When it comes to land, Linden's favourite colour is definitely brown, as the housebuilder carries out all of its development on previously developed sites. It has adapted its skills for strategic brownfield acquisition, holding existing commercial premises for future residential development and helping to relocate business tenants to bring land on-stream. At Hyde Street, Winchester (below), the company faced brownfield challenges such as contamination and Conservation Area Status. Site acquisition is combined with a sensitive approach to community planning. The firm showed with its development of the former Caterham Barracks, Surrey, that it could take a brownfield site and work with the existing community to produce a development that would benefit residents and homebuyers. Project architect John Thompson and Partners hosted a major community planning event at the site to find out what the community wanted and to discuss what could be incorporated into the scheme. The end scheme, which combines private and affordable housing, and residential, commercial and community uses, is regarded as a considerable asset to the area and a model of quality development.
The Royal Arsenal site in Woolwich, south-east London, is not a straightforward brownfield site. Large in scale, strategically important to the Thames Gateway, surrounded by a town centre that has declined following the Arsenal's closure, and containing structures of architectural and archaeological importance, development posed severe challenges. Berkeley Homes is no stranger to such challenges, being a common name on site hoardings for brownfield sites big and small around London and the South. It has been working for almost two years on the development of the site into a mixed-tenure scheme, combining restoration and new build, which integrates with and contributes to the regeneration of Woolwich town centre. The site's first buyers moved into their homes this summer.
Network Housing Association
While many housing associations in the South-east have become entirely dependent on Section 106 planning agreements between private housebuilders and local authorities to provide land for them to build on, Network has turned developer and created its own opportunities. Most notably, it secured the prime Victoria Bus Garage site in London's Pimlico, which is being developed into 81 affordable homes, 79 private homes and a Sainsbury store.
they are showing a total commitment to brownfield and are taking a long-term view
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