High rise-homes built on stilts to protect against flood risk?

A PROPOSED housing development in Dobcross will see homes built on stilts to protect against flooding.

Plans to demolish the existing unoccupied bungalow at Sun Yr Afon off Ladcastle Road and build five detached flood proof properties adjacent to the River Tame have been submitted to Oldham Council.

Four of the houses will be five bedrooms over three levels with the fifth on two levels containing four bedrooms plus “ancillary outbuilding to accommodate a gym and garage.”

The 0.47 hectares (1.1 acres) site is located down a private access road east from Ladcastle Road.

The application also seeks permission for 13 new car parking spaces in addition to two currently allocated.

Matthew Ollier, partner at architects Ollier Smurthwaite, said: “It is not every day you get to design something in a flood zone.

“Historically, building in a flood zone has been done with little or no consideration and displaces water from an existing floodplain and moves the problem elsewhere.

“The intention is that the development should have minimal impact on the natural flora and fauna and leave it as undisturbed as possible.

“Rather than surrounding the houses with conventional fencing and planting, the natural materials of the houses sit in the natural landscape.”A report to support the application states: “The development is cognisant of the flood risk constraints associated with the site.

“The proposed houses will therefore be constructed on stilts with a void underneath to provide appropriate mitigation should the site be at risk from flooding in extreme flood events.”

The report also claims: “The development will provide much needed housing for the borough utilising a previously developed site within the ‘urban’ settlement. (Dobcross village).”

The scheme says construction will:
• Make efficient use of an underutilised site
• Respond to an identified housing need in the Local Plan and emerging Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
• Relieve pressure to locate buildings on potentially more valuable / sensitive green belt sites.

Subject to approval, work is expected to start on site this July and take a year to complete.

More information can be found online www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200351/planning using the reference PA/344181/19.

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