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PRP beats off competition with 'New Deal' for London estate

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PRP Architects has won a competition to masterplan the rundown 1960s Brooks Estate in the London Borough of Newham.

The contract is part of the £56 million 'New Deal for Communities' programme, a government initiative intended to improve housing, health, crime prevention and job opportunities in deprived areas.

The practice beat Stock Woolstencroft Architects to the contract after a notice was placed in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

PRP's redevelopment plans for the estate in Plaistow include the demolition of two residential tower blocks and a further low-rise building of shops and maisonettes.

The plan, however, is to maintain the number of homes, currently standing at 900. This is to be achieved by high-density development, erecting homes in the spaces between existing houses and building on open land - areas that were once set aside for parkland but have fallen into decay since then.

'As ever, there is lots of open space that is not only unused but also hazardous, ' said project leader Peter Ranken. 'It's not overlooked and does not contribute a great deal to the streetscape.'

The redevelopment project is to involve refurbishment as well as new build, and tenders will be put out for the work later this year.

PRP is hoping that it will be commissioned to undertake the refurbishment work, which is managed by Newham council. It will also bid for the design of new buildings, to be administered by housing associations.

The masterplan is currently being developed in partnership with community groups.

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