Water Colour

Redhill, Surrey


The Water Colour development adjoins Merstham, a residential suburb south west of Redhill town centre in Surrey.  Constructed on a former sand extraction and processing facility, the scheme exploits the low-lying, level site with two existing lagoons. The site is well defined: the boundary of the London green belt lies on the eastern and southern perimeter; open countryside and the Mercers Country Park lie to the south east; and to the west the site is bounded by the embankment of the London to Brighton mainline railway.

The developer, Linden Homes South East, commissioned a masterplan, design and architectural services from John Thompson and Partners, and landscape analysis from studio engleback.  Extensive community involvement at an early stage informed the scheme’s concept and design. The focus of the design was existing water courses and the lagoons, legacies of the site’s former use. These have been enhanced by re-opening a culverted brook and creation of new narrow canals and reed beds threading across the site.

A series of ‘character areas’ are under construction, framed by these unique landscape features.  These will provide distinct but interconnected neighbourhood areas.

On completion in 2012, the scheme will provide 523 new homes in a mix of accommodation sizes which were specified by the local authority following assessment of housing needs. Most will be privately owned and others managed by a housing association. Thirty per cent – 157 homes – are intended for purchase by key workers. The development is tenure-blind.