Officers recommend approval for CABE endorsed olympic legacy scheme

A London Legacy Development Corporation planning committee last week recommended approval for Chobham Farm, a new family neighbourhood designed for East Thames and London and Continental Railways by Pollard Thomas Edwards architects.

PTEa were first appointed in 2008 by the East Thames Group to prepare an outline masterplan in support of their detailed application for a site on Leyton Road. The design has evolved over the years in consultation with LB Newham, the Olympic Delivery Authority (now the LLDC), GLA and CABE.

Chobham Farm is located to the east of the Olympic Village between Leyton Road and Westfield Stratford City. It is one of the important areas highlighted for redevelopment in the London Borough of Newham’s Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan, with the potential to integrate the existing communities of Stratford New Town with new post-Olympic neighbourhoods.

In addition to facing the predominantly high-rise flats of the East Village to the West and the low-rise post-war terraces and flats of Stratford New Town to the East, the site has variations in ground level of up to two storeys, and railway lines on two sides. Combining these physical characteristics with the principles of the Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan has produced a sheltered family neighbourhood that manages the transition in scale, invites pedestrian movement and suggests urban design precedents for the medium term enhancement of Stratford New Town.

The high-quality development will deliver around 1,000 homes, together with attractive new parks, squares and open space for local communities to enjoy. The proposals will also provide community spaces, opportunities for local businesses, and shops. Its sustainability is addressed in terms of mix, integration and energy, with connection to the Olympic Park District Energy Scheme (OPDES) envisaged, in addition to on site PV and extensive SUDS measures.

The combination of home zone streets of houses with relatively modest five to eight storey apartment blocks around a new park, provides over 40% family homes. All parking (except for wheelchair users) is accommodated in undercrofts that exploit existing level changes on the site. The new park landscape at the heart of the proposals provides play space for all age groups, with all the new homes entered directly from the public realm.

Prior to the planning meeting, CABE had noted that the scheme ‘organizes the site in an elegant way’, and following further design development endorsed the final proposals for ‘the richness of the architectural approach with increased variety in height, the use of set-backs and the articulation of individual building plots and facades.’

The buildings that frame the new park have been developed to accommodate a variety of homes within a consistent urban design. Calm brick elevations with generous openings establish the character of Chobham Farm; two different brick types, sometimes combined to add a third colour, identify individual homes and apartment buildings.

CABE’s updated design review also noted that:

“The residential floor plans illustrate good ‘London Housing Design Guide’ principles with numerous building cores and few single aspect units.”

The consented design for Phase 1 of Chobham Farm establishes courtyard house and duplex typologies that combine private outdoor space with direct access to the new park and homezone landscape. The new apartments are provided with balconies and roof terraces, with winter gardens for flats facing the street.

A hybrid planning application for 1036 homes, and up 8000m sq of commercial and community space, was unanimously approved. The first phase of 173 homes and 1162m sq of commercial space, which received detailed consent, is due to start on site in January.

Design Team

  • Masterplan architects, Zone 1 detailed application architects: Pollard Thomas Edwards architects
  • Landscape design: Churchman Landscape Architects
  • Building services and energy consultant, Code for Sustainable Homes advisor: Max Fordham
  • Structural engineer: Price & Myers
  • Flood Risk Assessment, Waste Strategy, Ecology Assessment Transport Planning Practice, Transport Assessment, Vehicle movement and junction design: Environ
  • Planning consultant, Environmental Impact Assessment coordination, Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Heritage Assessment, Economic Statement, Sunlight and daylight consultant: Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
  • Construction planning, Cost management: Mace Group Project management