Merton Council, in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and house builder Crest Nicholson, is all set to transform a former school site into a landscaped public park and 217 homes.
Developer Crest Nicholson will start construction on the site in Mitcham, south west London early in the new year. The scheme will bring 131 family homes and 86 flats to the town, all meeting high-quality design specifications. It will also include a 2.6 hectare landscaped public park, a new 390m2 Scout and community facility and a 1,985 m2 medical centre. The design also allows for 278 car parking bays and 171 cycle parking spaces.
Thirty per cent of the housing will be classified as affordable to enable people providing essential public services, such as teachers and nurses, to buy or rent a home in Merton through shared ownership schemes.
As well as the brand new homes to be built, the original 1930s Surrey County Council school building will form a key aspect to the overall character of the site and will be converted into 27 flats. The landscaped park will not only provide Mitcham residents with new open space to enjoy, but will also perform a practical function of managing water drainage from the existing neighbouring housing. A sustainable drainage system of marsh land, reed beds and ponds will act as natural water stores during periods of wet weather, reducing risk of flooding nearby.
In line with Merton’s environmental policy – the Merton Rule – the site will be partly powered by renewable energy. The roofs of the Scout and community hall and the medical centre will accommodate solar panels, in addition to other state of the art sustainable energy measures. The buildings will also be well insulated to reduce the need for heating.
Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: ‘Merton and the HCA challenged Crest Nicholson Homes to provide Mitcham with an exemplary housing development – to build a quality house with a construction cost of just £60,000 and they have done just that whilst retaining a locally listed building and providing new green space and wildlife habitat for Mitcham. This scheme will be proof that affordability goes hand-in-hand with quality and a commitment to excellent design. The wider community will benefit hugely from this development as people will be able to take advantage of the new medical centre as well as the park.
‘We have been in the vanguard of environmental building and I am sure this site will serve as an example of financially and environmentally sustainable construction which other local authorities will want to emulate.’
Greg Ketteridge, Managing Director at Crest Nicholson (South) said: ‘At Rowan Road we will be delivering not only much needed housing for the local community, but also maintaining an already high benchmark for delivering quality, design-led and affordable homes. However, this is not just an ‘eco development’, rather Rowan Road will be a fully integrated, fit-for-purpose community, using efficient construction methods that adhere to the most stringent design standards right across the board.’
David Lunts, Director for London at the HCA, said: ‘This development, being built on HCA and Merton land, is exactly the type of high quality scheme that we look to support. Its impressive design standards, great community facilities and high percentage of affordable homes, are all fundamental in delivering the borough’s objectives.”
Find out more about the Rowan School site development at http://www.merton.gov.uk/rowan_park
Notes to editors
Images are available on request.
The Rowan School site is in Rowan Road, Mitcham.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Its vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.
For more information visit http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk