Silverlake, Dorset: Wakeling Island

Wakeling Island is the second phase of the Silverlake holiday development and comprises 30 holiday homes and a community space. Work began on site in 2017 and expected to complete in 2020.
Client Habitat First Group
Location Silverlake, Dorset
No. of Dwellings 30 Dwellings
Status Complete

Developing a quarry site has some unique challenges, not least that the site is constantly changing. Silverlake was still an active quarry during the initial phases of development. The quarry operator found unexpected seams of valuable sand and areas that couldn’t be quarried. This meant that the anticipated landform was regularly adapting to change throughout the design process. To keep pace with the changing landscape in the 600-acre site we used UAV (or drone) surveys to create a working model of the landform. Our client described the design process as ‘trying to paint a moving canvas’.

Wakeling Island - HFG Habitat First Group

The changing landscape also impacts issues such as ecology. During the construction works, a bank of sand martins was discovered in an area of the quarry due for development. Sand martins often nest in man-made vertical banks – where they can burrow into the soft material. The scheme now integrates this important nesting site into the design. And we have enhanced it with appropriate water features and landscaping to promote feeding and offer protection from predators. We have also included a viewing deck so that visitors can enjoy the activity of the colony during breeding season.

The project has been accredited with ‘Excellent’ status in the Building with Nature scheme. This is the benchmark for the design and maintenance of green infrastructure in housing and commercial development.

Photographs ©Habitat First Group

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