Plans to build a new housing scheme comprising over 100 new affordable homes on the site of the former Richmond upon Thames College have been unanimously approved by the council.
Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, has been given the green light to demolish the ex-campus buildings and construct a new sustainable mixed-tenure scheme of 212 quality new homes – over half of which will be affordable for local people.
The developer acquired part of the Egerton Road campus from the college back in 2018 before submitting initial plans to breathe new life into the site.
It then submitted a revised planning application to boost the total number of homes at the scheme from 180 to 212 and increase the proportion of affordable homes from 19% to 51%. The revised proposals were unanimously approved by councillors on Thursday 19 August.
The new homes, designed by BPTW architects, form part of the borough’s wider £80m college project which also includes a replacement college campus, two new schools, an extended sports hall and a science hub.
Students moved into the new campus on Langhorn Drive in Spring 2020 and Latimer’s approval for the new housing scheme will now facilitate further progress on the wider project – with construction work on the new homes expected to start early next year.
The developer will build 28 homes for affordable rent and a further 80 for shared ownership, providing vital housing options for local people. The remaining 104 homes will be sold privately.
The completed scheme will be one of the first new residential housing developments in the borough with ‘net zero carbon compatible’ homes. All homes will be built with high levels of insulation and ventilation efficiency, with any carbon emissions offset by energy generated by photovoltaic solar panels.
Proposals for the scheme will ensure that any loss of habitat will be replaced or enhanced to care for local protected species. Biodiversity will be boosted through wildlife-friendly landscaping, rain gardens and an ecological corridor of new trees and shrubs.
There will also be over 100 parking spaces for residents and provision of electric vehicle charging points. The developer has already installed a publicly accessible Brompton bike docking station, available at discounted rates to local people to provide more sustainable transport options in the local area.
As well as the homes, the scheme will deliver improved public realm, a new communal courtyard and a raft of community benefits for residents and local people – including employment opportunities and youth engagement.
Richard Cook, Group Director of Development at Clarion Housing Group, said: “We are delighted to gain planning consent to build this highly sustainable scheme in Richmond, delivering vital new affordable homes to local people in the borough.
“We are passionate about making our homes and communities fit for the future. Delivering net zero carbon homes in Richmond will not only make a significant positive impact to the environment but also help residents reduce their energy bills – at a time when this has never been more important.”
Richard Knight, Senior Associate at BPTW, said: “It’s fantastic to work with Latimer to have these plans approved and realise a shared sustainability aspiration.
“Strong placemaking was at the heart of the proposals, where each distinct character area within the development integrates with the wider neighbourhood to encourage natural amenity – with plenty of places for play, rest and interaction. We look forward to seeing the scheme realised.”
Latimer engaged with the local community about its emerging proposals for the college site in early 2021 before formally submitting its final planning application to the council.