Merton’s Rowan Park development wins design award

The new Rowan Park housing development in the London Borough of Merton has won the ‘2012 Project Winner’ accolade at this year’s national Housing Design Awards.

This flagship development will see the former Rowan school site, in Rowan Road, transformed into a 2.6 hectare landscaped public park, with 217 much-needed homes in Mitcham.

Once completed, 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 also soon benefit from a new scout and community facility, and a new medical centre and pharmacy. There will 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’s Initiative (FTBI).

The judging panel commended Rowan Park for a robust masterplan with a family friendly layout and community facilities. The architects were also praised for going above and beyond the sustainability brief, providing a new style and identity for the area which could be a model for London’s suburbs. The site was developed in partnership between the Council, Homes and Communities Agency, developer Crest Nicholson and architects Sheppard Robson.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: ‘It is very gratifying that Rowan Park has been selected as a project winner at this year’s Housing Design Awards. From the outset, nine years ago, we aimed to achieve an exemplary eco development featuring a high quality of design, strong eco credentials and integration with new public green and open space. This scheme will provide more than 200 homes to local people, and particularly families, in Mitcham. Rowan Park is at the forefront of innovative and sustainable design, and sets the benchmark for future developments in our borough.”

Cllr Judge also congratulated Merton Priory Homes’ new sheltered housing scheme at the Oaks in Morden, which was also nominated for an award.

For more information on the Rowan Park development, please visit

Notes to editors:

1. Rowan Park

The former Rowan High School site is being redeveloped as part of a joint project with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Crest Nicholson Homes and Merton Council. The scheme will provide 217 residential units consisting of 131 family homes and 86 flats

The original 1930s school building, which is the focal point of the development, 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 surface water drainage from the wider area. A sustainable drainage system of marshes, reed beds and ponds will act as natural water stores during periods of wet weather, reducing the impact of flash-flooding nearby.

In line with Merton’s environmental policy, the site is partly powered by renewable energy. 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’; selling surplus energy back to the national grid. The buildings are also well insulated to reduce the need for heating in winter, whilst keeping them cooler in summer.

Images of the Rowan Park development are available on request – email

2. Housing Design Awards 2012

3 Sheppard Robson

4. Crest Nicholson

5. Homes and Communities Agency