Established in 1994, Bridewell Gardens is a mental health charity that offers social and therapeutic horticulture to adults living in Oxfordshire. As a recovery service, the aim is to help people experiencing mental health issues and support them in moving forward until they’re able to lead more active lives in the wider community.
Edgars was approached by the client to support their plan to erect a single-storey building for office use to support three administrative staff who coordinate the activities and gardeners on site.
This site is a walled garden which was constructed around the turn of the 20th century and has social historic value in illustrating times gone by. Therefore, we deduced that the walled garden is worthy of categorisation as a non-designated heritage asset.
For that reason, heritage was one of the key considerations that we needed to assess in-depth in the proposal to ensure that the proposed development would not adversely affect the walled garden.
By conducting a site visit and analysing the principle, design, heritage, and ecology impact of the development against relevant policies, we confirmed the proposal was appropriate to the setting and it represented negligible harm to the non-designated asset.
We worked closely with the client to further understand the organisation. In doing so, we were able to extoll the public benefits of the scheme in providing employment in a rural location, along with crucial services and community facilities which support social well-being and promote healthy inclusive communities – thus keeping the walled garden within its optimum viable use.
The proposed development would conform to the overarching aim of sustainable development and support of rural businesses, services and community facilities advocated through the National Planning Policy Framework and West Oxfordshire Local Plan.
Planning permission was successfully granted by the West Oxfordshire District Council.
“It was a pleasure working with Edgars. Thank you for making the planning process so smooth and efficient. Amy understood the nature of Bridewell’s site as a therapeutic gardens and the impact this project would have on Bridewell’s work.”
– Ruth Madder, Director at Bridewell Gardens
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