The Bennett Street site represented one of the most challenging briefs we have ever had; 500 dwellings, most of which were small townhouses, on an 11 acre triangular site with one access and a railway viaduct as a boundary. The demands of regeneration of this industrial site and the larger estate, characterised by high under employment and disenfranchised households, were often at odds with planning policy.
While GRID started by advising on the strategic masterplan for all of West Gorton, the density for the Bennett Street site resulted in many expectations being challenged and new solutions created. Some key aspects of the proposal were; houses to have reduced or no private gardens and parking to contribute land area for a new public park, lost car spaces relocated into centralised car storage, new typologies of tall terraced houses and houses above houses with level access to each, super- insulated, triple-glazed houses in lieu of renewable energy.
Street patterns were traditional terraces of limited lengths to create neighbourhoods with dedicated public green spaces. The biggest green space was the new linear park ( designed by Berlin landscape architects Levin Monsigny ) created next to the Victorian railway viaduct – a focus of the community that is also a homage to Manchester’s great industrial heritage.