In 1983 Basingstoke Development Authority were starting to develop the Chineham area in their expansion plans. In conjunction with Hampshire County Council Architects' Department they ran a developer architect competition for this prime 7.25 acre south facing sloping site with good views. PRP teamed with Wickens of Chertsey and after a competitive presentation were selected from four finalists.
The proposal was to build high quality three and four bedroom family houses to generous space standards with double garages over the best part of the site, and to include a number of flats on the lower slopes to provide for a balanced mix of housing. High quality landscape planting was to be included. To exploit the potential of the site, the idea was to form seven small groups or 'hamlets' of about ten or so houses to each group isolated from the rest of the site by the roads and belts of tree planting. Each group or court had three-storey houses on the upper slope — in reality two-storey houses with steps from road entry level to raised 'ground' floor entry over garage and utility room. These houses have through living rooms and dining kitchens which enjoy the view from the elevated living room facing south and lead out to the garden on the up slope side.
On the down slope there are wide frontage houses, developed from earlier schemes, which have garage 'cloaks' and dining kitchens at ground floor level with bedrooms over and then steps down from the hall to a single-storey living room with lean-to roof at lower garden level.
This vocabulary of house types was used to create 60 houses in the courtyard groups and was modified lower down the slope, where there are less dramatic views, to provide 24 flats in two-storey form.
The project is built in red stock brick with timber windows.
It was intended to clad the top floor of the three-storey houses with vertical stained boarding but the developer wished to substitute cheaper tile hanging for some of the houses. The steps and balustrades up to the raised ground floor of the three-storey houses are all in matching brick imparting a feeling of solidity and integrating external works with the houses.