Plans in: Major Estate Regen Scheme in Harrow

Plans have been lodged for the redevelopment of the Grange Farm Estate in South Harrow. The current estate, with 282 homes, will be comprehensively redeveloped due to the high cost of maintaining the “Resiform” fibreglass construction.

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Harrow Council’s Housing department has submitted the application, which will see the current flats replaced by a total of 549 new homes across the 4.1 hectare site, 237 of which will be for social rent, with a higher portion of those larger homes than the existing estate. The majority of the new homes will be flats, however there will also be 40 houses. The application form claims all existing homes on the estate are social rented, although this seems hard to believe given how long right to buy has been in operation.

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The designs have been put together by Hawkins\Brown who are a real rising star of London architecture, having produced some outstanding buildings including a timber-constructed luxury mid rise scheme on City Road.

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Their plans for this estate have gone for more traditional materials, however with a mix of brick textures assembled in an interesting mixture of shapes – the triangle roofline has clearly made a come back, and is joined by trapezoid shapes and catslide roofs – a refreshing change from the squares and rectangles that have become the standard of the New London Vernacular style. The abstract triangles of one block reminds this author of Byker Wall, by semi-exiled architect Ralph Erskine. A distinct feel of a hill town is also present, appropriately given Harrow-on-the-Hill is a short distance away.

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The application is submitted in Hybrid format, meaning that parts of the scheme are only submitted for approval in terms of scale and massing, with precise designs for a later date, while other blocks are submitted in full.

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At the centre of the site is a large barn-shaped community centre, designed to echo the history of the site as a farm. This will feature multiple levels of facilities including a nursery.

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