A proposal has been developed by several architects in Friends of the Happy Man Tree which will allow the tree to be retained and all the intended social and affordable housing to be built.
Hackney Council's new local plan states that, 'All development proposals must retain and protect existing trees of amenity value, i.e. those that have interest biologically, aesthetically or culturally.' The Happy Man Tree is estimated to be 150 years old and a category A tree which has significant value to the local community.
This design shows that the same number of units can be built and the Happy Man Tree can be retained. The main redesign comes in Phase 3B so would not delay the first phase (Phase 3A). This option would see the south-west corner of block A1 removed and replaced by a cafe terrace facing the Happy Man Tree. Units lost in A1 would be replaced in blocks B4 and B5.
Watch this short film about the proposal.
Our proposals enhance the scheme and add value in a number of ways:
Retaining the tree adds value since it is important to many local Woodberry Down residents.
This option will bring more sunlight into the private Podium Courtyard garden and give the users a view of the canopy of the Happy Man Tree.
This design creates a new courtyard at street level on Woodberry Grove and a community space and cafe looking out to the tree and the town square to be built in Phase 4.
This option offers the possibility of an entrance to the energy centre and would provide more daylight to the new centre.
This option breaks up the long straight façade of Woodberry Grove currently proposed by Berkeley Homes.
Phase 4 proposes a town square on the west side of Woodberry Grove and a tall 20 storey tower is proposed on corner of Woodberry Grove and Seven Sister’s Road. This option will create an amenity space on the east side to complement the town square and link the open space either side of Woodberry Grove.
This option loses affordable units at the south end of A1 but replaces both social housing and intermediate shared ownership housing by adding extra storeys to B4 and B5 on the south side of Phase 3.
Our proposals for B4 and B5 are higher than the 2013 masterplan; however, Berkeley Homes have already breached the masterplan within the current planning application. By replacing the units lost in Phase 3A during Phase 3B, significant redesigns of Phase 3A, which could cause delay, will be unnecessary.
This option (removal of the south end of A1) has already been discussed in principle during earlier considerations of alternative proposals.
The community space proposed will link the town square, the Happy Man Tree and the street level Courtyard and is likely to be more popular than the standard retail space offered in the current design.