On 27th May 2022 Barry McCullough wrote:

Taking a collaborative approach to sustainably regenerate the Eastfields Estate

The first phase of our masterplan to sustainably regenerate the Eastfields Estate in the London Borough of Merton has been granted planning permission. Phase 1, which we designed alongside Proctor & Matthews Architects and Cullinan Studio, for Clarion Housing Group, will deliver 201 homes as well as a series of new streets, community facilities and outdoor amenity spaces.

71% of the new homes will be affordable with the remainder providing replacement private housing for existing homeowners. A broad range of housing types will be available, including apartments, maisonettes and terraced houses for families to encourage a mixed neighbourhood of new and existing residents at different stages of their lives.

Developed with residents, the new masterplan’s focus is to provide better homes and reconnect the estate into the wider community by turning the existing site inside out. The central green space will be improved and extended to form a linear park, retaining some much-loved mature trees. New streets and public spaces will be provided, alongside community facilities and outdoor amenity spaces, with a range of distinct character areas formed throughout the new neighbourhood, in stark contrast to the single character of the existing estate. The masterplan also exceeds the GLA’s play provision requirement by 53%, with 6,830sqm of play space provided in total.

Using the principles set out in the masterplan, the first phase of works will reinstate a more traditional street pattern to help integrate the neighbourhood within its context and significantly increase the density on the site. Phase 1 will deliver more than half of the linear park, including a new public square, and will provide a range of play and leisure facilities, including a flexible games area, large play area, along with quieter seating areas and an outdoor gym.

New homes in Phase 1 will use a fabric-first approach to sustainability and minimise space heating demand by targeting high levels of insulation and airtightness. The heating and hot water system has been designed to avoid using fossil fuels on site, by using communal air source heat pumps for each apartment building and individual air source heat pumps for each house. This approach will be supplemented by renewable energy sources, including roof-mounted photovoltaic panels.

Community engagement has been integral to the design process from the outset and has continued throughout the development of Phase 1 proposals. We carried out a series of workshops and consultation events with existing residents, where house typologies were discussed, using physical models and drawings, along with the design of streets, public spaces and play opportunities.

Underlying this whole project is the principle of shared values between the three architects and the client. It’s made for an inspiring and collaborative design process, which I truly believe has led us to a better result and a better future for the local community.