Redesigning and transforming Romford is at the heart of Havering's £3 billion regeneration plans. Kevin Logan, the man overseeing the drawing up of the town's masterplan, shares his vision and approach to the job. Noella Pio Kivlehan reports
The ‘countable noun’ for a masterplan, according to the Collins English Dictionary, is: “A clever plan intended to help someone succeed in a very difficult or important task.”
This precisely sums up the challenge ahead for Kevin Logan and his team at Maccreanor Lavington, in producing the masterplan for Romford.
Appointed in November, Havering Council put its faith in the firm to design, with its full input, the borough’s civic and capital centre – the business and retail heart of Havering with over 1,000 years of history. Along with Londonbased Maccreanor others involved are Lavington Architects, architect and design company make : good, which will be carrying out the public consultation, and consultants GVA , which became part of Avison Young, who took over the company in November.
By starting its major tranche of regeneration now, Havering is realising its ambitions to match other London borough’s that have seen years of rebuilding.
And Havering is determined to make an entrance on the regeneration stage
JEWEL IN THE CROWN
The three JVs carrying out the work across the borough with the council and were appointed between November 2017 and March 2018, are: Notting Hill Genesis for Rainham and Beam Park; First Base, and Savills Investment Management on Bridge Close, Romford, and Wates Residential for the 12 estates - the transformation of a dozen council estates throughout Havering.
But, the jewel in the crown will undoubtedly be Romford’s revival. And the beginnings of that revival is the masterplan, with the aim that it is delivered by December 2019.
“To me, the masterplan is a starting point, a vision, a picture of Romford in the future, that inspires people, but is grounded in commercial reality, attracting investment and the support of council members and the public,” says David Covill, the council’s regeneration and development consultant.
For Neil Stubbings, Havering’s director of regeneration, integrating the two JVs - the 12 estates, and Bridge Close - that are active fully or partly in the Romford masterplan area, is crucial to what is being planned.
“Those two JVs came before we started work on the masterplan. But, because the council is working with each of them, we have made sure each of the developer’s and architect’s practices involved were completely aware of the masterplanning, so they will complement each other,” says Stubbings.
Leading the Romford masterplan for Maccreanor Lavington – a company with a noted history having been involved with schemes such as likes of Southwark’s Canada Water is its associate director Kevin Logan.
Logan says what attracted his company to tender was Romford’s strategic position. “Romford has an awful lot going for it. It is in an interesting strategic position: it’s in London, but it’s on the edge of London, but equally it’s on the edge of the county of Essex. And then [the Elizabeth line] goes through it and beyond into Essex – so it has this amazing relationship to two hinterlands – one being the capital, the other being the county.”
Consultation on how the future of Romford will look over the next few decades got under way in January.