Proposal: Redevelopment of part of the Broadwater Farm Estate including demolition of existing buildings and the erection of buildings of up to nine storeys in height to provide 294 new homes; improvements to the public realm; provision of replacement and new commercial and community space; new landscaping and play space; and provision of an Urban Design Framework for the wider Estate.
The Committee considered the pre-application briefing for the redevelopment of part of the Broadwater Farm Estate including demolition of existing buildings and the erection of buildings of up to nine storeys in height to provide 294 new homes; improvements to the public realm; provision of replacement and new commercial and community space; new landscaping and play space; and provision of an Urban Design Framework for the wider Estate.
The applicant team and officers responded to questions from the Committee:
· Some members noted that the scheme was well designed but enquired about whether there had been a loss of green space. It was commented that the area had some existing areas with a significant amount of hardstanding and it was requested that the proposals did not add to this. The applicant team explained that there would be no loss of open space. It was noted that the design of the park had developed to include more greenery following comments from residents. It was highlighted that the existing site had a number of green spaces that were not well utilised and that the park was designed to be more functional.
· In relation to the design and the connections between blocks, the applicant team noted that lessons had been learned from previous design features and that there would be Secured By Design considerations to minimise potential issues.
· It was enquired whether it was possible to increase the number of family homes. The applicant team explained that the number of family homes had been maximised in the design process. It was highlighted that families did not want accommodation in high rise blocks and so there was a balance between density and maximising family homes. It was noted that the proposal provided good conditions for family homes with lower blocks and access to green space. It was added that there would be 35% family homes which was an increase compared to approximately 13% on existing estates.
· It was enquired how the Nationally Described Space Standards, as referenced in paragraph 7.21 of the report, differed from the previous requirements. The Principal Urban Design Officer explained that nationally prescribed space standards had been introduced approximately four years’ ago. It was noted that these standards were slightly better than the previous standards, particularly on storage space.
· It was queried how priority for the homes would operate, particularly for those who had been decanted from the site during building works. The applicant team explained that new homes would be allocated under the New Homes Moves Scheme which prioritised those from Tangmere and Northolt Blocks who had been decanted from the site. It was noted that the next level of priority would go to existing secure council tenants within 250 metres of the estate, then existing residents in the ward, then residents in neighbouring wards.
· It was enquired how community cohesion would be ensured, particularly for those in the old and new blocks. The applicant team noted that there was a wider estate improvement programme which sought to improve the quality of life for residents. It was explained that residents were highly engaged in this process and that work would continue with key stakeholders to consider how to bring the community together.
· It was enquired whether people who had grown up on the estate would have any form of priority for homes. The applicant team noted that this had been discussed with the community but that the scheme did not allow households to be split as there was a significant list on the housing register.
· It was noted that it was not possible for the applicant to develop outside of the site but it was enquired how the design of the proposal would ensure that the final design of the wider area was functional. The applicant team noted that the surrounding streets within the site would be upgraded and the network of streets in the wider area would connect. It was added that there was also an Urban Design Framework for the wider area.
· The Committee noted that it would be important to ensure that green spaces, private gardens, and thoroughfares should be designed to avoid creating divides in the community and to ensure public safety. It was commented that the current strategy was to have spaces open in the day and closed in the evenings and that it may be prudent to consider the routes through the site.
The Chair thanked the applicant team for attending.