Harvesters Way in Wester Hailes had been dominated by 1970s multi-storey blocks but when they were demolished in 1994, the six-acre brownfield site remained vacant for the next 20 years. The new development created 40 three-bedroom townhouses with gardens and 143 one, two and three-bedroom flats arranged in four- and six-storey blocks. Forty-seven homes were for affordable rent, 62 were for midmarket rent and 74 were for shared equity sale.
The site was close to existing homes, a shopping centre and railway line, so needed careful planning regarding site security and public safety. We worked closely with the rail authorities before and during construction to meet their safety requirements.
During the design phase, the local community had the opportunity to provide feedback at meetings, community council presentations and a public open day at the Wester Hailes Library. This feedback was built into the design process to ensure that the new development met the needs of the local community and new residents in the area.
We followed ‘Designing Streets’ principles to create people-friendly, landscaped spaces and connections between the new and existing buildings which catered for both people and vehicles. The new housing followed the contemporary design of the successful earlier phases, adapted to take account of the nearby business centre and healthy living centre.
The new blocks were arranged in squares set around private landscaped courtyards, typically with four-storeys of flats at each corner linked by three-storey family homes. This created a varied and active streetscape with entrances to ground floor houses and flats, private gardens and feature planting. The multi-functional courtyards included private car parking, communal gardens and areas for children to play.