Furzen Crescent

Lilac Close


Rock Townsend were appointed to redevelop two council owned garage sites in Hatfield into family accommodation; 22 flats at Lime Tree Court and 7 houses at Lilac Close, to meet all current best practice standards, the enhanced HQI spatial standards and Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4.

For both sites, a ‘mews’ approach was developed combining an established, traditional typology with a contemporary feel.  This has brought a sense of place to a fairly characterless back land location and has helped to integrate the new homes with their immediate neighbours.

At Lilac Close, the concept is a simple street of 7 two-bedroom houses set in a hard-landscaped mews. The repetition of form, the spaces between the houses and orientation deliver a strong street scene and a sense of place to a site barely 18m in width. The two-storey built form with pitched roof reflects the height and scale of the surrounding houses. The gable elevations are distinct and characterful with a lowered eaves line on the rear facade serving to reduce any sense of overbearing on the neighbouring properties. The detached nature of the houses also serves to reduce the sense of scale and bulk ensuring gaps between the buildings retain the long distant views for the surrounding properties.

The team worked together throughout the project to ensure a robust brief was developed and interrogated through a series of stakeholder meetings.  The result has been the delivery of exemplar new affordable homes for local families, the first new council housing in the borough for 25 years.

The considered re-use of this garage site aims to make better use of available land, deliver more affordable homes within the borough and reduce the areas targeted for anti-social behaviour.
— Phil Rogers, Partner

Description: 7 two bedroom detached houses


GIFA: 580SM (6,240SF)

Contract Value: £1m

Status: Completed Spring 2018

Client: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Contractor: Mears New Homes

Structural Eng.:

MEP Eng.:

Landscape Arch:

RT Team: Stephen Bradford, James Ford, Charlotte Perkins

Photography: (c) Matt Clayton; & WHBC (c) Kevin Lines