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Mae wins planning for infill housing on Croydon estate

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Mae’s designs for an infill scheme on a Croydon council estate have won planning permission – the latest approval for the council’s own development company 

The London-based practice’s designs for Brick by Brick, the London council’s arm’s-length housebuilder, will see garages next to Shrubland Estate demolished to make way for three new buildings, one four-storey and two three-storey.

The new development, approved by councillors last week, will contain 26 homes, all of which will be affordable rent, and a shared garden.

According to the architects, the buildings will strengthen the existing landscape connection between the centre of the Shrublands Estate and the woodland to the south. 

Brick by Brick chief executive Colm Lacey said: ‘We have given very careful consideration to how the three new buildings fit within the existing estate and they have been positioned to strengthen the link between the centre of the estate and ancient woodland to the south.

’The buildings sit as pavilions within a new shared garden, which is the focal point of the design. We look forward to moving ahead with the project and creating more affordable homes for Croydon.’

Brick by Brick is aiming to complete 2,000 homes over the next four years, and around 500 a year thereafter. A wave of planning applications was approved in June.

APPROVED: Mae Architects' scheme for Croydon granted approval

APPROVED: Mae Architects’ scheme for Croydon granted approval

APPROVED: Mae Architects’ scheme for Croydon granted approval

 Architect’s view

Shrublands is an infill housing scheme providing 26 new homes with a strong landscape-led approach. The existing Shrublands Estate provides a unique context in which buildings sit as pavilions within a shared green, undulating landscape. 

Permeability through the site is a key characteristic and something that has driven the design development of three new residential buildings. Simplicity and repetition have driven the development of the design – a limited number of open-plan flat types stack vertically and the façade is made from a repeating set of elements. 

Full-width balconies offer generous amenity spaces as extensions to living spaces and are positioned for sunlight and views. Stair cores are external and offer views through the buildings, connecting public realm on both sides. Ground-floor amenity spaces are bounded by swales that provide low-key defensible space through the landscape. 

The buildings are positioned to strengthen an existing landscape connection between the centre of the Shrublands Estate and the ancient woodland to the south. A shared garden is the focal point of this, with new tree planting and native species planting used to enhance the existing landscape. Swales and rain gardens are integrated into the landscape to help provide low-tech sustainable drainage solutions.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The architect doesn't say so, but the buildings are presumably designed for off-site manufacture - to help keep them genuinely affordable, perhaps?.

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