Steeped in history and loved by locals, the redevelopment of the old Somerdale Cadbury’s Factory has picked up two regional Royal Town Planning Institute Awards.
Our integrated planning, landscape and design teams have spent the last seven years delivering this high-quality thriving new community with a valuable legacy for Taylor Wimpey, a feat which deserves recognition given the site’s past.
Following the closure of Cadbury’s operations at Keynsham in 2010, the site became sensitive and politically charged, with the loss of jobs and history provoking uproar. The redevelopment wasn’t without its challenges. The 90 hectare brownfield site faced multiple layers of complex constraints including: over 50% of the site situated within the green belt; a Roman Town found buried under part of the site; iconic factory buildings; only one suitable access point; a variety of environmental and ecological constraints including an important river corridor; and extensive site contamination. Despite this, our team gained planning permission just two years after project inception.
Creating a high-quality and sustainable place to live, work and play, the new development provides over 700 homes and retirement apartments (The Chocolate Quarter), a care home, a new sports club and conference centre (Somerdale Pavilion), primary school and retail and office space.
Simon Prescott, Planning Partner said: “This project is one that is extremely close to all of our hearts in the Bristol office. Picking up two regional RTPI awards is testament to this but perhaps what is most important to us is seeing how much this new community is enjoyed by residents, workers and visitors, highlighting the importance and impact that a well-planned and designed development can have, particularly on such a historic and well-loved site.”
“Town planners are often criticised, but anybody walking around Somerdale today can see the quality of place that can be achieved with some real ambition and the public and private sector working closely together. It is fantastic that the RTPI have recognised this.”
James deHavilland, Masterplanning Partner, who has worked on the project since its inception added: “For me, the collaborative public involvement exercise and iterative design process with Taylor Wimpey, stakeholders and local people, have played a huge role in the creation of an exemplar new walkable, sustainable community.
“By creating character areas that build on the existing identity and local character, we delivered a variety of house typologies, whilst also enabled the site to be realised in three phases. It’s great to win these awards and really exciting to see the site growing into just what we imagined: an exciting, accessible and healthy neighbourhood.”
Somerdale has won the ‘RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence’ category as well as being awarded the overall winner of the RTPI South West Awards. It has now been entered in the national RTPI Awards of Excellence in 2020.
Images: Robert Greshoff
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