Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd was employed by Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd in 2006 to master plan and design the buildings for this riverside site in Purfleet, Essex, which offers views across the Thames to south London. Planning was submitted in August 2007 and reserved matters for the first 502 flats was granted in July 2008.
The Scheme aspires to create an exemplar Thames Gateway mixed use development, including a welcoming and easily accessible riverside public walkway, public and private amenity spaces, contemporary residential accommodation, and some commercial uses suitable to this location on both the Thames riverside walk and near to Purfleet’s railway station and future Purfleet Centre proposals.
Fundamental to the design concept are the permeability of site – of light, air and views as well as pedestrian and vehicular circulation through site and pedestrian connections to the surroundings – from Purfleet Station to the riverside.
Public open space is 25% of the site providing a riverside linear park and walkway which widens in three locations to larger areas, each with a different character.
The scheme comprises twenty-four residential buildings containing 659 flats above the flood plain, comprised of one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments, a riverside walk, landscaped gardens, off-street car parking for residents and on- street parking for visitors, and approximately 1,321m2 gross ground floor commercial units at key locations on site.
The residential buildings range in height from three to eighteen storeys. The flat mix will be approximately 73 (11.1%) one bedroom, 554 (84.0%) are two bedroom, and 32 (4.9%) are three bedroom flats. The layouts have been designed with a flexibility that can allow specific pairs of adjacent apartments to be built as either a pair of two bedroom flats or a one and three bedroom flat. 30% of these units will be offered as affordable housing units rented and sold through a Registered Social Landlord (RSL); 15% affordable rented and 15% shared ownership. There is no external architectural differentiation between the affordable flats, shared or single ownership.
Wimpey sold the site with planning permission in 2008 to the government’s Thurrock Thames Gateway Urban Development Corporation. No development has taken place.