The site of an old farm on the outskirts of East Lancaster is to be turned into a community of 18 welcoming new suburban homes, subject to approval of a planning application by The CityBlock Group.

Having fallen into disrepair since last being used in the early 1990s, the self-contained site was purchased by Lancaster-headquartered CityBlock in 2018 as part of its business expansion into residential living alongside its national portfolio of student accommodation developments.

Stone Row Head’s housing development is intended to create a community where residents can enjoy the benefits of sustainable countryside living but within arm’s length of Lancaster’s city life and urban offerings.

Locally-sourced reclaimed materials will be used in the construction to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the site and to add to the unique character of each home.

The new homes will be built primarily from a multi buff facing brick with a lightness of colour intended to complement the tones of local stone used for two existing barns which will be retained (in addition to some existing walls and cobbles that will be retained throughout the site).  The buff brick, alongside a complementary burnt timber façade will allow each home to sit comfortably within its landscaped surroundings.

Each home will be designed to have a low carbon footprint with integrated photovoltaic panels with battery storage, rainwater harvesting to serve washing machines, toilets and garden taps, shower water heat recovery systems and electric car charging points. As well as reducing carbon emissions, these features will also provide low energy bills for residents.

The development has been designed to encourage vital interactions between neighbours by providing low-level boundary fencing to minimise any sense of isolation and provide a real community feel throughout the site’s regeneration.

Design considerations have been influenced by lifestyle changes since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with great focus placed on the provision of increased garden, open plan design and outdoor space. Existing mature greenery on the site will be retained and included in the designs, helping to increase air quality, reduce external noise, encourage biodiversity and mitigate environmental risks like flooding.

With increases in people working from home expected to endure, each home at Stone Row Head will have a home office to help facilitate new ways of working.

CityBlock CEO Trevor Bargh said: “Stone Row Head is a milestone project for CityBlock and we’re excited to have reached the planning stages for what we believe will be a game changer in Lancaster’s housing provision. Our vision for this development is to facilitate healthy and hassle-free lifestyles; we’ve seen this past year just how vital having access to quality green spaces and ensuring daily human interactions can be for our wellbeing.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to produce a design for Stone Row that will preserve the site’s original appeal with a regeneration that is sympathetic to the area. The whole project team has bought into our vision and we cannot thank them enough for their hard work, imagination and passion. We hope to develop more unique living environments like Stone Row Head across the UK with a real focus on resident well-being underpinned by sustainable, emotionally intelligent designs.”