Fourth phase of 5,000-home masterplan to include 26-storey block

Berkeley has submitted plans for more than 500 homes as part of the latest phase of its Woodberry Down estate regeneration scheme in north London.

An application lodged with Hackney Council last week covers the fourth parcel of land at the Finsbury Park site, which started construction more than a decade ago and is set to provide more than 5,000 homes.

Berkeley LDS 2

The plans consist of seven blocks including a 26-storey tower

Plans for the 15,000 sq m latest phase, designed by architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS), would see the demolition of six large post-war housing blocks and the construction of a 26-storey tower, four terraced buildings and two free standing blocks.

The proposals also include a large public realm area which is intended to become the central square for the wider development.

The project team includes development partner Notting Hill Genesis, planning consultant Rolfe Judd Planning, landscape architect Fabrik, civil and structural engineer Fairhurst and daylight consultant Avison Young.

LDS amended the designs of all buildings to include twin escape stairs following the government’s announcement of a proposed 30m threshold for second means of escape in residential buildings in December 2022 before lowering the threshold to 18m in July.

Housebuilders across the UK have been grappling with how to comply with the fire safety rules due to a lack of government guidance on how the staircases should be designed.

Drawings of proposed layouts in each block in the latest phase of Woodberry Down show separate stair cores connected by corridors. 

Berkeley LDS 1

Layout of a typical floor in the 26-storey tower, showing two separate staircases linked by a corridor

This is a similar approach taken by Berkeley in its revision of its 1,300-home Oval Village scheme in Lambeth, where it connected existing stair cores in buildings with corridors to provide residents with a second means of escape in the event of a fire.

Around 2,300 homes have been built so far at Woodberry Down, with a further 584 currently under construction, while the second of two new parks is due to complete next year.

The scheme’s outline masterplan was first approved in 2009 and was followed by the construction of several “kickstart” schemes on the site, which borders two large bodies of water known as West and East Reservoir.

This masterplan was expanded in 2013 with a new hybrid application for seven further phases, the second of which has been completed.

Berkeley’s submission of its application for phase four comes shortly after it lodged outline plans for a huge expansion of its Green Quarter development in west London.

Plans submitted last week to Ealing Council proposed at least 3,000 more homes on the 22ha former gasworks site in Southall in around 50 buildings.