Packington Estate in Islington sets the benchmark for the Prime Minister’s pledge to transform housing estates
Located next to the Regent’s Canal on the eastern edge of Islington, Packington is being redeveloped by the Hyde Group and Rydon to designs by Pollard Thomas Edwards. 791 homes will replace the 538 originally on the site (491 will be available at sub-market rates). The new homes include 135 three, four, five and six bed houses.
The project is seen as an exemplar of estate regeneration with its tenure-blind apartments, a focus on family housing, its location of social-rented homes on the prime canal frontage, and careful integration into its surroundings. Residents were closely involved in the choice of development team and the evolution of the design.
David Gannicott, Hyde’s Group Business Development Director, said: “Packington is testament to what successful partnership working can achieve; providing affordable housing that fully involves residents and revitalises a community.
“We are delighted Packington is being held up as a successful model in this area, following the Prime Minister’s recent announcement to rebuild 100 housing estates.”
The original Packington Estate consisted of a series of concrete slab blocks set in underusedcommunal green space, but is bordered by conservation areas on three sides and on thesouth side by the Regent’s Canal. The new Packington neighbourhood was designed with the following objectives:
• The reintegration of the old estate with the surrounding area by reinstating the pattern of Victorian streets and elegant squares common to Islington • Reprovision of shops and community centre, new commercial and retail premises, canalside workshops • New youth centre and adventure playground • The creation of a socially sustainable and tenure blind neighbourhood, but where all flat cores will house a single type of tenure for ease of management • To exploit the environmental potential of a large scheme through the creation of a district heating scheme • The replacement of under-utilised public and semiprivate space with private gardens for all houses and ground-floor flats, as well as providing all other homes with some private external space with either a terrace or a balcony.
The scheme aims to reintegrate the old estate into the surrounding area by reinstating the pattern of Victorian streets and elegant squares typical to Islington. Towards the borders of the neighbourhood, family houses with private gardens blend seamlessly with the surrounding original housing stock: the inclusion in PTE’s masterplan of a high proportion of proper family houses has been a key factor in the success of the scheme.
The focus of the new neighbourhood is the creation of two new connected squares laid out along the main axis of the estate, which will in turn open up onto a new canalside walk. The scheme also reinstates the historic Union Square, which was partly destroyed in the laying out of the Packington Estate in the 1970s, but remnants of which are still visible. A western terrace has been constructed to match the existing eastern terrace: the result is a Victorian square which appears to have always been intact. Towards the borders of the neighbourhood, houses with private gardens blend seamlessly with the surrounding original housing stock, reconnecting the Packington neighbourhood with the scale and pattern of the surrounding area.
Hyde’s recent report, with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Communities, Estate regeneration - six steps to success, explores this approach more fully, focusing on the Packington Estate as an example of successful estate regeneration.
David Lunts, GLA Executive Director of Housing and Land, said: “The Packington Estate is a shining example of how we can all work together to get everything right, from resident involvement through to building design. In an ever changing city, like London, it’s crucial that we continue to work in partnership to provide much needed, high quality housing.”
Mark Mitchener, Managing Director of Rydon Construction, added: “Packington demonstrates how resident-led consultation is driving the regeneration of this part of Islington into a thriving community of high quality new homes and facilities, as well as providing economic and training opportunities for local people. We are proud to continue this long-standing partnership with Hyde and our delivery partners.”
In 2004 Islington Council took the decision to redevelop the Packington Estate, built in the 1960s, after discovering structural flaws. Following extensive consultation, a stock transfer to The Hyde Group took place in 2006 and redevelopment began in 2007, led by Rydon and designed by architects Pollard Thomas Edwards.