Sutton Estate receives planning consent

HTA and Clarion Housing Group secures planning permission to improve homes and public spaces on the Sutton Estate

HTA and Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing, have been granted planning permission by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for extensive work to modernise existing homes and improve public spaces on the Sutton Estate in the heart of the borough.  

Plans for the estate, which was built more than 100 years ago, have been developed following extensive consultation with residents and local stakeholders. Our aim is to secure the legacy of the estate, ensuring the history, stories and beauty of these historic buildings can be enjoyed for generations to come, fitting new to the old in a sympathetic way. The proposals include extensive landscape transformation of the entire estate.

We hosted four monthly design workshops with the Residents’ Steering Group conducted via Zoom to seek feedback on the emerging landscape and refurbishment designs. Regular Design Updates were prepared and we led a tour of the estate with external stakeholders. The community engagement process culminated in an outdoor cinema exhibition on the estate once lockdown measures were lifted.

Clarion’s multi-million pound investment programme will see four empty blocks refurbished and brought back into use, with a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom flats designed to match the needs of local residents. This work will deliver 81 new social rented, sustainable homes, many of which will have balconies or terraces providing private outdoor space.

Residents in the remaining 303 flats on the estate will benefit from an extensive programme of upgrades including new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as improvements to communal areas, door entry systems and lifts.

Green spaces, play facilities and external community facilities will also be upgraded, providing places for residents to socialise and relax. The plans also include a new wildlife-friendly space at the heart of the estate with seating, alongside places for residents to grow flowers and fruit.

A play trail will weave through the estate, and areas between building entrances will become people-friendly shared spaces with new trees and attractive planting, as well as improved bin and bike storage. All of the new homes will be for social rent and priority will be given to residents currently living on the estate. There will be no homes for private sale.

Work on site is expected to start in late spring 2021 once a contractor has been appointed. HTA’s architecture, heritage, landscape, sustainability and communication design disciplines have collaborated together on this refurbishment project.

Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, said: 

“For over a century, the Sutton Estate has been at the heart of the community in Kensington and Chelsea. We are delighted to have secured planning permission to enable us to modernise the existing homes and the estate as a whole, providing high quality and sustainable homes to benefit not just today’s residents but future generations. Our plans will deliver 81 new social rented homes and we look forward to continuing our work with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to help address the borough’s shortage of much-needed affordable housing.”

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