This is one of the most significant regeneration projects to have taken place in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement. The design and planning of a new town centre has not been undertaken in recent times and represents one of the most ambitious programmes to transform a problematic urban area.
The project has resulted in a strategic, long-term spatial plan that will bring about transformation in a highly deprived area. A thorough understanding of the site resulted in innovative design responses. A SuDS (sustainable urban drainage solution) strategy uses the steepness of a park area to capture water before it joins the drainage system, mitigating flooding.
Consultation was key, and the people of Colin were involved in every step of the development of this landscape-led masterplan.
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Paul Hogarth Company
Department for Communities (formerly Department for Social Development);
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Highly commended LI Awards 2016
Phase 1 to be completed by 2018
In June 2014 the Department for Social Development, working in partnership with Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and the Strategic
The Terms of Reference were to:
Landscape practice: The Paul Hogarth Company; client: Department for Communities (formerly Department for Social Development); client partners: Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, Strategic Investment Board; architect: Hall McKnight; planning consultant: Strategic Planning, environmental consultant/ quantity surveyor/ engineering consultant: WYG; traffic/ transportation consultant: JMP; social/ economic sustainability consultant: Sorhill Advocates; arboriculturalist: Philip Blackstock; archaeology consultant: Gahan and Long; peer review: Allies and Morrison Architects; project management and masterplanning: The Paul Hogarth Company
Colin is the relatively new name for a large urban area of south west Belfast. Built between the 1960s and 2000s, the area comprises the neighbourhoods of Poleglass, Lagmore, Twinbrook and Kilwee which together have a combined population of around 25,000.
The site to the west of the Stewartstown Road comprises a large area of green open space which rises steeply to the residential estate of Poleglass. This area is characterised by open spaces of mown grass and structured blocks of mixed deciduous woodland. To the south is Laurel Glen, a steep sided ravine clothed in mature woodland, while to the east are a number of buildings set within large car parks including shops, a health centre, credit union, pub and the local branch of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. To the south east, the site extends to Twinbrook and includes an expanse of grass land either side of Derriaghy River.
This project has resulted in a strategic, long term spatial plan that will bring about transformation in a highly deprived area. A thorough understanding
Existing topography and water courses contribute to flooding during severe rain events. Mitigating SuDS measures are designed into the Park, capturing water prior to joining the existing drainage system. It’s geometry suits the steep topography allowing for a series of passive and active spaces accessed by a network of ramps and steps.
The Masterplan was formulated through a genuine collaborative approach involving many stakeholders. Central was the requirement to lodge an application for outline planning permission, important in terms of sustaining confidence within the community. Outline planning permission was granted in June 2016 with no objections and represents the first ‘town centre’ approval in Northern Ireland.