The Walks, Flintshire Sharp
In 2011, Flintshire County Council commissioned a DTZ-led consortium to develop a regeneration master plan development of Flint Town Centre, creating a once in a generation opportunity to re-plan this key town centre site. The resulting masterplan proposed a range of detailed action plans to strengthen the identity and image of the town, improve connectivity and bring a better housing offer into the heart of Flint.
Halliday Clark was commissioned for all RIBA Stages 0-7 to deliver The Walks; the first phase of homes as part of the SHARP programme, featuring 92 high quality properties including two and three bed houses and one and two bed apartments. 62 of the homes are for affordable rent and 30 properties are social rent homes in the masterplan development.
Central to the regeneration of the 4.2-acre brownfield site was the demolition of the town’s 200-plus 1960s maisonettes. The brief was to replace the maisonettes with homes and spaces that have a clear feeling of purpose and intention, encouraging a sense of belonging and neighbourhood.
The main challenge faced with this project was the build programme. During the large-scale excavation of the former maisonettes, a section of a 13th Century ditch and dyke believed to have been created to protect workers who built the castle in Flint, was uncovered. A six-month archaeological dig had to be carried out by Archaeology Wales to recover the remains before construction could begin. This discovery was further proof of the cultural and historical significance of Flint on both a local and national scale.
The 92 homes were completed in May 2018 and are now fully occupied. For the first time, the housing site has been integrated into the town centre through a wide boulevard called ‘The Walk’, which has helped overcome the physical and perceived negative barriers that existed previously between the town centre and the site.
In 2018, The Walks made the national shortlist as one of eight of the ‘Best housing schemes over 50 units’ at the Awards for Planning Excellence hosted by the Royal Town Planning Institute. The masterplan development also won 2019’s ‘Best Social Housing Development’ at the North Wales LABC Building Excellence Awards. The scheme was also been highly commended in the CLAW Project of the Year Awards (Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales).
Check out a timelapse of the project here: https://vimeo.com/275283914
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