal play areas relate to the hillside, fields, wetland and woodland.

After a thorough public consultation process, which was highly commended at the Placemaking Awards, the scheme gained planning consent without any objections.


Landscape Architecture

Stride Treglown Landscape have been commissioned by TQ9 to develop proposals for detailed planning application in this prime riverside location.

The Landscape Design Aims are:

• To ensure the highest standards of design and sustainability
• To enhance local landscape character and the Totnes vernacular
• To create a quality, bespoke, contemporary and non-suburban landscape, informed by the site and its context

• To create a pedestrian friendly environment with space for play, wildlife, food growing and community use
• To contribute towards the achievement of Code for Sustainable Homes Codes 4/5/6
• To design a low maintenance scheme appropriate for the proposed management and maintenance regimes

Inhabitant Image

When the project was handed over, we went back and interviewed the Inhabitants. Hear their side of the story.