Charnwood, Leicestershire


2013 - present




Palmer Tompkinson Trust and the Cooper Family


Masterplanning, Design Advocacy and Landscape Planning

Landscape Led and a “Quiet Architecture’ Approach

We were approached in 2013 to prepare a vision for a new Garden Suburb of around 2000 homes north of Leicester. The landowners wanted a legacy they could be proud of, creating both a beautiful environment and a cohesive and inclusive community, which led to researching and visiting national Garden City precedents (both historic and contemporary) for inspiration.

Our research into what made garden communities such as Bournville and Hampstead distinctive led to how landscape features provide character, amenity and green streets and spaces that residents value and enjoy. Architecture typically didn’t ‘shout out’ – subtlety and simplicity was key, alongside attention to detail. This simple approach made it easy to find your way around and allowed the streets and spaces to knit together successfully.

Formal and Informal Design Review

Our design approach was collaborative with all internal design team members having direct and significant influences on how the scheme evolved. To show that the scheme meant what it said, it was decided to deliver the first ~300 units in a hybrid planning application (of 1950 in total), and not simply rely on a design code (although this would follow to ensure consistency). Emerging designs were rigorously tested against the case studies we identified both informally and through Design Review to demonstrate that the original design aspirations were being delivered.

Cohesive Design Delivery

We worked closely with Bournville Village Trust to prepare a stewardship strategy for the new community and planning permission was duly granted in 2020 for 1950 dwellings and 15 hectares of employment, with a ‘Broadnook Centre’ that established a central Trust facility alongside convenience, later living, parkland and primary school.

Project team