Topography and heritage 1

Last week’s visit to Devon – referred to in the previous post – included a visit to Park Green’s Gabriel Court site in the village of Stoke Gabriel. This is a development of 13 dwellings but heritage and topography make it a long way from being straightforward house building.


This post highlights topography while the next post topography and heritage 2 will focus on heritage.

As discussed in the previous post – challenging topography – developing in Devon is most likely to include building on hillsides. The natural gradient of this site’s terrain is 1 in 5 but was made developable by running the new access road diagonally across the contours at a gradient of 1 in 10 which is the maximum gradient for an adoptable road. Philip Kassanis’s feasiblity stage work gave Park Green the confidence purchase the site and his input at concept and design stages guided it though planning. He iscurrently still helping out with the project mainly with design coordination. As with the Shaldon project many design issues remained to be resolved while progressing with construction.

The main photograph shows the network of retaining walls that form the basis of 4 houses climbing up the hillside. Notice the tanking… a site operation that cannot be anything but flawless! Below is a photograph looking down the hill before starting on site and another showing the houses that are emerging from the retaining walls.

Gabriel Court view down hill as was
View down hillside before work on site
Emerging dwellings

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