Fields in Trust secures new public open space in deal with housing developer

BD Landscape Architecture has designed a multi-purpose public space being developed by HAB Housing, and which has been legally protected by Fields in Trust.

(l-r) Graeme Le Saux (left) and Kevin McCloud (right) join local politicians on site. Image: FIT
(l-r) Graeme Le Saux (left) and Kevin McCloud (right) join local politicians on site. Image: FIT

The semi-rural site on Lovedon Lane, in the historic village of Kings Worthy, near Winchester is part of HAB Housing’s Lovedon Fields estate.

The practice faced the challenge of designing a landscape which bridged the open countryside with the domestic setting of the housing development. It designed allotments, a biodiverse country park area, wildflower meadows, play areas, a running circuit, a cycle path for children, a community orchard area and a village green. Hillier Landscapes and Peach Ecology are the landscape contractors on the site.

By working with the developer, Fields in Trust has also secured the site as recreational land in perpetuity. Once the development is complete and ownership transferred to the local Parish Council, this will complement existing facilities in the adjoining Eversley Park, with its football pitches, playground and basketball and tennis courts.  

Lovedon Fields conforms to Fields in Trust’s latest guidelines on the amount of recreational provision needed in housing developments, "Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play" published in 2015, a set of guidelines first published in 1930 under the "Six Acre Standard".

The charity praised HAB – which stands for Happiness, Architecture, Beauty - Housing’s "innovative" a pre-emptive approach which designed-in recreational space from the outset and safeguarded it with a Fields in Trust "deed of dedication", ensuring that the land will be protected for community use, in perpetuity. And it pointed out that this only makes properties more attractive to buyers.

HAB Housing founder and chairman Kevin McCloud said "At HAB we set out to build beautiful homes that are a joy to live in. It’s a mission that we approach with real zeal. It’s not just the fantastic designs of the homes; we’ve an equally strong focus on the spaces between the buildings themselves, ensuring that we’re creating amazing places to live. These delightful homes are nestled by the local park, which we’re doubling in size and packing full of stuff for both our new residents and the existing community."

Fields in Trust trustee Graeme Le Saux added: "Fields in Trust protects land for play, sport and recreation and campaigns for recognition of these spaces to contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities. If we are to reduce child obesity and build a more active nation, as the government’s sports strategy aspires to, we need to ensure that all new housing developments make space for outdoor recreation."

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