Keepmoat Homes, Locking

Locking, Somerset


Keepmoat Homes


Locking, Somerset



Our design at this sensitive site in Somerset will serve the needs of the community as well as local wildlife.

The challenge

In early 2020 we were selected by Keepmoat Homes to support their bid for a scheme at Locking Head Drive. We provided detailed design and advisory support throughout the bid process, leading to Keepmoat Homes winning the bid and awarding us the contract.

A key challenge of the project was the strict ecological requirements set down in the outline planning approval. This included large amounts of space to be set aside for the protection of native species, replacement hedges, and additional planting. Overall, the site had to show a significant improvement in biodiversity, provide dark corridors for bats, and include maintenance margins for the rhynes which, one day, may hold otters.

Our approach

Our solution to the ecological challenge was to take a team approach, working closely with an ecologist, environmental services, and landscape designers. We wove the design into the landscape to respect the natural environment and provide an exceptional place to live.

The rhyne network was one of the key principles of the proposal, defining the boundaries of the site and providing routes for recreation trails. Tall hedges and rhynes act as a backdrop to the buildings and are visible wherever you stand.

The results

The final design sees 425 modern homes being built on the site to meet the community’s needs. These range from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom family homes, and 125 of the new homes will be affordable. Significant investment is being made in the development to provide for a sustainable future, such as delivery of a number of zero-carbon homes and incorporating an extensive electric vehicle charging network.