Kingdom Housing Association in collaboration with their delivery partner Campion Homes proposed a housing development for social rent on a site on the north-western edge of Leslie.

Informed by an understanding of the sensitive landscape and visual context of the site and its surroundings, a landscape-led approach to the site planning of the development focusses on the creation of a humane and inspiring living environment for residents, based on a clarity between public and private space, within a clearly defined community neighbourhood.

New homes are composed around a placemaking ethos following patterns of gathering, sunshine and permeability.  The primary street network has been laid out following the ‘Designing Streets’ principles, comprising of shared surface areas where vehicles and pedestrians mix, fulfilling important public realm functions and forming a more pedestrian friendly, safe, attractive, sustainable community of new homes. The primary objective has been to create a successful place through good street design rather than focus entirely on traffic movement.

Homes are clustered together and accessed off shared, informal, intimate courtyards which encourage social interaction between residents. Linear house footprints are located to the north-eastern corner of each plot allow living spaces to open out to the south and west into generous sunny gardens. End gables are then presented to the boundaries of the site, responding sensitively to the edge of settlement condition, and maximizing visual and physical permeability through the development.

The planting strategy adopts a series of approaches to different components and areas of the site, to give identity and character to each of these elements, whilst building in resilience in relation to climate change through selecting a diversity of plant species.  Lines of avenue trees form the main landscape framework within the site, whilst areas of lush, floristic planting in the bio-retention areas and public realm spaces will be distinguished by their own specific planting palettes.

A new central shared square is formed at its heart, with pedestrian links north to expansive open amenity space, offering play areas, communal allotments and a community orchard.  A new sustainable community is formed, supporting the ‘walkable neighbourhood’ concept, with homes, gardens, courts and streets connecting out to the green backdrop of Fife’s Lomond Hills.