High density but low impact in the suburbs; Stanmore Place has created a new 20 acre neighbourhood for Harrow, with a legible street typology, large courtyard amenity areas and green outlook on all sides. It is a truly mixed use scheme, with businesses and retail fully integrated into the residential development and retail benefiting from both. The commissions for Honeypot Lane covered early masterplanning exercises to the design, consent and delivery the first, and some later, phases of development. The site was characterised by the huge number of complex issues including; leases, flooding, access and boundaries with industrial and railway land. The masterplan plan form is a response to connections and movement across the site. A number of character spaces use an urban pattern language of avenue, crescent and waterside, each using a limited palette of forms to create great places to live. Over 800 dwellings are planned f which 57 are large affordable houses.
The sustainability credentials for the residential led, mixed use masterplan extended to the houses and flats with maximum of 4 storey construction, timber framing, no basement dig and little dedicated parking. Use of car storage is only the second time it has been seen in the UK. The car park is in a lightweight car storage building which can take as many or as few cars as required – enlarge it or even get rid of it – and it was built on buffer land that otherwise could not be used for housing. By putting cars in a centralised building is itself a discouragement to car use and the land let up by not having surface car spaces can be developed for housing, parks and gardens. There are disabled parking spaces throughout the site and spaces for 20 minute stopping to unload. The site also includes ‘incubation’ work space on site, convenience retail to reduce car trips, and flooding attenuation in the form of a lake.
Progress on site has been steady through the last 5 years and the final phases are commencing in 2015. Detailing has developed through the phases to reflect different economic construction at the time with timber framing and loadbearing masonry giving way to metal framing in some phases. The brick supply has also changed which helps artificially patinate the character of the development and makes feel like a piece of town - and not a development. While other design teams have been brought in for some phases GRID will oversee the project until the end.