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Woodford Garden Village, Cheshire

THE CHALLENGE

As one of the most historic airfields to contribute towards British aeronautical dominance, Woodford Aerodrome has been celebrated and revered throughout its operational lifespan. This is one of the largest Brownfield sites in the North of England at over 500 acres, and as such was littered with hardstanding and steelworks.

Home to BAE Systems until 2011, Woodford was responsible for the production of the Lancaster Bomber, Vulcan Bomber and Nimrod patrol aircraft.

Initially purchased by JCB, the land was eventually bought by Harrow Estates in 2013, who then began working with Redrow to develop the site into a pioneering Garden Village scheme. With support from Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and driven by a severe under-supply of high quality housing, Redrow were tasked with maximising the potential of this site whilst celebrating airfield’s historic roots.

THE SOLUTION

As Redrow’s specialist master planning and regeneration partner, Harrow Estates began work to prepare the groundwork before construction could begin. A sizeable proportion of the steelworks has to be demolished to allow access to the site for construction vehicles, and work also began on clearing runways for the first phase of the development. Large amounts of the old runways have been recycled and reused and are now embedded into the fabric of the current development.

Support and trunk roads used by aircrews throughout the history of the site are currently allowing vehicles to easily access the different parts of the airfield that require work in stages.

Redrow recognised the potential of this site for a Garden Village scheme, which harks back to a 20thcentury concept. The idea is to design and build around 1000 homes around wide, green open spaces and integrate all amenities within that community. Letchworth and Welwyn Garden Cities were both designed on these principles, and now Redrow had access to a site where they could incorporate these design principles into a modern development.

A host of local amenities including schools, healthcare, retail, parks, sports facilities and pubs will sit neatly around the proposed homes, which range from apartments to 5 bedroom luxury homes. Phase one of construction is currently underway and the show village was opened in the summer of 2016.