Wolfson Prize Garden Cities: Shelter and PRP's Hoo Peninsula Plan
PRP Architects’ ambitious proposals for the 2014 Wolfson Economic Prize feature a new town within touching distance of London and a potential Thames estuary airport
The proposal, drwn up in collaboration with Shelter, concentrates on a single garden city situated on the Hoo Peninsula which would comprise of 15,000 homes built over a 15-year period.
The garden city would eventually grow into a community of 60,000 homes with a population of approximately 144,000 - making it slightly smaller than Oxford.
The proposal has been designed to show that new garden cities can be built which both support and are aligned with the existing local needs of an area.
As part of the submission process, Shelter consulted Medway residents and found that 61 per cent of people would support a garden city in their local area if it resulted in improved services.
Shelter and PRP have worked with developer Laing O’Rourke, Legal and General and KPMG to put together a proposal which would transform the northern part of the Thames Estuary and the Hoo Peninsula.
Commenting on the proposal Andy von Bradsky, Chairman of PRP Architects, said: ‘We need radical solutions to scale up supply speedily and we believe new garden settlements can be designed to achieve this. The UK has some of the best skills in the world that can deliver exemplary new settlements where people want to live, work and play, that will be popular and stand the test of time.
‘Our work with Shelter demonstrates that new settlements that are well sited, carefully designed to fit in with the context and that contain a mix of new homes for all can be financially, socially and environmentally deliverable.
‘By focussing on a specific location we have been able to isolate the issues that are perceived to be barriers to developments of this scale and demonstrate how these can be addressed. Our work provides a blueprint for garden settlements appropriate for the 21st century.’
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: ‘Creating new garden cities is an essential step towards building the homes we need. Our model proves that, with the right innovation, it is absolutely possible to build a garden city that is popular with local people, and provides the affordable homes, jobs and infrastructure that they are crying out for.
‘Although new garden cities are a vital step towards solving the housing shortage, on their own they can’t give every priced out family the chance of a stable home. They must be combined with other measures that will get us building the homes we need right now, from helping small and medium sized builders access the finance they need, to ensuring that land is made available for building new homes.
‘We hope that our vision will help take current and future governments one step closer towards meeting the housing shortage. Although it is only theoretical, we believe that a new garden city in Medway has the potential to offer the existing community genuinely affordable homes for their children, as well as new
‘Soaring prices and years of rock-bottom house building have pushed the housing market to crisis point. We need to see urgent action to give hope to all those watching their dreams of a home of their own slip further out of reach.’
Shelter’s proposition has the most generous share of affordable housing with 37.5 per cent of homes will be in affordable tenures with 30 per cent
at social rent and 7.5 per cent shared ownership.
Shared ownership properties only make up 7.5 per cent of our tenure mix because of the high level of affordability of our private sale properties, which are expected to absorb most of the first time buyer demand.