Green light for £1.6bn flagship regeneration of Clapham Park

Lambeth Council’s Planning Committee has approved Metropolitan’s new development proposal to build more than 2,500 new homes and a wide range of community facilities at Clapham Park in south London. PRP, the award-winning architectural firm, designed the revised plan for Clapham Park.

Strategically located between three local centres, Clapham, Brixton and Streatham Hill, the masterplan will create a vibrant, inclusive series of neighbourhoods with safe, secure streets, ample public and private green space, and new community facilities, while also positively maintaining Clapham Park’s unique character.

Referencing Sir Thomas Cubitt, who once lived on Clarence Avenue, the masterplan draws inspiration from the neighbouring conservation areas and the historic London mansion block vernacular to create a modern, high-density neighbourhood which maintains the green, leafy and open nature of the Clapham Park community.

The masterplan will offer a variety of housing types, tenures and typologies to help meet London and Lambeth’s housing requirements. The proposal facilitates the needs of residents of all ages to create a vibrant, inclusive community, building on the existing characteristics of the neighbourhood with its wide avenues and mature trees, ensuring that every resident has access to open space and amenities.

The design of all the homes has been optimised with delivery in mind through a kit of standardised parts, maximising efficiency and options for both modern and traditional methods of construction. This approach has significantly increased the number of dwellings delivered on the site and doubles the affordable homes provision.

53 per cent of the homes are affordable. At least 10 per cent of the homes will be wheelchair adaptable, while dual-aspect properties have been maximised. All new homes, regardless of tenure, are designed for durability and significantly enhanced longevity to reduce future maintenance costs and resident service charges.

Buildings are arranged in an efficient, legible street framework designed with safety and security in mind to encourage pedestrian and cycle movement. Distinctive, shared courtyards and an extensive new linear park providing a dramatic communal heart for the neighbourhood.

Landscape diversity and active amenity is at the heart of the masterplan, provided via a network of distinctive public open spaces that create character and a sense of place. These include: ‘The Crescent Circus’, a large open green area designed for a range of informal recreation and events linked to ‘The Central Park’ which is over 300m in length.

The ‘Arboretum Park’ is subdivided to create:

  • ‘King’s Avenue Arrival Square’ with outdoor dining, performance space and seating, a Play Area which features a play hill, climbing wall, and play journey.
  • ‘The Grove Garden’ at the heart of the park, which is quiet and relaxing environment featuring a cherry grove, barbecue area and community growing allotment all set in extensive, naturalistic planting.
  • The ‘Western Woodland Play Area’ is located within mature trees and contains climbing, balancing and communal swing play features, while a woodland colour garden leads to an outdoor gym.
  • ‘The Park Avenues’ pedestrian and cycle routes include play and fitness features throughout and are lined with richly planted beds that also act as rain gardens to attenuate flood water.
  • ‘Clarence Avenue Arrival Square’ is one of two multi-use game areas within the masterplan and includes seating with solid plinths and profiled steel edges that encourage use by skateboarders and BMX bikes.

Green avenues between the individual sites incorporate seating and stepping stones to encourage young children to climb, balance and engage in imaginative play, with ‘Garden Rooms’ providing further opportunity for children to meet and play.

Communal courtyards and podium gardens provided within each site have secure sheltered spaces with planting and lawns where children can run and play. Each garden will contain places to sit, dine and socialise as well as quiet places to relax. The gardens are truly playable with elements that are proposed to be used for informal imaginative play, climbing and balancing.

Fitness and wellbeing facilities are woven throughout all the external spaces with walking, jogging routes, fitness stations and an outdoor gym. The whole scheme links destinations and encourages people to walk and cycle as part of their everyday activity.

Richard Harvey, Design Director at PRP, said: “We are proud to be working with Metropolitan in the design and delivery of their vision for the regeneration of Clapham Park. The commitment and collaboration between client, community and our project team on this detailed application is exemplary and will deliver the highest standards of design and quality for this truly sustainable and inclusive community for the capital, while setting a benchmark for future estate regeneration on this scale.

“Home and place is at the heart of the design. This detailed approval focuses specifically on the resolution of the architecture and landscape. This ensures optimum construction delivery, design efficiency and flexibility that guarantees the estate’s future longevity and ultimately benefits the local community for years to come.”

Adrian Judd, Landscape Director at PRP, added: “This is a truly wonderful opportunity to work with the client, community and design team to create a public realm that is fitting for modern urban living. It creates a green, accessible, active and engaging public realm for the whole community, year round. It is richly planted at all levels, bringing people and nature together in a way that is both attractive and enduring.”

The project is now capable of immediate implementation. The Greater London Authority has stated that this approach to estate regeneration is “ambitious but fully welcomed.” Local residents have been able to discuss the fine details of the design and the issues that really matter to them during design development of the masterplan throughout the community consultation period.

Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive of Metropolitan, said: “The planning committee approval is very positive news for the residents and our partners in this long-term project. We all want Clapham Park to be a revitalised, thriving and affordable area that local people will feel proud to call home. We now have approval for our new development proposal which I believe will enable us to achieve that.

“We see our responsibility at Clapham Park as not only to deliver quality new homes, but also to support and invest in the community. Our team on the ground continues to provide sustainable social benefits for residents, such as employment and training opportunities, and money management support – as well as study support sessions for younger residents.”

Project team:

  • Client: Metropolitan
  • Local planning authority: London Borough of Lambeth
  • Architect and masterplanner: PRP
  • Landscape architect: PRP
  • Daylight/sunlight and wind: PRP
  • Planning: JLL
  • Quantity surveyor: Mace
  • Structural and MEP: Rambol
  • Civil engineering: Hoare Lea
  • Sustainably: Greengage