A team featuring Weston Williamson + Partners, Allies and Morrison and German practice Jott Architekten has won a competition to masterplan a 125ha high-density site in Ebbsfleet
The collaborative bid was chosen ahead of four rival contenders for the estimated £268,440 contract following a public procurement process launched by the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) in January.
The winning team will draw up high-level plans for a new mixed-use area, Ebbsfleet Central, to be the centrepiece of the emerging Ebbsfleet Garden City in north Kent, where 15,000 new homes and 30,000 new jobs are expected by 2035.
The commission focuses on a large brownfield plot surrounding Ebbsfleet International railway station (pictured), which will feature a mix of commercial and residential development alongside cultural and leisure facilities including parks and green spaces. The government’s £34 million acquisition of the site was announced by housing minister Esther McVey in October.
In its brief, the corporation says: ‘[The masterplan] must be capable of securing a high-quality, outstanding mixed-use development, which provides flexibility for innovation and changing circumstances as the development is delivered by the private sector over the next 15-20 years. This wide-ranging role will require significant collaboration with EDC teams and board members, a wide range of stakeholders, local communities, local authorities and the wider consultant team we are assembling for the Ebbsfleet Central site.
‘The form of the masterplan is envisaged to identify key spatial priority areas and strategic links, which are essential to delivering a successful development. EDC do not wish to develop a detailed or prescriptive masterplan which could stifle future detailed area masterplans for the wider site and each phase of development. The masterplan should provide a framework of key design principles and opportunity areas, informing the maximum quantum of development and parameter plans and promoting future innovation and flexibility.’
Ebbsfleet Garden City is being built on the site of a former quarry and other nearby brownfield sites next to the M2 motorway. Up to 15,000 new homes and 30,000 jobs are planned for the site.
The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation was created by the government in 2015 to speed up the delivery of a large-scale residential district featuring commercial, educational, research and leisure uses. It is set to include seven parks and 192ha of blue and green infrastructure.
Ebbsfleet Central is one of five neighbourhoods planned for the emerging city, which will be situated between the existing communities of Northfleet, Swanscombe and Greenhithe. The other neighbourhoods are Northfleet Riverside, Eastern Quarry, Ebbsfleet Garden and Swanscombe Peninsula.
The winning team will initially draw up a high-level strategic masterplan. If this is approved at planning stage, the team will then receive a further £50,000 every year for five years during the project’s development.
Maccreanor Lavington and AECOM were selected to create an overall masterplan for the 1,026ha settlement five years ago.
In 2018, a team featuring JTP won a competition organised by the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation for ideas to boost healthy living in the new city. Lee Evans Partnership won planning for a new pub and hotel within the Castle Hill area of Ebbsfleet Garden City development in December and the project is planned to complete in 2021.
Aerial view of Ebbsfleet International Station
Source: Shutterstock Dronegraphica