Southall Gasworks gets mayoral go ahead

8 April 2010

Southall Gasworks

London Mayor Boris Johnson has given the go ahead for the mixed-use redevelopment of National Grid’s former gasworks site in Southall, west London.

Capita Symonds’ land planning division - Capita Lovejoy - is working on behalf of the energy company with Make architects on the 84 acre development which will deliver up to 3,750 homes along with business, office and retail development, a new two-form entry primary school, a health-centre and leisure facilities. There is also a large amount of public open space in the plans including sports pitches.

Place making is at the heart of the West Southall scheme which has been designed around a distinctive public realm hierarchy of connected streets, squares and parks. The Landscape and Public Realm Strategy draws on its context and aspires to provide a high quality environment for a thriving new community to enjoy safely and with ease. The diversity of the landscape, and the quality of both the private and public space, seeks to create a sense of place which can encourage respect and understanding of the environment at both a local and global scale.

The site in the London Borough of Ealing is situated adjacent to the Grand Union Canal and Minet Country Park to the west, national rail network to London Paddington to the south, and a dense residential area to the north. New access including cycle/pedestrian bridges by Marks Barfield and Hakes Associated will open up the currently inaccessible site for redevelopment and provide new linkages for the existing community within the adjoining areas.

This application is clearly of major significance to London, with the homes it will deliver and the jobs it will create

A diverse range of spaces will be created across the site, of varying scale and character that provide for differing functions and sections of the community. There will be flexible open space for festivals and events, spaces for social activity with cafes and restaurants, a tree-lined shopping street, safe and secure play areas for varied age groups, sports and recreation space, areas for wildlife and wetland areas providing for biodiversity and educational opportunities. The Central Park will provide green open space both for rest and relaxation as well as providing a cricket pitch and village green that can form a focus of community activities and celebrations.

Capita Lovejoy was first appointed by National Grid as landscape architects for the project in 2005 and were joined by Make architects as masterplanners in 2007. Consultation with stakeholders, the local community, the relevant local authorities and statutory authorities has been a key ingredient in developing the masterplan to a successful conclusion. Working collaboratively as part of a wider design team that includes Make, Marks Barfield, Hakes Associates, RPS, White Young Green, Savell Bird and Axon and Beyond Green has been a both a demanding but hugely rewarding and successful experience and the team now looks forward to progressing the project to the next stage.

Boris Johnson said: “Having had the chance to listen in person to all the arguments for and against this proposal, and consider the application in greater detail, I am satisfied that all major concerns have been addressed. This application is clearly of major significance to London, with the homes it will deliver and the jobs it will create.”