A colourful new addition, or the ugliest building in Aylesbury?

A11 Week 47'MCBH'DP'Roger King, secretary of The Aylesbury Society, pictured outside the new Serpentine development in Aylesbury
A11 Week 47'MCBH'DP'Roger King, secretary of The Aylesbury Society, pictured outside the new Serpentine development in Aylesbury
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AYLESBURY’S most unusual new housing block has been greeted with suggestions that it is ‘ruining’ the area.

The purple and fawn coloured Serpentine is based off Oxford Road near the Territorial Army Centre,

It features 94 homes, ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses.

It is often referred to as a snake, because the homes are laid out in a manner that represents a snake – or Serpentine’s – body.

According to its designers, the development has been created to appeal to ‘everyone’ from first time buyers, to young families or pensioners.

A three bedroom home in the Serpentine is currently being sold for around £200,000.

But Roger King, honorary secretary of the Aylesbury Society, has criticised the design of the scheme.

He worries that the colour in particular and lay out of the homes affects the character of the area.

He said: “I think as a gateway to Aylesbury, one of the first things you see as you come in, it doesn’t create a good impression.

“They might be nice homes inside.

“But it is the colour and it doesn’t match.

“Our main objection is the colour.

“It doesn’t look right or compliment the buildings around it or the Territorial Army centre.”

Mr King stresses that he ‘objected to the plans at the time’ when he was asked during public consultations in 2008.

Mr King admits that his view may not be shared by others in the town – who he believes could like the unusual design.

He said: “I suppose it’s an experiment.

“For all I know it could be a complete success and it might turn out that everyone will love it.”

Design firm Make Architects has confirmed that the colours, which can be currently seen on the side of the building, are in the Serpentine’s final design.

When the Bucks Herald asked the firm to respond to comments about the design, Make Architects said in a statement: “The colour shown is its final colour, as originally proposed in the initial design.

“Two public consultations were carried out in early 2008, before the planning application being submitted.”

It said during the consultation the public response was positive and ‘no concerns were raised about the appearance of the development’.

“The appearance of the façade was subsequently approved by the planning department prior to work commencing on site.”

The Serpentine was first conceived in 2005. The original design brief was to create ‘high-performance units for an exceptionally low build cost of £60,000 per home’ and the plans are described by Make Architects as ‘offering a modern interpretation of the classic Victorian terrace’.

The Serpentine is divided into two zones with a ‘street side’ extending from the main entrance and facing out onto Oxford Road and the ‘garden side’ offers private green spaces for some of the new homes.

The development is designed to achieve high standards of energy efficiency.