STRONG ARCHITECTURE CAN PROVOKE A RAFT OF OPINION

Recent changes to the popular seaside town of Southwold with a Wine & Cellar Store for Adnams and a new housing scheme - Tibby’s Triangle by Hopkins Homes, has generated strong opinion from some local residents. 
Any change to such a well-loved place will inevitably generate a mix of opinion. Adnams architect, Ash Sakula and Hopkins Homes says the time to judge is when the scheme is finished and the clever use of locally sourced materials, space and design can be appreciated, all of which will add to the flavour of the town. 
When complete, there will be shops, a market square and housing, including 10 much needed affordable homes for local people provided in conjunction with the Flagship Housing Group.
The regeneration project was designed by Adnams architect, Ash Sakula, who at the 2008 Housing Design Awards won ‘Project Winner’ for Tibby’s Triangle. Judges commented that Tibby’s Triangle is “an invigorating addition to a historic town: a distinctive, traditional and satisfying brew which is a fitting tribute to the former occupants of the site.”
The Housing Design Awards recognise the very best in housing design and projects are judged on a range of factors including ‘relationship to surroundings and neighbourhood’, ‘external appearance and internal planning’ and ‘sustainability in construction’.
In response to local comments made about the Tibby’s Triangle development, Robert Sakula of Ash Sakula, the architects for Adnams and Hopkins Homes on the project said;
“We love Southwold, and feel very privileged to have been able to work here. We have been working hard for many years since our commissioning by Adnams to get this project just right and I am confident that when all the houses are complete people will understand the subtlety and charm of a project which has already won a prestigious Housing Design Award.=
“What I would say to those who want to judge its effect on the intricate townscape of Southwold is to please wait until it is finished, because at the moment you are looking at a building site: it is work in progress”.
The housing development is proving popular with prospective buyers. And, whilst the scheme is a notable departure from the more traditional vernacular, for which Hopkins Homes is renowned, the company’s commitment to innovation in architecture, craftsmanship, quality materials and its attention to detail still resonate here.
Elsewhere in Southwold Waveney District Council is in discussion with Hopkins & Moore (a separate company to Hopkins Homes) over two separate planning applications which have recently been submitted for restoration and refurbishment of the former Adnams Stables in Mill Lane and sensitive redevelopment of Childs Yard, off the Market Place.
Hopkins and Moore, owners of the Stables, is working in co-operation as agent for Denny Knights Ltd the local landowners of Childs Yard to bring forward a comprehensive scheme for the two sites which will provide a mix of shops and housing.
Robert Eburne, Planning Manager for Hopkins and Moore comments: “There has been enormous interest locally in the proposals. The consultation exercise has produced some very good points which will be discussed with the District Council and nearby residents as we agree a way forward for these sensitive sites. From our consultation with the District Council, they view the two sites very much as an extension to the Town Centre and the proposals reflect this thinking with commercial and residential uses.”
He explains that the proposals are in two parts; the sympathetic conversion and restoration of the former Stables, owned by Hopkins & Moore and the sensitive replacement of the existing buildings on Childs Yard which are owned by Denny Knights.
In tune with the Conservation Area status of the locality the Stables buildings are being retained with the finished development respecting the character and history of the site while allowing it to have an economically viable and environmentally sustainable future.   
The dilapidated buildings on Childs Yard are incapable of conversion. They are to be removed and replaced with structures of a similar footprint, reusing the existing materials where possible.
Robert Eburne comments: “We are delighted to be working in conjunction with Denny Knights on this project. By breathing new life into the buildings, we hope they will add to the vitality of this important part of the town. 
Hopkins and Moore wants to re-assure all those interested in the scheme that, in consultation with the District Council, only a very modest addition to the shopping area is proposed providing a range of small flexible units, with uses very much of a low key nature being carefully managed and providing new jobs in the area”.
It is expected that the District Council’s Planning Committee will consider the refurbishment proposals in the spring.
ENDS
 For further information please contact Maria Fernandes, 01394 446921