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Imber Cross, Thames Ditton

New build development of 12 social rented flats.

Redeveloping an existing secluded site

Rosemary Simmons Memorial Housing Association (now Crown Simmons Housing) approached us to redevelop their existing site in Thames Ditton comprised of 6 bungalow units.

The site is a secluded cul-de-sac enclosed by mature trees (subject to Tree Preservation Orders) and screened by planting from adjacent developments.

Phased construction to minimise disruption to residents

Our design provides 12 social-rented flats, each with dedicated car-parking.

The accommodation is provided in three blocks, replicating the previous site layout and allowing the development to be phased so that residents could remain on site during construction.

The six ground-floor units provide wheelchair-standard accommodation including adapted kitchens and bathrooms, level-access front and rear terraces, covered car-ports and two units with additional space for live-in carers. Advantage is taken of the larger footprint required for these units to provide private roof terraces for the first floor flats, which are all designed to Lifetime Homes standards.

Designed to guard against flood risk and to protect mature trees

The site layout had to provide full wheelchair access to all units at ground floor level while also raising the ground floor 300mm above the existing site level to guard against flood risk.

The existing trees were also a planning constraint, with special ‘no-dig’ foundation solutions adopted where the buildings are in close proximity and for the access road. All hard surfaces are permeable to allow water to reach the tree roots and are designed as ‘shared surfaces’ without kerbs or edgings.

Designing for high levels of sustainability and low maintenance

All units are designed to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and at least 10% of energy consumed is provided by on-site renewable sources. Underfloor heating is provided to all units driven by Air-Source Heat Pumps. Solar-thermal panels at roof level supplement domestic heating and hot-water demands. All units are provided with Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR).

Materials were specified to continue the language of a previous phase of development and to allow long-life and low-maintenance. Load-bearing blockwork construction provides good thermal mass, with a highly insulated external render system providing the exterior finish, complemented with Western Red Cedar panelling. Aluminium clad timber windows avoid the need for external redecoration.


The development is located in the South East of England in Thames Ditton, Surrey.