Set in a prominent location above Swanage High street, this sloping site, surrounded by a historic beautiful listed stone wall, was once home to St Mary's School but has been empty since 2014 when the school moved site. Permission has now been granted for new housing on this site within the Swanage Conservation Area and the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). A total of 30 new dwellings are proposed, 11 of them are affordable, located within the old school building which will be converted and extended. The steep site dictates that each new house will be stepped to follow the natural contours of the land. The architecture will be of a contemporary vernacular style.
The proposed material palette has been influence by the site’s immediate context and the language of the wider heritage of Swanage. Purbeck stone is used in key places around the site together with timber detailing and brickwork. The roofs will be a mixture of slate and plain tiles to provide contrast and variety.