Landscape development projects in the pipeline

Josephine Smit looks in detail at four key developments currently in the pipeline.

Aberfeldy Village: linear park forms a green spine through the scheme - image: Prime Place/Poplar HARCA
Aberfeldy Village: linear park forms a green spine through the scheme - image: Prime Place/Poplar HARCA

Aberfeldy Village, Blackwall, East London

Aberfeldy Village is a joint venture between Prime Place and Poplar HARCA that is transforming the former Aberfeldy estate. The £250m scheme is being delivered in six phases over a decade and will provide more than 1,000 homes together with an energy centre as well as retail, community and health facilities.
The landscaping, designed by Levitt Bernstein, is an integral part of the new neighbourhood. At its heart is a linear park that forms a green spine through the development’s centre. The first section of the park was completed in November. The second phase will follow in spring 2017 and the final phase in autumn 2019.

The park is lined by an avenue of liquidambar trees, while seasonal planting will provide year-round colour. Informal play areas and open areas of grass will be incorporated. Steps lead down a planted swale, seeded with more than 20 species of meadow flowers. The swale is part of the sustainable drainage system, storing storm water run-off. Timber decking bridges span the swale and link blocks of shrubs and herbaceous planting.

Across the development, there are courtyard gardens with areas of lawn and decking, together with seating and informal play areas. A biodiversity strategy is being developed with the London Wildlife Trust, ensuring that the new landscape will foster a broad range of species across the site. Features will include plants for pollinators, brick-faced boxes for birds, biodiverse roofs and a variety of trees, shrubs and flowering bulbs.

Chiswick Gate: ecological value enhanced with native planting - image: Berkeley Group

Chiswick Gate, west London

Berkeley Homes’ Chiswick Gate puts classically inspired architecture alongside green spaces. The scheme of apartments and houses was designed by architect John Thompson & Partners and the landscaping by Macfarlane & Associates. It features a traditional square and a tree-lined pedestrianised boulevard. Ecological value will be enhanced with native planting, green roofs and potential nesting bricks in buildings.

Berkeley routinely carries out ecological surveys at a site pre-planning and often pre-purchase. Here the survey concluded that there was "negligible biodiversity value" with poor habitats and no species of any biodiversity importance. The company is enhancing biodiversity during the three-year construction phase by creating an ecology area including a bug hotel and bird boxes made from reclaimed materials as well as a composting area. The housebuilder sought advice on planting native wild flowers from nearby Chiswick House & Gardens.

The success in enhancing biodiversity during construction has led Berkeley West London to extend the aspiration to all its sites and earned it a category win in CIRIA’s Big Biodiversity Challenge 2015.

Kingsbrook1, Aylesbury

Kingsbrook1 is an urban extension to Aylesbury that will have more than 2,000 homes, but half of the overall site will be green space and the whole scheme is being designed with nature in mind. Barratt Developments has joined forces with the RSPB to create a nature-friendly housing development including orchards, hedgehog highways, newt ponds, tree-lined avenues and fruit trees. James Blake Associates is the landscape consultant, providing masterplanning, soft and hard landscaping design, a tree survey, design codes, management plan and planting specifications. Engage Planning is community consultant.

The first phase, Oakfield Village, will include wildlife habitat, black poplars, multifunctional open space and residential areas with tree-lined streets, planting and sustainable drainage. Building work starts in 2016, with the first homes ready later in the year.

Central Square: scheme features grand public square leading to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium - image: City of Cardiff Council/Rightacres Property

Cardiff regeneration

Cardiff has a string of significant regeneration projects in the pipeline that are being showcased in a model of the city. Central Square (opposite) is a mixed-use 1.5 million square foot development being delivered through a partnership between the City of Cardiff Council and Rightacres Property. The site includes the preferred location for new BBC Wales headquarters, offices, an integrated transport hub and a grand public square leading to the Millennium Stadium and the city centre. The masterplan for the scheme is by international architect Foster + Partners.

Other projects in prospect include: a one-million square foot mixed-use development with a multipurpose arena, destined for a site adjacent to the Millennium Stadium; the Dumballs Road urban neighbourhood, which will include around 2,600 homes; and International Sports Village, an 88-acre brownfield development on Cardiff Bay, will have a new ice arena in 2016.

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