19th century Heritage Home Restored
The Cunninghams’ new resin bound drive ticks all the boxes: an elegant enhancement to their beautifully restored 19th century home; in perfect harmony with its sylvan setting and an impressive permeability that meets their local council’s drainage regulations
"Clearstone were excellent: they did exactly what they said they’d do and the price quoted was the price. We would highly recommend them. We even extended the work: we decided to put in new tree beds and, since Andy is a qualified landscape gardener, he advised us and did all the planting"Mr. & Mrs. Cunningham
Barnes Common is a conservation area and the road is like a country lane. The council is so keen to retain the original setting that there aren’t even any yellow road markings!
When the Cunninghams bought their heritage home ‘Ivy Walls in 2007 they were keen to restore the property to its original splendour. However, this entailed knocking down extensions and even demolishing one of the carriage gateways to accommodate a skip.
“The whole front garden was a mess – totally destroyed,” recalls Mr Cunningham.
But they were determined to transform the frontage’s muddy chaos to look stylish and natural, in keeping with the area and the original building.
“This is a conservation area and the road is like a country lane. The council is so keen to retain the original setting that there aren’t even any yellow road markings,” explains Mr Cunningham.
In addition, Barnes is fairly low to the Thames and the local council is concerned about flooding. To comply with the Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) regulations and satisfy the council, the driveway had to be porous.
Work on their home completed, the Cunninghams needed a driveway to meet all these criteria – quickly!
“We put in new beds and loose gravel – this was what most of our neighbours had opted for,” says Mr Cunningham. “When it was laid it looked nice but over time the larger stones of the base got mixed up with the shingle and it started to look messy. The stones were hard to walk on and went everywhere – onto the grass verge, into the car – you’d even pick them up on your shoes. Although these are minor irritations, my wife and I were disappointed with the aesthetic effect.”
It seemed that, having spent two years gaining planning permissions and renovating, this rather special and loved residence – the Cunninghams’ are only the third owners since 1850 – was being let down by a scruffy drive.
They were thinking about replacing the drive when they visited a friend in Richmond who had resin bound paving laid. Impressed by its attractive and clean looks they did some research.
“We had three quotes which were all about the same price so I knew Clearstone were very competitive and I’d also seen their work at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond.”
During the works the Clearstone team were fantastic: “they kept mess to a minimum and ensured that we had easy access throughout,” explains Mr Cunningham. Whilst the paving was being laid, the council inspector turned up unexpectedly to check the permeability of the paving. Clearstone Sales & Techical Director Andy Forsey turned a hose onto the paving and, seeing the water drain away with no puddling, the inspector was satisfied.
The Cunninghams are delighted with their new drive that complements their home and blends in with the leafy country-like lane in Barnes.
- Clearstone working for: Mr & Mrs. Cunningham
- Project: 1850 residence in conservation area.
- Location: Barnes, London.
- Design Service: Design drive layout, produce planting plan and planting by Clearstone.
- Edging: Installed granite setts.
- Area: Installed area 335m2, laid at a thickness of 18mm.
- Installation Date: April 2012
Resin Bound Colour: Bronze Trio