Residents to be at the heart of conversation to regenerate Stratford town centre

Residents and businesses will be at the heart of the conversations as Newham Council begins to shape a masterplan for regenerating and rejuvenating the Stratford town centre area.

The Council is working with internationally renowned award-winning Hawkins\Brown Architects to get views that will support a refreshed, co-designed vision for the area.

The masterplan is the first to be produced in more than a decade and is an opportunity to harness the benefits of forthcoming developments to the area in line with Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz’s innovative community wealth building and inclusive economy commitments and the Towards a Better Newham Covid-19 Recovery Strategy, all of which contribute to the health, wellbeing, prosperity and happiness of residents and businesses in a fairer Newham.

Mayor Fiaz, said: “Residents and businesses will be involved in every stage of developing the masterplan and we will work with them so that we are properly utilising the skills, knowledge and experience of those who know Stratford best.

“We will support the development of high streets that deliver essentials for healthy and happy communities. We have six town centres, including Stratford, and 13 local centres, each of which have a vital role to play in providing the social connections and goods and services to support residents’ essential needs. This means moving from not just being centres of business, commerce and transaction, but also being more effective places of community and civic activity where people meet, talk and celebrate.

“We are mapping the social value and civic functions of our town centres to make sure they have the spaces and facilities to serve their local area. Where gaps exist, we are identifying owned buildings which can support communities to thrive and recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.”

Inspired by Paris, town centres will be transformed into ’15-minute neighbourhoods’, enabling people to access all daily needs and essentials within a 15-minute walk or cycle ride.

Whether you live, work, study or simply spend time in and around Stratford town centre, you can join the conversation to shape the masterplan through an online participation portal called Newham Co-Create, that invites consultation on local topics in just a few clicks. The portal will be available until 27 October.

Hawkins\Brown, through their specialist engagement experts, will work with residents, businesses, and a wide variety of local stakeholders to establish a masterplan that will reassert Stratford’s town centre as a focal point for the borough. It is hoped that events in public will be able to take place throughout the autumn in line with social distancing measures still in place.

A 15-year vision will be set out in the masterplan, which will then be consulted on, as well as a clear programme of regeneration delivery to assist with Stratford’s recovery. The plan will cover initiatives aimed at helping those that live, work in the town centre. This includes an Active Spaces project to ensure better use of empty or under-utilised buildings for new and existing economic uses.

Active Spaces will launch later in the summer with a call for privately-owned spaces to come forward alongside an assembled list of Council-owned assets. Funding for refurbishment will be released to successful bidders that have been appraised and can deliver community wealth building benefits for residents. Working with the Greater London Authority, the Council will be providing design, technical and engagement support to the successful bidders who will then make short-term physical improvements to the spaces, allowing them to activate and occupy these spaces for a longer period.

This will establish what their priorities and expectations are from a town centre, which better serves the needs of residents, while at the same time capitalises on Stratford town centre’s proximity to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Westfield Stratford City, the new East Bank cultural quarter, Stratford Station, and the Carpenters Estate.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “Stratford has changed so much over the past decade and it’s vital that we look again at our aspirations for the area and how we can maximise the opportunities and transformation for residents as we recover and reorientate after Covid-19.

“Under my administration, Newham Council will listen to residents and all sections of the community. When I stepped into office in 2018, I promised new and different ways in how we collaborate. Residents are involved every step of the way in our development plans for the borough, helping us shape the future of neighbourhoods so that everyone benefits.”

Heike Neurohr, associate director for Hawkins\Brown, said: “We are excited to be involved in shaping this next chapter for Stratford. We are working to set a framework for development that will bring together historic parts, recent and future development, into one Stratford that delivers social and economic value for Newham’s communities."

Further details on the project can be found on our Stratford Town Centre Masterplan webpage (www.newham.gov.uk/stratfordmasterplan) for more information contact the Stratford Regeneration team on [email protected]

Published: 28 Jul 2020