Leon Krier has secured the go-ahead to replace a 1960s power station with 1,500 homes and swathes of other facilities to forge a ’smart town’ on the Hampshire coast
Both New Forest District Council and the New Forest National Park Authority this week granted consent to the proposed Fawley Waterside scheme, designed by the 74-year-old ’father of New Urbanism’ and mastermind of Prince Charles’ model village, Poundbury.
Krier worked with London-based Ben Pentreath on the ambitious project, which will house up to 3,500 people and create almost 100,000m² of commercial, civic and employment space.
Project backer Fawley Waterside, founded by local land owner Aldred Drummond, bought the 40ha power station site five years ago from energy giant RWE Npower.
Planning officers described the scheme as ‘one of the most significant planning applications […] that has ever been submitted to New Forest District Council’.
Fawley Waterside will sprawl beyond the boundaries of the now-demolished power station on to the surrounding national park.
It will be split into three main zones. The Heart of the Town will accommodate the majority of homes plus some retail, community and other buildings.
The Northern Quarter will consist of employment space, including a boat yard and related marine facilities, while the Southern Quayside will feature homes, shops and offices as well as a boat stack abutting an extended harbour.
Extensive landscaping and green infrastructure will include a lagoon, a creek, parkland and children’s play facilities. A sea wall is proposed as a flood defence.
All power station buildings on the site are expected to be demolished by next summer.
Drummond said in planning documents that Fawley Waterside would be the focal point for a ‘technological renaissance’, adding that the ‘UK’s San Francisco Bay’ was maturing around the Solent.
He said the development would be ‘defined by the beauty of its buildings and places’.
New Forest District Council Planning Committee chairman Christine Ward said she was ’very glad of the positive outcome’ from the panel’s virtual meeting.
’We overwhelmingly agreed that this development will be great for the New Forest,’ she said. ’The architecture and design is superb, and the applicant’s commitment to the community is clear. We all recognise how special and unique this place is.’
New Forest National Park Authority planning director Steve Avery added that the scheme had been approved after five years of ‘detailed negotiations’.
’We have secured a high-quality scheme for this large redundant power station site that will bring lasting benefits for the landscape, wildlife and the local economy,’ he said, ’Half the new homes in the national park will be for local people in housing need.
’The benchmark we set is that any development should be of such an exceptionally high standard that there should be no reason why the whole of the site should not be included in and be worthy of national park status in the future.’
Subject to securing detailed planning approval in due course, the first homes could be available in 2023.