The project's purpose was to replace a 1970s social housing estate block suffering from lack of social space, derelict communal areas, litter and crime associated with bridges, walkways and dark unsurveilled areas, which was known as a 'sink estate'. Design team selection by the wholly resident group, the Angell Town Community Project (ATCP) was through competitive interview, portfolios and references, and their involvement was a key element in the success of the project.
Clear briefing was developed according to a draft masterplan, and design guidelines covered issues from space standards to energy efficiency standards and layout. The lead designers established a good relationship with the local community which proved to be invaluable in reaching design solutions which fulfilled both the residents' aspirations and the funding requirements. Alternative layouts and proposals, largely concerned with the internal arrangements of buildings, were discussed in an informal setting through a series of structured meetings at public consultation stage, and were refined as part of the process. The basic layout was constrained by the site limitations and was established at outset.
Extensive resident involvement was an important part of the redevelopment from inception through to briefing - high levels of attendance featured throughout the process, and was key to establishing a positive working relationship between designers and residents, which later overcame obstacles such as objections at planning stage. A series of open days, one-day events, exhibitions, presentations, and sports days were initiated by the ATCP and involved a wide range of interest groups. Specific groups involved in the participation or consultation process include Lambeth Housing Department, Youth Groups, Pensioners' Clubs, the Police and local traders. A 'Benchmark House', constructed on site to the designs discussed in consultation stages, gave residents the opportunity to give direct comments and feedback to the designers. Feedback was very favourable with a positive end result for all involved.
Layout plans and aerial photographs were provided for planning purposes showing the phasing and the site in its wider context, in addition to the usual floor plans and details for the buildings. Full permission was granted subject to usual standard conditions.