Greenwich Social Housing

Client: Greenwich Builds/ Royal Borough of Greenwich | Location: London | Size: 230 homes across 11 sites | Status: Batch 1A (16 homes) complete

Awards:  Winner – 2020 EG Property Award, Shortlisted – 2022 Housing Design Award, AJ Architecture Awards – Housing & AJ100

Project Team: Architects – ShedKM, Main Contractor – Elkins Construction Ltd

BCAL are appointed as Landscape Architects for this ground-breaking 100% affordable social housing scheme for Greenwich Builds. The first 11 sites involve over 200 homes, which are all being delivered as modular units, built off-site by Ideal Modular Homes, Mod Pods and Rollalong Ltd

BCAL have worked closely with the team to handle all aspects of the landscape elements of the scheme including representing landscape matters at public consultation, planning committees, design review panels, discharge of planning conditions, tender packages, construction/ as-built packages and site inspection.

Planning History:

The sites all individually respond to London Plan Policy H2: Small Sites and demonstrate how small, underutilised garage sites can be adapted to fulfil housing needs across London and beyond. The new homes all exceed the Nationally Described Space Standards and achieve a betterment to carbon neutral. The schemes were all approved at Planning Committee in Q1 2020.

The scheme in more detail:

The scheme provides for many of the families and individuals most in need of housing in the area and delivers significant improvements to the existing public realm with additional or improved space for play and recreation, for the benefit of new and existing residents alike. All homes are designed to achieve net zero and are built using volumetric modular offsite modern methods of manufacture and utilise timber frame construction.

A key aspiration was to challenge design stereotypes of socially rented housing, focusing on quality and generosity of inside space. Despite the constrained nature of the infill sites, homes have been designed with large, picture windows to maximise natural light. Living areas and bedrooms have been designed with views connecting to the gardens and communal outdoor areas. Window arrangements, tree planting and adjacencies to pavements strike a balance between individual privacy and connections to the street.

Designs maximise private amenity and play space, with front and rear private gardens, as well as new, improved landscaping and lighting. Improved public realm links the houses, which are set back from the main residential road. Materials have been used to create a fresh contemporary presence whilst being sensitive to the surrounding context.

At Strongbow Road, specialist foundation details allowed for the retention of two large mature Hornbeam trees to the front of the site giving a welcoming sense of place to the streetscape. At Bowness Close, privacy is provided with a mixture of gated brick walls to external spaces, trees to the front to screen views in and out and angled windows at first floor level. Pulteney Mews has been activated through a new planted pedestrian priority street, improving new connections with existing facilities in the local neighbourhood.

Union Wharf

Year of Completion: 2017

Client: Essential Living

Project Team: BCA Landscape

Working closely with Essential Living and architects Assael, an extensive new public realm including creekside walkway and terraces was developed in collaboration with the Creekside Trust environmental charity, who are managing the terraces for Essential Living.
A children’s nursery, pocket park and extensive private residential amenity at podium level and 5 separate roof-top terraces make this a family-friendly development.
BCAL worked closely with interior designers Woods Bagot and lighting designers Studio Fractal to create a co-ordinated amenity design inside and outside the buildings.
Extensive green walls, green and brown roofs and the inter-tidal terraces combine with the carefully chosen wildlife-friendly ground level planting to give a major enhancement to the area’s biodiversity.

Vantage Point

Year of Completion: 2016

Client: Essential Living

Project Team: BCA Landscape

Working closely with Essential Living, Architects GRID and interior designers Woods Bagot, the top of the building was transformed into a communal amenity facility with a wide range of indoor and outdoor opportunities for work, rest and play to help foster a sense of community and collective endeavor.

Externally there are growing areas, an outdoor kitchen, extensive seating including loungers and a range of planting habitats which creates a sheltered haven for people and wildlife. Subtle lighting extends the period of use into the evenings and external materials compliment the architecture and interiors.

Spaces were designed to be sub-divided for private exclusive hire and wi-fi boosters and power were provided to allow use of lap-tops for working from home.

North Bank East

Design Team: BCA Landscape, ShedKM, Urban Splash

Awards: Shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2021

Year of completion: 2016 – ongoing


Northbank is a mixed typology and tenure residential-led quarter, with local community uses, offering a bespoke, more tranquil living environment. A quarter offering city living with ‘space to breathe’, ‘off the beaten track’, with access to the waters-edge and a short walk away from other quarters and world destinations.

A new waterside residential quarter featuring 347 pioneering, modern, modular homes is coming to Wirral Waters. Urban Splash developers and architects Shed KM are bringing their factory-built modular home HOUSE to Merseyside for the first time.

BCAL have designed and delivered advanced landscape infrastructure works, including a new adoptable cycleway and street tree planting along the Dock Road. They have also designed and submitted for planning a design vision for a new Community Park and additional Dockside landscape works to compliment a series of new phased residential developments along the Northbank East Float.

“Working in this joint venture with House by Urban Splash we will transform East Float into a contemporary waterside community for anyone looking to make Wirral Waters their home. Together with the new public realm, that includes new pocket parks and dockside walkways, these innovative new homes from Urban Splash will help create a new exciting, diverse and healthy community.” – Richard Mawdlsey
Director of Development for Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters

St. Mary’s Quarter, Elephant Park, London 

Budget: £4.7m (across multiple phases)

Project Team: BCA Landscape, John McAslam, AFL, Squire + Partners, Axis, Robert bird Group, TUV-SUD, AKT, URS, DP9

Lend Lease’s ‘One The Elephant’ (OTE) scheme was the first phase of ‘Elephant Park’ the UK’s first Climate Positive Development, providing 3,000 homes,  1,200 new trees and an energy hub giving net zero carbon heat and hot water to all homes.

OTE then became the first phase of the St Mary’s Quarter project for Southwark Council, which expanded to include the re-modelling of St Mary’s Park and the adjacent ‘Uncle’ PRS scheme in Newington Butts for developers Realstar, together with The Castle Leisure Centre and Southwark Playhouse Theatre.

The resulting integrated new public realm project across a variety of public and private areas in various ownerships, provided an extensive new and improved green infrastructure which included green walls (irrigated from water harvested in blue roof areas), jet plazas and mirror pool water features, balancing pond (fed by recycled surface water), a major new play area and a number of semi-private roof gardens including allotments for the new residential developments.

BCAL worked closely with the Architects (Squire and Partners, John Mc Aslan, Space +Place, and Axis/Sheppard Robson), the Southwark Borough engineers and TFL to craft a carefully coordinated pedestrian and cyclist friendly public realm which largely excludes vehicles and provides a major boost to the health and well-being of local residents.

New play areas, fountains, ponds, mirror pools, roof gardens, blue roof – SUDS system, green wall and extensive public seating are provided under groves of mature pine trees.

Blackhorse Mills, Walthamstow London

Budget: £3.3m

Project Team: BCA Landscape, ASSAEL

Blackhorse Mills is L&G’s flagship Build-to-Rent scheme of 479 new homes on the edge of the SSSI Walthamstow Wetlands. 1 Hectare of public realm and extensive private amenity on roof gardens, terraces, podiums and balconies with amazing views over the Lee Valley make this PRS scheme an extremely desirable place to live and visit.

Facilities include a heated swimming pool, tennis and shuffle-board courts, outdoor barbecue, children’s play area, 197 new trees and extensive new habitats all set in a virtually car –free, pet-friendly development.

BCAL have been involved from inception to completion, working closely with L&G, Architects Assael and Interior Designers Lister + lister.

“The design team has consolidated our brief into a development which meets the demands of today’s aspirationals, who are renting the whole building, the grounds, the service and the lifestyle- not just their apartment- and opens up the wetlands for the benefit of residents and the wider public” – Dan Batterton, Fund manager, BTR Legal & General