Housebuilder’s two unique schemes score chance for major planning awards
- 25 Apr 22
Two unique housing schemes by a national housebuilder have been shortlisted as finalists at a major industry awards – and are hoping to go all the way. Vistry Group’s Oaklands Rise – which involves Queens Park Rangers FC as part of a joint venture – is a finalist in the ‘Best Use of Brownfield Land in Placemaking’ category of the Planning Awards 2022. The Willesden Junction location in Harlesden has been shortlisted alongside Vistry’s Horsforth Campus location, in Leeds, which is in the running for the ‘Award for Planning for Affordable Housing’ category. Vistry Partnerships London – part of Vistry Group, which builds Bovis Homes and Linden Homes properties – completed £175 million contracting scheme, Oaklands Rise, in December. It is being delivered for housing association Notting Hill Genesis, in a joint venture with QPR. The project is seen by the football club as a long-term strategic investment and is part of the UK’s largest regeneration scheme. It sits within the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation area, created to oversee the development of 650 hectares of land. Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire is building 152 homes on the former Leeds City College campus. Vistry and affordable housing provider, Stonewater, worked together with the college to design a bespoke high-quality development that has 100 per cent affordable housing – compared to a Local Plan target of 35 per cent. Fiona Milden, group planning director at Vistry, said: “We’re delighted that Vistry’s Horsforth Campus location and Oaklands Rise have both been shortlisted as finalists in this year’s Planning Awards. This recognition is very well-deserved – both for the high quality of the developments and the hard work of the teams behind them. “Horsforth Campus is an environmentally friendly development with the latest technology and a soon-to-be impressive ecological area. The development will deliver high quality new homes that are designed by Vistry specifically to respond to its setting and the housing need in the local area, while enhancing the environmental features that have been preserved through the delivery of this new affordable housing scheme. Oaklands Rise offers impressive homes and commercial space catering for a wide-range of needs, as part of the largest regeneration project in the UK.” Oaklands Rise provides 605 new homes – 40 per cent affordable and 60 per cent private rented sector properties – and 3,500 sqm of mixed-use commercial and office space. This includes a nursery, health centre, shared workspace offices, shops, cafes and a community centre, all at street level, within three new major blocks, rising in height from 10 to 26-storeys. CZWG Architects designed the landscaped boulevard which runs north-east across the development. A green play area and pedestrianised street with amenities connects the south side and the proposed HS2 and Crossrail Interchange – and north side to the Grand Union Canal. Vistry project director David St. John, said: “To be in the running for a Planning Award is a great result – Oaklands Rise is a tremendous scheme, managed and built by our impressive teams, and part of a vital regeneration scheme for the capital and rest of the UK.” Meanwhile, Vistry’s Horsforth Campus location is gas free and includes air source heat pumps that serve all homes. Solar panels are included on every house to generate electricity for the heat pumps. A 2.9 hectare ecological mitigation area is being built to the south of the development and trees are also being planted. Work on the 72 social rent, 53 shared ownership and 27 rent-to-buy homes started in November. As well as building sustainable energy efficient homes, for every tree removed for the development, three new trees are planted. Stonewater will also plant an additional five trees for each home built off site. Lindsay Rich, associate director for Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire, said: “The team working on the Horsforth Campus development – across land, commercial, technical and build departments – is so proud the site is a finalist in the Planning Awards – this is a testament to all their hard work and our relationship with Stonewater.” The Planning Awards recognise excellence in planning and associated placemaking disciplines including heritage conservation, urban design, economic development, partnership working, environmental consultancy, housing and law. Winners will be announced at the live awards showcase on the 9th June at the Mermaid Theatre in London.