Planning Approval for 60 New Homes for Westminster City Council

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

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This new scheme for 60 new homes in Westminster has just been granted planning approval. The 0.47ha Parsons North site is bounded by Edgware Road, Hall Place and Crompton Street. For many years, it has been occupied by a semi-basement car park, the roof of which is an empty and unloved concrete podium deck around which the pavement level drops away leaving up to a 2m level of difference and presenting a blank concrete wall to the street.

In 2011, Westminster City Council outlined a Draft Planning Brief setting out their objectives for the regeneration and renewal of the site and our  proposal offers a range of affordable and private housing together with commercial space at street level and landscaping that will  transform a desolate space into a vibrant, mixed-use neighbourhood.

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The main consideration has been to try and repair the street edges around the site, re-establishing a traditional London block at a density appropriate for its central London location. The surrounding buildings vary considerably in height and style and the proposal attempts to knit together the rapidly evolving streetscape, bridging the gap between the traditional terraced houses of the adjacent Maida Vale Conservation Area and the existing residential 22-storey tower block sitting on the south side of the site. The new building varies in height around the plan in order to respond directly to the context of each street. The top floor is set back at roof level with a lighter materiality in order to reduce the apparent mass of the proposal and so that its eaves correspond to the surrounding terraced housing.

At street level, the changes in level of the naturally sloping site are used to give privacy and define the public/private boundary. Landscaping and planters are used along the length of both Crompton Street and Hall Place to take account of the slope and act as visual buffers between the street and the housing. Along Edgware Road, there is additional graduated step access, taking advantage of the wide pavement there to provide another layer of defensible space between homes and what is a very busy thoroughfare.

It was vital that our proposal remained sympathetic to the existing area and surrounding dense residential community, bringing new mixed-tenure housing that will help improve the area as a whole. Project architect Katy van Geffen commented,

“It would be really nice to see the new building enabling the forgotten spaces around the tower block to become places that people can actually use and enjoy.”

The project is due to start on site in 2018 and you can see an animated model of the proposal here.

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