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PTE bags planning for reworked post-Olympic housing scheme

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Pollard Thomas Edwards’ (PTE) redesigned plans for the 6.38 hectare Chobham Farm housing development on the Olympic Park have won planning

The scheme, which will begin on site in January 2014, features 173 flats in six buildings ranging in height from three to ten storeys, together with 1,162m² of retail space.

Outline planning permission has also been granted for a further 863 flats and 6,900m² of shops to follow in four subsequent phases.

Pollard Thomas Edward reworked its original plans for the scheme – the first housing project to emerge as part of London’s Olympic legacy plans – following criticism of the original scheme by design watchdog CABE (see AJ 22.01.2013).

The organisation’s design review panel described the practice’s initial concept as setting a ‘poor precedent’ for future development on the site. However, following a re-think which included a ‘reconfiguration of the southern part of the site’, CABE threw its weight behind the proposals, praising its ‘greater level of variety and clarity’.

A statement released by CABE said: ‘We commend the richness of the architectural approach with increased variety in height, the use of set-backs and the articulation of individual plots and building facades.’

The design review panel added: ‘We welcome the introduction of building frontage to the entire Leyton Road elevation, allowing for better natural surveillance and legibility. We applaud the overall approach to reworking the elevations, creating a greater level of variation through massing, a secondary brick type and more verticality to the elevations on Leyton Road, the bridge and the railway line.’

Patrick Devlin, director, Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects, said: ‘There are two main areas of change. The first was to the configuration of the southern part of the site, where density has been redistributed to make the park more central. The second was the development of an architectural language to illustrate how these blocks will evolve to make a lively townscape.’

He added: ‘The contrast between the East Village and Stratford New Town led to a need to form links and make more sociable spaces.’

However, CABE recommended further work to improve the relationship between green areas, and that landscape design principles were agreed with the London Legacy Development Corporation to ensure similar standards during subsequent phases of development.

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