The shortlisted teams have been named in the international contest to masterplan a 704-ha garden city-style development set to provide 9,000 new homes on the edge of Colchester, Essex.

The Tendring and Colchester Borders Garden Community is set to deliver 9,000 homes over the next 20 years as well as employment space, a new country park, university buildings, a rapid transport system and retail, leisure and community facilities.

Organised by Colander for Clarion Housing Group’s development arm, Latimer, the contest aims to find an ‘exemplary masterplanning team’ to deliver a ‘sustainable and inclusive’ vision for the site on the eastern fringe of Colchester.

The five finalist teams feature a mix of established names, such as Grimshaw, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Mikhail Riches, Haworth Tompkins and Farrells, collaborating with smaller names including Office S&M, Jas Bhalla, Grounded Practice and Gbolade Design Studio.

The competition received 30 submissions ranging from ‘well-established firms with international experience and smaller design practices’, to organisations making consortia bids.

The competition’s finalists were all awarded scores of more than 90 per cent by the jury during the stage one evaluation. The jury looked at the entrants’ collaborative approach to the design of a landmark community, which recognises garden city principles.

The proposed new town will be built on the Colchester and Tendring borders and have its own rapid transport system.

Roughly half of the development will be dedicated to open green space.

It is expected to take about two decades to deliver, with the first serviced plots set to be sold to housebuilders from 2025 onwards.

Latimer was named development partner for the project in 2021, which is being backed by local housebuilder Mersea Homes, Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council and Essex County Council.

The scheme also received £135,000 from the Government in May this year.

Clarion Housing Group development director Richard Cook said: ‘We’ve been incredibly impressed by every team and organisation which submitted an entry, and would like to thank them all for their innovative, compelling and inspiring ideas.

The shortlist is as follows:

  • Haworth Tompkins and Kjellander Sjoberg with Periscope, Arup, Michael Pawlyn, Grounded Practice and Connect
  • Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Baumschlager Eberle Architekten and Jas Bhalla with OP-EN, Arup and Soundings
  • Velocity (Tibbalds, Mikhail Riches, Featherstone Young, Petra Marko, Sarah Wigglesworth and Studio Octopi) with BBUK, The Landscape Partnership, Biodiversity by Design, Expedition Engineering and Thomas Matthews
  • Farrells and Office S&M with Exterior Architecture, Sarah Price Landscape, Hoare Lea and Iceni Projects
  • Grimshaw and Gbolade Design Studio with Gross.Max, Bioregional and ECF

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