Larkhill is a 327-unit retirement village on a greenfield site on the southern outskirts of Clifton, Nottinghamshire. The £35m project was developed by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust and extends over 4 hectares with a further 2 hectares of landscaped woodland.
BWBs involvement included Section 278 and 38 highway works. The latter being the first Homezone concept promoted by ExtraCare and approved by Nottingham City Council officers. It was therefore incumbent on our T&I team to use their experience of such schemes to guide both the client and local officers through a steep learning curve.
The development benefits from sustainable urban drainage, which involves balancing ponds and a swale. The drainage was adopted by Severn Trent Water, with the exception of the swale, which was retained by the local authority. The swale also discharges into the public sewers, resulting in a complex design and legal agreement between all parties.
The site was located on a gently sloping hillside, but each floor of the apartment blocks needed to be at a constant level. So the building was designed to wrap around the hillside, achieving a split-level plateau through the construction of a 350-metre contiguous piled retaining wall through the middle of the site. The advantage of this solution was the need for minimal earthworks on the upper side compared with a conventional retaining wall, thereby allowing traditional foundations to be constructed to the face of the wall.
The apartments comprise standard 3 and 4 storey loadbearing masonry superstructure, with pre-cast concrete plank floors and trussed rafters roof. The village centre accommodates the bars, restaurants, dance floor and recreation rooms and has a 350mm thick concrete transfer slab to carry 3 full storeys of apartments above.