High Path Estate Regeneration

High Path is one of the most ambitious schemes PRP has worked on. Our passion as landscape architects is to deliver true places for people - and this has been the key driver in our team's approach. The future of a place requires more than innovation and good design, it lies in capturing the needs of its people, by listening to the existing community, and anticipating the requirements of future generations. This mirrors the philosophy of our client Clarion Housing Group who adopt Jan Gehl's principles: 'First life, then spaces, then buildings - the other way around never works.'

Whilst High Path is well located on the edge of the Wandle River ecological corridor near Wimbledon with great links to central London, it is currently a tangle of competing uses and illegible streetscapes. As such, the estate was dislocated from its surrounding neighbourhood and its socio-economic profile was found to have higher levels of deprivation compared to LB Merton as a whole, and these were predicted to exacerbate over time without social or physical intervention.

Bound on all sides by main roads, with many routes within the estate terminating in cul-de-sacs or bin stores, the site lacks legibility and is over-permeable, with too many routes caused by the segregation of vehicular and pedestrian movement. Existing buildings block or deflect extensions of the surrounding street pattern, restricting movement across the wider neighbourhood and forming barriers across all its physical edges. Existing buildings lack definition between public and private spaces and have poor interfaces between buildings to public routes at the ground floor. Pockets of open space are not large enough to be functional and have become neglected.

Clarion appointed PRP to develop a masterplan for the phased regeneration of the estate. Developed in consultation with the local community it has five key objectives:
- Re-connecting neighbourhoods: Create a series of traditional streets that link the site beyond its boundaries to the surrounding neighbourhoods connecting High Path to its wider context.
- Amenity space for all: A new park for the wider community celebrating High Path as a new place that contributes to the wider neighbourhoods
- Placemaking: The creation of distinct characters across the masterplan to offer choice and variety.
- Re-thinking the Victorian block: Repair the urban fabric by responding to the site's context and introducing new perimeter blocks along traditional streets.
- Linking to the local neighbourhood: Build upon the rich heritage and diverse characters of the surrounding neighbourhoods to add value.

Applying our philosophy of ‘contextual reintegration’ PRP's proposal celebrates the area's character and rich history by reconnecting existing Victorian streets to the north of Merton High Street with the estate's southern edge at High Path.

A number of character areas are proposed which together with distinct neighbourhoods will help High Path become a unique and memorable place. At the heart, is a new neighbourhood park. Designed to respond to the existing urban infrastructure the park creates desire lines from north to south and east to west, along inner streets. Landscaped areas with lush planting, sensory gardens, simple paths, and play areas create a multifunctional green haven for all ages year around. This is bookended by hard landscaping to the south and north providing contrast, whilst drawing people in from Merton High Street.

Creating a destination on the edge of Wandle River ecological corridor is also an objective. Cycle paths will encourage the community to enjoy the trail. Planting also makes reference to the work of William Morris , master of the Arts and Crafts Movement who once ran a textile mill at Merton Abbey on the banks of the river.

Overview

  • Project Name

    High Path Estate Regeneration

  • Location

    High Path Estate, Merton, London

  • Category

    Masterplanning and urban design

  • Landscape Architect

    PRP

  • Client

    Clarion Housing Group

  • Brief

    Clarion appointed PRP to develop a masterplan for the phased regeneration of the estate. Developed in consultation with the local community it has five key objectives: - Re-connecting neighbourhoods: Create a series of traditional streets that link the site beyond its boundaries to the surrounding neighbourhoods connecting High Path to its wider context. - Amenity space for all: A new park for the wider community celebrating High Path as a new place that contributes to the wider neighbourhoods - Placemaking: The creation of distinct characters across the masterplan to offer choice and variety. - Re-thinking the Victorian block: Repair the urban fabric by responding to the site's context and introducing new perimeter blocks along traditional streets. - Linking to the local neighbourhood: Build upon the rich heritage and diverse characters of the surrounding neighbourhoods to add value.

  • Awards

    Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019

Details

  • Project Team

    Masterplanner and Landscape architect: PRP Sustainability and daylight: PRP Structural and Civil Engineer: Ellis and Moore MEP Engineer: Mendick Waring Planning Consultant: Savills

  • Local planning authority or government body

    Merton Council

  • Year Completed

    2034

  • Project Size

    9.5 ha residential, 1 ha non-residential

  • Contract Value

    £350m

  • PRP

    Registered Practice Membership
  • Approximate Map Location

    Location

    High Path Estate, Merton, London

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