Rectory Farm has won an Innovation In Planning Award for the visionary development of a large public space in West London. The new park will sit above underground warehouse space to be created by the discreet extraction of minerals.
The development, approved by London Borough of Hounslow last summer, won the Mayor’s Award for Innovation In Planning at the London Planning Awards 2018.
Rectory Farm was announced a winner at the awards ceremony at Whitehall Palace. Entered for the awards by the London Borough of Hounslow, the project’s team includes the developer Formal Investments, the planning consultancy DP9, architect Carmody Groarke, engineers ARUP, landscape designers VOGT and property and construction consultancy Gleeds.
Hounslow planning officers Matthew Rees and Kiri Shuttleworth were presented with the trophy by Jules Pipe, deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, and Marcus Bate, investment director at award sponsor Mount Anvil.
The London Planning Awards is organised by London First in partnership with the Mayor of London, London Councils, the Planning Officers Society London, the Royal Town Planning Institute and Headline Partner, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland.
Formal Investments director Nicholas King said: “The team behind Rectory Farm is incredibly proud of winning this award. It celebrates the partnership approach that enabled our team to work with Hounslow’s planners, councillors and, most importantly local residents, to secure the support and backing of the Council and the community for such a revolutionary concept.”
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “I’m delighted that Hounslow’s planning team has been recognised for all their hard work on this project and their collaboration with the developers and other partners.
“The scheme itself is hugely innovative and, as a result of working closely together, our residents will benefit from minimised disruption during the building phase, as well as a great new green space to enjoy when it is completed.”
Rectory Farm’s large new public park will provide much needed recreational space linking local communities and will include full size grass and all-weather football pitches, hockey and cricket pitches, plus a variety of other facilities alongside fields and tree-lined paths for walking, running and cycling.
Historically the 110 acres of green belt land was agricultural but has not been farmed since 1996 due to years of antisocial behaviour, fly tipping, trespass, vandalism and concerns over food safety. Currently inaccessible to the public, the site will be transformed into an open and freely accessible park.
The mineral extraction will take place discreetly beneath the park’s surface through an innovative ‘top-down’ construction method, with the process contained below ground in contrast to open cast mining.
Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of London First, said: “As London continues to grow, we’ll need ingenuity and imagination to build the places people want to live and work in – and this year’s awards shows the wealth of talent we have working for our city.”
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “My congratulations to this year’s winners, all of which once again demonstrate the sheer range of talent in the capital. London continues to be an exemplar of good planning and design.”