Swan Housing Association has received a resolution to grant planning approval for its hybrid planning application for the remaining phases of its major regeneration of the Craylands Estate in Basildon, now known as Beechwood Village.

This approval gives the green light for 587 new homes and will result in the completion of the regeneration of the estate which has been ongoing for more than ten years and will see over 994 new homes delivered when it is completed.

Swan has worked closely with its development partners for the scheme Basildon Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Architects bptw partnership with Landscape Architects Outerspace were responsible for the overall masterplan together with the detailed design for the intervention sites in the North and South of the existing site. Architects Pollard Thomas Edwards designed the Central and West Phase on the adjacent site of the former Fryerns School. The planning application was co-ordinated by Iceni Projects.

The masterplan has a genuine community focus with environmental and landscaping improvements throughout the development linking Northlands Park in the east to The Fryth in the west via a substantial green heart at the centre of the development.

Extensive resident consultation formed an integral part of the design development process and as a result the design was developed to include a new landscaped community hub to provide a safe space for children to play as well as traffic calming measures.

The new homes are organised around a series of streets and green spaces to create a variety of different characters and interest. On the North and South phases the new houses on the infill sites created by the demolition of substandard maisonette blocks form streets that create a more legible and permeable street pattern and stitch together new with old. External materials have been selected to complement both the original estate, the newer stock and the West phase.

On the West phase 251 new ‘custom build’ homes will allow purchasers to select elements from a pre-approved palette to create truly unique homes. The houses are arranged a series of linked greens from the new landscaped hub area linking to The Fryth open space in the north. The house types respond to the different street hierarchies and provide a range of houses for purchasers.

All the new homes will be manufactured off site volumetrically by Swan’s property development arm, NU living, in a new factory which they will open in Basildon. The factory will use Cross Laminated Timber, a sustainable construction material which utilises softwood timber grown in managed forests, to construct the homes. Houses will begin being delivered from the factory to the sites in spring 2017.

Geoff Pearce, Swan’s Executive Director of Regeneration and Development said: “We are delighted to receive the planning committee’s endorsement for our exciting plans for Beechwood. This will enable us to deliver an exemplar scheme which will bring together the best of modern construction methods, contemporary design, 21st Century environmental performance and great open spaces. Combined with the estate improvements planned in partnership with Basildon Borough Council and Essex County Council, we will deliver unique homes which will combine with the already completed phases and retained stock to deliver an exceptional, high quality regeneration.”

Cllr Phil Turner, Leader of Basildon Council said: “This development will complete the transformation of this estate into something quite special. The homes will be of the highest quality and the option for buyers to specify their own new home is exciting and I’m sure it will be very popular.”

Steve Greener, Senior Area Manager, Essex, Homes and Communities Agency added: “We are delighted that our continued working with our partners Swan Housing Association and Basildon Borough Council has resulted in approval for a high quality development that will incorporate custom build homes and provide much-needed housing for people in Basildon. This is a real milestone for this project and we look forward to delivery of the remaining phases of development.”

Neill Campbell – Partner at bptw architecture said: “Our work at Beechwood has been very rewarding. Swan undertook genuine resident consultation which informed the design process. Working collaboratively as a design team including Swan and its development partners was very successful. As a result the scheme will deliver tangible change to the current and future residents of Beechwood.”

 Carl Vann, Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity, not only to regenerate a tired estate, but also to provide something really unique: genuinely customisable new homes at an affordable price.”