An ambitious vision promoting sustained renewal for an outer London High Street

GLA (prepared as part of our A+U Framework bid)
Team Members:
Jas, Karolina, Kathryn, Victor
AR Urbanism

Like many Outer London High Streets, Hayes Town Centre struggles with a high tenant turn-over and the prevalence of lower value retail units. These challenges predate the Covid pandemic and have been repeatedly exacerbated by planning policy decisions that prioritise car journeys and “big box” retail facilities located on the fringes of the town centre. Consequently, the High Street is dominated by cars and lacks green infrastructure.

Our proposals seek to unpick decades of sub-optimal development by recasting the High Street as the focal point of Hayes’s diverse community; offering more places to access amenities, live, meet friends, exercise, stop and rest, and interact with nature. Our work begun by focusing on the High Street’s natural assets – most notably opening up access to the Grand Union Canal – transforming the area into a local destination.

A significant part of the proposal includes local housing delivery, demonstrating High Streets can provide generous and affordable new homes. A plot area assessment highlights the potential of single storey shop units for mixed use redevelopment. To address viability challenges, the scheme comprises a modular system developed in response to specific site constraints.

Through the development of a range of typologies within standardised modules, our masterplan creates a cost-effective system that is adaptable and flexible, capable of providing a range of homes from Hayes’s diverse communities.  

Our work is underpinned by a belief that High Street’s like Hayes must look beyond an exclusively retail focus. Local centres must offer a diverse range of amenities that encompass community, civic, leisure, and residential functions to become truly resilient.

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