Social housing schemes win top housing design awards
15 September 2006
South London's Angell Town and Oldham's Selwyn Street development received the prestigious Building for Life gold standard award.
Social housing schemes have stolen the limelight in this round of Building for Life standard awards. Angell Town in south London is a brilliant achievement by a committed community and the first entirely social housing scheme to win the gold standard award. Selwyn Street in Oldham sends out an important message to other pathfinder agencies about the standard of development which can be achieved in housing market renewal areas.
A total of five new housing developments were awarded a Standard at the Angell Town Community Festival on 16 September and all the schemes in this round are praised for transforming run-down areas.
Silver awards went to Abbotts Wharf, a pioneering development from an enlightened developer which dealt creatively with an uninspiring plot in Limehouse; Mealhouse Brow, an excellent refurbishment of grade II listed buildings on a very challenging site within Stockport's conservation area; and New River Village, an ambitious scheme that brings a continental feel to the outskirts of north London.
Wayne Hemingway, Building for Life chair, said:
'Social housing schemes have stolen the limelight in this round. The Gold Standard only goes to schemes which score well on environmental impact as well as the other criteria, and Selwyn Street's sustainable features set a new standard for the Pathfinders. Angell Town is a brilliant achievement by a committed community - it's already won no less than 20 industry and design awards.
However, many developers are still missing a trick when it comes to sustainable design: 2006 is the year most of the world woke up to sustainability, and it's time every house builder embraced it too.'
The Building for Life standard is the national standard for design quality in housing and neighbourhoods. It is backed by CABE, the government and the housing industry. Developers now seeking to build on any public land controlled by English Partnerships (6,000 hectares of real estate) must demonstrate their designs will meet the Building for Life standard.