Plans submitted for major Stratford estate regeneration Co-designed community masterplan will create ‘a real piece of London’

Plans have been submitted for the redevelopment of the Carpenters Estate in Stratford, one London’s largest and most ambitious estate regeneration programmes.

The outline planning application is being brought forward by Newham Council’s wholly owned housing delivery company, with a multidisciplinary team led by the Tibbalds CampbellReith JV and including Metropolitan Workshop and Proctor & Matthews Architects who are collaborating on the masterplan.

The culmination of extensive consultation and co-design over a number of years, these proposals centre on a new masterplan that will deliver up to 2,022 much-needed new, refurbished and replacement homes (up to 50.2% genuinely affordable), alongside a diverse variety of community, education and commercial uses to support the growing neighbourhood and create ‘a real piece of London’.

The masterplan has been structured around enhancing and combining existing open spaces and key historic routes across Carpenters. A large neighbourhood park sits at its centre, surrounded by lower rise apartment buildings, houses and maisonettes served by intimate mews streets and communal courtyards. Taller mixed-use buildings, with commercial and community uses on the ground floors and apartments above will sit at the site’s outer edges, along major arterial routes, to help stitch the Carpenters Estate into the existing urban fabric and bring economic benefits for the community.

The masterplan also includes new buildings for the Building Crafts College and improved access into Stratford Station and the Olympic Park. Commercial and employment spaces are focussed along the northern edge of the site adjacent to the railway line and will deliver a range of workspace, training and commercial opportunities.

Two existing tower blocks, James Riley Point – which received planning approval in the last month – and Lund Point will be retained and refurbished to high standards of sustainability as part of the Council’s response to the climate emergency.

At the same time, a network of multi-functional open spaces and landscaped pedestrian routes would work together to create a varied public realm and fine grain pedestrian network supporting a 15-minute neighbourhood. Seven key open spaces range in character from a central neighbourhood green to vibrant public squares animated by spill-out spaces and distinctive play features. Designed to complement each other and collectively strengthen community bonds by integrating a variety of social opportunities for residents across the estate, they include a playful public realm that improves access to play for children, encourages active lifestyles to support resident wellbeing, supports urban greening and improves biodiversity.

In total over £1 billion will be invested in restoring the estate and creating new homes through phased plans that will be delivered over the next 15-20 years.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said: “After decades of waiting and being left behind, residents can finally take comfort that they have a Council which is forging ahead to deliver on the promises I made to deliver much needed homes they can afford. We are making substantial progress with the Carpenters Estate restoration and regeneration programme, and submitting the outline masterplan is a demonstration of our commitment to transforming the estate into a vibrant community and neighbourhood instead of a ghost town languishing because of historical neglect. With £1billion of investment in the Carpenters Estate, we are showing the scale of my administration’s ambition for our residents.”

Lizzie Le Mare, Director of Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, is leading the planning team. She said: “This application is real progress, and we are making good headway towards giving residents certainty about the future of the estate after so long. The new masterplan has been created by working with the local community to make sure that, as well as delivering large numbers of genuinely affordable homes, there is economic and community benefit woven into the masterplan. Above all, this will be a place for people, creating value for the community it serves and adapting over time to its changing needs.”

Andrew Matthews, Founding Director at Proctor & Matthews Architects comments: “The masterplan for Carpenters Estate, developed alongside residents, paves the way for a significant number of new and improved homes, alongside education, business and community space that will support a vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood right at the heart of Stratford. The plan is a unique response to the specific character and identity of Carpenters, delivering a hierarchy of people focussed public realm spaces, supported by a townscape structure of varying built form scales, dwelling types and densities. The result is a masterplan that reflects the scale and character of London’s historic neighbourhoods and responds directly to the ‘sense of place’ that residents wish to see.”

Neil Deely, Co-Founder & Partner at Metropolitan Workshop LLP, comments: “The planning submission is the end of the beginning and marks a major new chapter in the history of the community at Carpenters. Finally, residents can see a positive future for themselves on the estate and through the extensive dialogue carried out with Populo, make:good and the design team, residents will continue to be able to shape the neighbourhood over the life of the project. Retaining streets, infrastructure, trees and refurbishing over 300 existing homes is at the core of this sustainable and resident-led masterplan and the renewal of community and educational facilities will ensure that Carpenters is one of the most holistic, complete communities in London.”

Benjamin Walker, a director at LDA Design and London studio lead, said: “The people of Carpenters Estate have a strong community spirit and deserve a great place to live, and this landscape-led masterplan will deliver it. We have loved working with residents and found the process hugely rewarding. I think we’ve arrived at a genuinely co-designed masterplan fit for 21st century Londoners, and there’s so much great work to carry forward to other estate regenerations. The nature-rich public realm is designed to be welcoming, inclusive and a learning environment, which encourages ownership of public space. The plan also better connects the estate to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park so that residents benefit more from this incredible public asset.”

Originally developed between 1968 and 1972, the Carpenters Estate covers a 28-acre site surrounded by Stratford High Road, The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Westfield Stratford City and Stratford Station in East London. In December 2021 73% of residents voted yes in a ballot on the redevelopment plans.

The Tibbalds CampbellReith JV team was selected under the Homes England Multidisciplinary Framework. In addition to Lead Consultant Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design and consulting engineers Campbell Reith, the team includes architecture and urban design practices Proctor & Matthews Architects and Metropolitan Workshop; tower retrofit specialists ECD Architects; the designers behind the final landscape masterplan for the Olympic Park, LDA Design; community engagement experts make:good; MEP engineering, energy, sustainability; environmental consultancy XCO2; economic development consultants PRD; Plan A design management consultancy; and Campbell Reith and PJA advising on transport.