HRH Prince Charles has launched in Islington an excellent report by his Foundation for Building Community on making development popular, Housing Communities: what people want. This identifies principles that WLR is keen to emulate as part of the housing element of the project in Windsor.
The foundation found clear themes emerging from their workshops with local people:
The evidence from interviews and conclusions, from spontaneous answers and the questionnaire is remarkably consistent and clear. People want development that makes it easy and pleasant to walk about, that respects the historic form and style, contains green space and constrains traffic that maintains a strong sense of place. People prefer streets, blocks and squares to large and tall buildings. Mixed use and mixed communities are valued by most.
Particularly relevant to WLR’s proposals to restore Alexandra Gardens and the riverside area more generally is:
Perhaps the best conclusion to draw from the evidence is that people do very strongly want some green space but they want it to be well defined (a park, a square, whatever is appropriate), leaving most of them free to live in a more conventional urban form which also addresses peoples’ dislike for sprawl. The desire for green space would appear to need to be aligned to all the other strong preferences (or dislikes) emerging from the evidence rather than contradicting them.
Combining improved green space with new homes and a much better rail service — making it all beautiful as well as sustainable — is what WLR in Windsor is all about.
Hat tip: Harry Phibbs