Grange Farm Estate in Harrow, West London and City Park West in Chelmsford have been shortlisted at this year’s Inside Housing Development Awards.
The resident led and social rented focused regeneration project, Grange Farm Estate, which has been designed by leading architects Hawkins\Brown has been shortlisted for Best Affordable Housing Development (£20m+).
Higgins Partnerships was appointed by Harrow Council to build phase one of the project which sees the demolition of existing blocks within Grange Farm Close and Osmond Close and design and build 68 much needed brand new council homes and 21 Shared Ownership properties with parking, a new sub-station and external works and services.
Since the start of the project, Higgins has worked closely with the local community, supporting and leading on a range of initiatives and activities including work with My Yard, a charity based in the community centre which supports local residents. Recent activities include the formation of a food hub and the Young Change Makers programme, which works to ensure that local people can take up various roles and gain work experience, with the hope of creating paid roles for the 16 plus to apply for over time.
City Park West in Central Chelmsford has been shortlisted for Best Development (urban- outside of London). Higgins was appointed by Notting Hill Genesis to build phase two of the mixed-use neighbourhood of 645 new homes in five residential buildings, including a 14 storey tower, along with three refurbished buildings, one of which is listed, four public squares, cafes, restaurants, workplaces, community facilities and public art.
Designed by award winning architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards, the brief called for a high density development with a range of house types from one bedroom extra care flats to three bedroom mews houses with rooftop terraces. Built to high environmental standards, each home has access to a garden, terrace, or balcony with 60% of the homes for rent, 20% shared ownership, 10% social housing and the remainder providing affordable extra care.
The Grade II listed Anne Knight Building, a former Quaker meeting house was sensitively restored and is now a restaurant with the other two offering office space and penthouse apartments. The mix of new and old, public realm and public art in the car-free neighbourhood reinforces the feeling that City Park West is designed with people in mind, creating a great place to live and to visit.
Pedestrian routes and public spaces through the development are enhanced by fountains and artworks. An interactive video display and text has also been carved into paving, benches, and steps to define six distinct neighbourhood areas. Open to everyone, these spaces act as amenity for residents and define City Park West as much as the buildings do.