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Design, planning and placemaking played a vital role in the Bewley development at Bellmount View

2 Aug 2023

Great design is at the heart of every Bewley development and none more so than at Bellmount View, Faringdon, which, given the site was on a hill, gave the team some extreme challenges even before a spade went in the ground.

Bewley’s Operations Director, Peter Carpinelli, explained the rationale of a unique scheme: “There are times where our carefully considered plans for modern day living need to be thought about differently. At Bewley, we not only think about the design for each individual home for our popular Garden Village Collection but just as importantly, the setting and the outlook from each of them. We focus on a desire to give every street the right character through placemaking. This is what sets us apart from other housebuilders.”

Peter added: “Bellmount View, as the name suggests, is not your ordinary site. The inclusion of the word ‘mount’ respects the fact the topography not only presented challenges, but equally a fantastic opportunity to create something different, which takes advantage of the spectacular views in all directions.

“The question, from the outset, was: ‘How, given the topography, were we going to design a flagship development which was rather special without compromising our product, our designs and the architectural principles of our homes and create something outstanding for our discerning customers in the right setting?’”

Peter added: “We all knew from the very first moment we visited the site, this had to be carefully thought out. At the heart of our thinking was the integrated and inseparable way architecture and topography had to come together and become, on one hand, a continuation of the existing landscape and on the other, totally respectful of the natural contours.

“Architects and engineers were soon commissioned with a brief to consider plotting each home to follow the site’s contours which naturally rose to the highest point of the site. That highest point would be the centre piece – the vantage point and open space – for our customers to enjoy and be to take full advantage of the views across the surrounding open Oxfordshire countryside.

The dramatic views were a fundamental part of Bewley’s thinking. It had to become the projects defining characteristic. The visual topography meant creating plateaus and tiering the site which would in turn create the desired environment for the residents. In short, this would enable us to deliver a development with great personality and wow factor.”

The Garden Village Collection, at Bellmount View, could now be planned without compromise. However, to add that little extra, and to ensure residents could enjoy the view of the development’s ‘centrepiece’ it was felt even more variety should be introduced into the scheme at the highest point of the site by way of designing a range of new one and a half storey homes.

‘The Crescent’, a range of 14 unique properties was designed, which includes the ‘Kelmscott’, a detached three-bedroom home and ‘The Carswell’ a two-bedroom semi-detached boasting a feature ‘walk out’ balcony to further enhance the opportunity to soak up the views. Both come with integral garages carefully thought-out accommodation with elevations blending seamlessly and in harmony with other homes arranged in crescent form encompassing the central feature mount. The third home in the range is The Fernham, a three-bedroom semi-detached, featuring a balcony at the front of the property. All three house types at The Crescent have just been launched by Bewley and are selling well.

Peter Carpinelli continued: “As we complete this part of the development, it will be satisfying to reflect and enjoy the moment with everyone who has been involved – the architects, planners, contractors on site, and our own team of which many have made vital contributions, as well as customers who are our greatest advocates at Bellmount View.

“Our mission is to be the housebuilder of choice by aiming to exceed the hopes and aspirations of our discerning customers and create exceptional homes in sustainable locations leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come. In that respect, Bellmount View is well on the way to exceed our aspirations.”

Peter Fisher, 82, who has bought a house at Bellmount View with his wife Anne, could not be more complimentary about Bewley Homes. He said: “I have bought and lived in 19 houses in my life, and this is the best in terms of quality and design! What Bewley has done here is stunning. It has a village feel and the street scenes have been extremely well thought out. I couldn’t recommend the development high enough.”