• A superb housing development created within the walls of an historic naval fortress has been hailed as a ‘bold’ and imaginative scheme by judges of a high-profile industry awards. Ordnance Yard, an innovative nine-home scheme in Gosport, Hampshire earned a highly-valued ‘Commendation’ at this year’s RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence.  The recognition was awarded in the ‘Excellence in Planning for Homes’ category. In commending the development, which lies within the Priddy’s Hard Ministry of Defence Ordnance Depot, judges praised Elite Homes for its ‘courage and drive’ in taking on a challenging site ‘with a range of characteristics that other developers saw only as constraints’. Judges said they were also impressed by the bold approach to the design of the houses; ‘not only their appearance and choice of materials, but also their sustainability’. Ordnance Yard occupies a stretch of waterfront which formed a vital part of the Victorian and wartime armouries, providing the arsenal that protected the UK during these industrial times. Elite Homes and John Pardey Architects embarked on the derelict site’s regeneration after an attempt by a previous developer to build nine homes and demolish its six shell filling rooms and associated structures failed. A new vision was required. It resulted in a unique and thoroughly modern development that also reflected the site’s naval heritage. Six open-fronted homes, clad in metal with a battleship grey tone, ‘float’ between giant blast walls used to protect the demolished shell filling rooms. Bookending the development are two elevated houses. Occupying the sites of two former Trotyl melting room structures, the homes - clad in a lighter grey metal -  also ‘float’  above a continuation of the existing blast walls. The final house, which sits squarely on the ground, occupies a central location on the former footprint of the shell emptying room towards the site entrance where it acts as a gatehouse to the development. Each home contains energy-efficient air source heat pumps and exceeds building regulation levels for airtightness.  An on-site drainage and sewage system, which converts wastewater into potable drinking water, has also been installed to enhance the development’s sustainability. David Craddock, Director at Elite Homes, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Ordnance Yard received a commendation. The RTPI awards are revered throughout the industry and the competition was fierce. Ours was the only private housing development to win a south east award. The award is testament to the hard work and vision of everyone at Elite Homes and John Pardey Architects. All involved are rightly proud with what they achieved with this remarkable development.”  Following the Ordnance Yard development, Elite Homes has been granted planning permission to carry-out a wider regeneration of Priddy’s Hard. Phase one of the £11million scheme includes the creation of 30 homes, an armed forces museum and an alcohol distillery. It is hoped the renovation will transform the dilapidated naval fortress into one of the most desirable residential and tourist hubs on the south coast.
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