In recent years many old factories industrial buildings within the heart of our towns and cities have become redundant. The practice has been appointed by the owners to prepare proposals for redevelopment which will rejuvenate the outworn fabric of the settlement and provide alternative viable sustainable uses on their brownfield sites.


Woods of Colchester
The Flškt Woods Group factory which produced fans was located on about 16 hectares of land close to North Station in the north east of Colchester. To remain a 'market leader' in the manufacture of air movement products, the company required a 'state of the art' factory to replace its existing aging premises. To facilitate the funding for the transfer of the company's operations to a new premises on the Colchester business park, the former factory and adjoining land was redeveloped. The practice was commissioned by the owners to prepare an Outline planning application supported by a Master Plan and an Urban Design Framework document. The site was zoned for 'Employment' so a convincing case had to be formulated to persuade the Council that such a use should not be retained.

Limited access for lorries, a sloping site and the general disturbance caused by industrial activities made continuation of 'Employment' on the site unattractive to business operators. On the other hand, the close proximity of the main railway station and town centre, suggested there was considerable potential for a predominantly residential scheme. When complete about 750 dwellings will be accommodated along with other complementary facilities such as shops, doctors' surgery, crŤche, business incubator units, public open space and a footpath/cycleway to North Station.

The shape of the site which was determined primarily by the adjoining railway line to the south, dictated an essentially linear urban structure having a strong east-west axis. The fall in ground level from north to south of between 5-15m also provided an opportunity for development to step up to the north to create layers of buildings interspersed with structural planting that offered not only good views of the town but also attractive and interesting views of the scheme when seen across the river valley from the Avenue of Remembrance.

Magdalen Street, Colchester
The Maltings, Braintree
Gate Street, Maldon