London and Rotterdam based architecture practice, Maccreanor Lavington, has been appointed as part of a multi-disciplinary team to undertake a study into achieving Housing Intensification and High Street diversification in London’s Town Centres and high streets, set within the context of an evolving economy.
The study, entitled Accommodating Growth in Town Centres, will include participation from The Greater London Authority, local boroughs, as well as developers and industry professionals. The results will then inform the future regeneration plans and investment policies from the Mayoral office.
The research and evidence that is gathered will form an evidence base for the Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP). The study will provide guidance on design and delivery of high-density housing and flexible, affordable work space in and around town centres. In addition to the consultancy team, a reference group has also been assembled including members of the Outer London Commission, the Mayor’s Design Advisory Group and the London Enterprise Panel SME Working Group, who will head up a reviewing process.
The study encompasses a wide variety of areas with Maccreanor Lavington providing the urban design and architectural viewpoints, alongside Peter Brett Associates providing economic analysis and property development finance expertise. Graham Harrington will be providing planning advice. The aim is to develop an approach to high-density developments, which will engage with the existing community and can help to regenerate town centres and high streets.
Maccreanor Lavington will be examining the approach to urban planning across multiple areas of London using their experience on projects such as their work on the regeneration of Canada Water, Erith Western Gateway and Brentford High Street.
The study has been prompted by the need for a significant rise in housing delivery, estimated at between 10, 000 20,000 homes per annum, in addition to the 40,000 per annum units identified within the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.
Latest research shows that demand for retail floorspace is potentially 80% lower than in 2009, which has contributed to lower spending by the public, a rise in internet/multi-channel shopping and the rising cost of retail space. The study will look to safeguard town centres at the centre of local communities with affordable housing and thriving retail sectors, creating commercial development beyond the central areas of London.
The results will enable the GLA to identify areas in London where housing intensification and retail reconfiguration can be achieved, helping to create a more diversified economic base across the capital. Accommodating Growth in Town Centres is headed up by GLA Regeneration and GLA Strategic Planning teams and the results of the study will be available from May 2014.