Winner - Gunwharf, Plymouth - Midas Homes

Sponsored by Grainger Trust

Gunwharf in Plymouth has already picked up a Cabe Building for Life gold standard for design quality, and the scheme is a regeneration winner too for creating a sustainable mixed-income community in a challenging environment. The project, which was brought together by a partnership in which Midas Homes worked with the Devon & Cornwall Housing Association, the South West Regional Development Agency and architect Lacey Hickie Caley, required funding from public and private sectors to ensure delivery. Located in one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK, the 99-home mixed-tenure scheme has established a benchmark for local regeneration efforts.

The scheme was a result of high levels of consultation, with the community helping to choose the architect and taking part in a “planning for real” exercise. This consultation helped to bring together a previously fractured community. A sustainable approach to development was taken, most evident in the scheme’s low-carbon footprint timber-clad homes. Streets and squares are designed as a homezone, creating a pedestrian-friendly, pleasant environment. The well-being of the residents has also been taken into account: the community is encouraged to use public space for events and a residents association has been established.

Runners up

Abbotts Wharf
East Thames/ Telford Homes/ Jestico + Whiles

Abbotts Wharf is a joint development in east London between East Homes, part of the East Thames Housing Group, and developer Telford Homes, designed by Jestico + Whiles. The site was unpromising yet partnership with Tower Hamlets planning authority and British Waterways enhanced the environment for new and existing occupants. It provides 201 mixed-tenure apartments.

Grove Village
MJ Gleeson

This £100m PFI project is transforming a deprived council estate in Ardwick, Manchester, into an urban village with a 50:50 private: social rented tenure mix. Three years into the project, which combines refurbishment, demolition and building 650 homes, there are already indications of change. The estate had 300 empty homes – now there is a waiting list of potential tenants. It is being delivered by MJ Gleeson, Harvest Housing Group and Nationwide Building Society.

ST James

With its high-density urban forms and colourful looks, OneSE8 stands out in Deptford, south London. St James is building more than 750 private and affordable apartments on the site of a former water treatment works. The scheme’s design, by RMA Architects, incorporates brightly coloured renders, terracotta brickwork, and cedar cladding, complemented by high-quality landscaping and contemporary artworks. Other innovations include: bathroom pods, on-site car rental and a bicycle pool.

Park Central, phase 1
Crest Nicholson

The Lee Bank estate in Birmingham was the largest of the notorious Central Area Estates. Now it is called Park Central and has been reborn as a residential and mixed-use urban quarter with a new park. Crest Nicholson is working with partners Birmingham council and Optima Community Association to develop 1,666 homes in a scheme designed by architect Gardner Stewart. The scheme also comprises 13,500m2 of office space in a commercial square, a hotel and 6,000m2 of retail and leisure space. It hopes to generate 2,500 local jobs.

South Central East
Oakmayne Properties

London’s Elephant and Castle offers massive regeneration potential. Oakmayne Properties’ South Central East gives a hint of what is to come. Designed by CZWG, the 113-apartment mixed-tenure scheme makes a bold statement in a mainly commercial and industrial area. The block is faced with aquamarine render, has bright red balconies and zig-zagging elevations.