The new Rowan Park housing development in the London Borough of Merton has been shortlisted for the prestigious National Housing Design awards.
Through its flagship development, Merton will see the former Rowan school site transformed into a 2.6 hectare landscaped public park with 217 much-needed homes in Mitcham.
Once complete, the scheme will provide 131 family homes and 86 apartments. Each home meets high-quality design specifications, featuring solar panels on the roofs. Residents in the area will soon benefit from a new scout and community facility and a new medical centre and pharmacy. There will also be 278 car parking bays and 171 cycle parking spaces set within a new ‘homezone’ street layout.
Thirty per cent of the housing is classified as affordable to buy or rent through shared ownership schemes. A further 10% of homes are part of developer, Crest Nicholson’s first-time buyer initiative.
As well as the brand new homes, the original 1930s Surrey County Council school building remains the focal point of the development and is currently being refurbished and converted into 27 apartments. 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 marshes, reed beds and ponds is to act as natural water stores during periods of wet weather, reducing risk of flash-flooding nearby.
In line with Merton’s environmental policy, the site is partly powered by renewable energy. Built to Code for Sustainable Homes level 4; the roofs of the new homes as well as the scout and community hall and the medical centre will all accommodate solar panels. Residents will benefit from lower energy bills and could generate over £500 per year through ‘feed-in tariffs’. In addition to other state of the art sustainable energy measures, the buildings will also be well insulated to reduce the need for heating in winter, whilst keeping them cooler in summer.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: ‘Being shortlisted for this award is great news for Merton and recognises the hard work and effort which has gone into making this a flagship development. We all know how housing is in huge demand, especially affordable housing in and around London. Rowan Park goes part of the way to providing some high quality affordable housing and maximising the use of public sector land assets for higher quality development. It sets the benchmark for sustainability and high quality contemporary design.
‘Environmentally, we have been in the vanguard of sustainable building and I am sure this site will serve as an example of financially and environmentally sustainable construction which other local authorities and the construction industry will want to emulate.’
For more information on the Rowan Park development: http://www.merton.gov.uk/rowan_park
Notes to editors
1. Imagery available
2. Housing Designs Awards: http://www.hdawards.org/shortlisted_schemes/project2.php