Plans begin for sustainable community in Chichester
John Thompson & Partners has been appointed to work on proposals to transform the former Graylingwell hospital site in Chichester into one of the UK's most environmentally friendly mixed-use communities. Site owner English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency, created an aspirational brief imposing very high standards and objectives for the site. Through a competitive quality and price bid process, Linden Homes and Downland Housing Association were selected as joint developers, with international architects and urbanists John Thompson & Partners, to transform the area providing around 850 new homes and extensive community uses.
A large-scale community planning event held last month, involving almost 400 key stakeholders and members of the public, kick-started the design process to develop the masterplan. The project draws on architects specialising in sustainable design at John Thompson & Partners and Joachim Eble Architektur of Tubingen in Germany, along with conversion specialists Gillespie Yunnie Architects. The development at Graylingwell will be net zero carbon, making it one of the first major carbon neutral developments in the UK. It will incorporate high sustainability standards that will reduce energy consumption, water and waste. The 36ha site could provide up to 850 homes of which 40 per cent will be affordable, including both social rented and shared ownership. Plans for the site could also include commercial and community facilities, including the converted Chapel, artists’ studios, gallery space, offices and a café/restaurant.
Graylingwell Hospital was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, one of the last great Gothic Revivalists and Architect of St. Saviour’s Church, Southwark (now Southwark Cathedral) and the Royal College of Music. Key buildings, which date from the late nineteenth century, will be renovated and preserved including a Grade II listed farmhouse and the chapel dating from around 1890. The hospital is set within mature landscaped grounds and the new development will retain much of the existing landscape and mature specimen trees.