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News5 April 2023

Historic Twyford Abbey to be saved with delivery of new public space and affordable housing

Image by Sechi Smith.

A derelict grade II-listed manor house in Ealing, west London, that is on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register, is to be saved and restored as part of a vibrant new residential development which will open the site’s historic grounds to the public for the first time and provide vital new affordable homes for local people.

Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, is working with Redington Capital to sympathetically restore the iconic Twyford Abbey building after formally acquiring the site last week (28 March) and receiving planning consent late last year.

The partnership’s approved plans will bring the building and surrounding land back into use after years of disrepair, saving the site from further decline and delivering 326 new high quality homes.

As part of the proposals, Redington will oversee the restoration of the abbey while Latimer will deliver the new homes – half of which will be affordable housing on a habitable room basis.

As well as provide vital housing options, the project will faithfully repair and reinstate the historic site’s original walled gardens and cottage – deteriorated to the point of dereliction and on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register - to provide new community grow gardens and an orchard.

The plans will also breathe new life into the abbey’s famous long-closed grounds, by delivering a new 1.2-acre public park complete with children’s play facilities and improved local connectivity.

The new green space, the equivalent size of 16 tennis courts, will deliver biodiversity net gain through enhanced landscaping and tree planting to safeguard wildlife habitat and create corridors for nature.

RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) have taken a landscape-led and sympathetic approach to the restoration, taking inspiration from the Gothic style design of the abbey building. The new homes, each with private outdoor space, are arranged around open courtyards to maximise frontage and natural surveillance.

Richard Cook, Group Development Director at Clarion Housing Group, said:

“We are delighted to reach this latest milestone in our bold Twyford Abbey project, which exemplifies sustainable and net-zero development principles – driving social cohesion, reinforcing biodiversity and facilitating healthy living values.

“We are especially proud to be delivering affordable housing levels far exceeding planning policy requirements, in line with our longstanding commitment to building the right homes in the right places.”

James Frost, CEO at Redington Capital, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to breathe new life into an iconic building within the London Borough of Ealing and see it used again for the first time in several decades. We are looking forward to continuing working with Latimer and other stakeholders to make this happen.”

Latimer and Redington are committed to respecting the heritage of the building and maintaining aspects of the site which contribute most to the natural environment.

The layout of the masterplan ensures the highest quality existing trees are retained and the team have worked closely with council officers to identify trees with shorter life expectancies for removal. There will be no net loss of trees at the finished project with any trees removed being replaced with appropriate high quality replacements.

The project team has assembled a strong cohort of expert consultants to work on the proposals, including Barton Willmore (now Stantec) as planning consultants and BBUK as landscape architects. Others include O’Connor Sutton Cronin, Velocity Transport Planning, Montagu Evans, SRL, Temple Group, London Communications Agency, Quod, Arcadis and PRP.

Construction on the site is expected to begin later this year with the first homes to be delivered in 2025.