First prize for Merton Housing Scheme

A new housing development in Colliers Wood has been judged the overall national winner of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s (ODPM) 2005 Annual Housing Design Awards.

The development is ‘Bennet’s Courtyard’, located to the south of Merton Abbey Mills and overlooking the river Wandle.

It comprises of three adjoining four-storey apartment blocks with internal glazed courtyards and a landscaped garden along the bank of nearby Bennett’s Ditch.

Merton Council initially refused planning applications from the developer because they failed to preserve or enhance the Wandle Valley Conservation Area.

Architects Fielden Clegg Bradley were then appointed to amend the design in close consultation with the Council’s planning, design and conservation officers.

The development was designed with an informal layout to reflect the character and layout of Merton Abbey Mills and was also announced the winner of the ‘Medium Housebuilder’ category.

Councillor Philip Jones, Chair of Merton’s Planning Applications Committee said: ‘We are delighted by this award, both because its an honour for Merton and because it shows that a strong approach to planning controls can be successful. Co-operation between the Council and the developers has resulted in an outcome both can be proud of.’