The place was big enough to create a proper community of nearly 200 homes, and our design was inspired by the local villages just a couple of miles away: built for people first and foremost, before the days of vehicle dominance in urban design.
We wanted to build something that had a human scale, a sense of place.
We designed a biodiverse development with a range of family homes grouped around communal spaces. The houses themselves exceeded a plethora of standards surrounding flexibility and sustainability that are still just becoming policy.
We had some great supporters in the judging panels, but had to cope with the reality that the Milton Keynes Corporation had already driven three wide roads through the site, cutting our proposed new neighbourhood up into isolated pieces.
It was still a worthwhile exercise though – our houses still retain many of the features that came out of our research. Our eventual winning of the English Partnerships site in open market competition demonstrated that our design team had real calibre.