Shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Best Large Development’ category at the National Affordable Housing Awards 2010, Catalyst’s Kensal Green site was previously occupied by a builder’s yard. Now it has been transformed to provide 125 new homes across three tenures, with 11 Affordable Artist studios.
As the site is split across two London boroughs the process of getting the development underway faced a number of unusual challenges, including two separate planning applications – one for each borough. Despite the complexity of the planning process, Hester Architects Ltd achieved planning approval at the first attempt with both Boroughs, and managed to negotiate with two sets of planning officers, urban designers etc. often with opposing views and policy drivers. The process was further complicated by local elections which resulted in a change of administration in both Boroughs.