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Latimer begins international hunt for masterplanning team for new Essex garden community of up to 9,000 homes

Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, has begun the search for a visionary design team to masterplan its major new 9,000-home garden community on the Colchester and Tendring borders.

Consultant teams are invited to enter the developer’s international design competition to create an exemplar masterplan for the landmark Essex project – which aims to be the most sustainable and inclusive new community in the UK.

In conjunction with consultants Colander, Latimer is seeking an innovative design team that will develop an integrated approach for the project – including masterplanning, landscape architecture, sustainability and community engagement – to help deliver the diverse new 1,740-acre mixed-tenure community over the next two decades.

As well as high-quality new housing, the project also seeks to provide employment space, a new country park, university expansion, a rapid transport system as well as retail, leisure and community areas.

The successful team will be commissioned to work collaboratively to develop proposals forming an outline planning application for the new garden community.

Entrants of the two-stage competition will be judged on their collaborative approach to the design of a landmark community which recognises the traditions of garden city principles whilst exploring how these might evolve to create a resilient model for future generations.

The judging panel will include senior representatives from Latimer and partnering organisations, as well as Lord Matthew Taylor – an instrumental figure in garden community policy.

Latimer was last summer selected as development partner for the new community and will work alongside local housebuilder Mersea Homes, Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council and Essex County Council to bring the plans to life. It will also engage proactively with the local community.

Richard Cook, Group Development Director at Clarion Housing Group, said: “Launching this high-profile competition to appoint an exemplar masterplanning team marks a major milestone in our Tendring-Colchester Borders project, which will deliver vital homes and facilities for generations to come.

“Everyone involved in this landmark scheme has a fantastic opportunity to create a lasting legacy and set a new standard for placemaking. We are looking forward to bringing a new project team on board to design a sustainable 21st century garden community where people aspire to live, work and visit.”

Caroline Cole, founder of consultants Colander, said: “We are very excited to be associated with this project and look forward to seeing the interest it generates within the professions.

“The winning team has a huge role to play in designing a landmark new community and helping to deliver vital new housing, infrastructure and community benefits to local people in the region.”

Details of Latimer’s masterplan competition, the first stage of which closes on Monday 3 October, can be found here.