Swan Housing Association and its architects Pollard Thomas Edwards and C.F. Møller were successful at the prestigious National Planning Awards, with judges awarding their plans for both the regeneration of Beechwood in Basildon and of the Laindon Shopping Centre, with the coveted ‘Planning for increased housing delivery’ award and ‘Stakeholder engagement in planning’ award respectively.
The Laindon Shopping Centre regeneration won the stakeholder engagement in planning category. Swan bought Laindon Shopping Centre in May 2015 after six failed redevelopment attempts by previous owners. The Swan team launched a 22-month “Time for Change” campaign, engaging residents, councillors and interest groups, using local canvassing, vision workshops and press and social media campaigns. Planning permission was granted unanimously in February 2017 to bring a brand new high street, Swan office, health centre and Swan’s precision engineered modular homes (built in Swan’s new factory in Basildon) to Laindon, with over 600 people endorsing Swan’s plans.
The Judges admired Swan’s “investment in effective and far-reaching community engagement that built trust and positive involvement”.
Beechwood West won the planning for increased housing delivery category. This latest phase of Swan’s regeneration of the 1960’s Craylands Estate in Basildon (which it is delivering in partnership with Basildon Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency) will deliver over 560 mixed tenure, precision engineered homes, built in Swan’s new factory. Over 250 will be fully customisable by the buyer using an online “configurator”, just as you might design a car. The Judges praised this “compelling example of modular delivery that can change the supply chain and create new opportunities in the SME [small and medium-sized enterprise] sector”.
Geoff Pearce, Executive Director of Regeneration and Development at Swan said: “As a long-standing local housing provider with a clear social purpose, we are committed to the regeneration of both the Laindon Centre and the Craylands Estate. To be recognised in the highly prestigious Planning awards for both these Basildon based regenerations highlights our commitment to bringing the highest quality of homes and public realm to Basildon. We were particularly delighted that the judges recognised our engagement with local people too, as we strive to work with local people to create the high-quality homes and communities that they want and deserve”.
Carl Vann, Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards commented: ‘‘As architects, we never forget that ‘delivering housing’ requires immense care and attention; not only in how we design good quality and affordable homes, but also in how we engage with local communities to ensure they can shape and benefit from the developments. We are proud to be involved in these two vital projects and are delighted that this component of the team work has been recognised.’
Rolf Nielsen MAA ARB RIBA, Associate Partner, C.F. Møller Architects said of the Laindon project: “We are delighted that the considerable efforts from all parties during the public engagement, as well as the passion from all that attended has been recognised with this significant award. Many thanks to Basildon, the local community, Swan, and our partners for helping us set a new benchmark for public consultation”