Hines Fort Halstead

Fort Halstead is a brownfield site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Green Belt, Kent, formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence. ZZA were commissioned by Hines to facilitate an exemplary sustainable regeneration.

Particular challenges related to essential site characteristics. As a defence establishment, people who worked there weren't allowed to discuss it, and people who didn't weren't allowed to visit. Its position on a hill behind a screen of trees, also kept Fort Halstead's extent of existing and mostly obsolete infrastructure hidden. The sensitive context comprises an array of low density dispersed small settlements, interspersed by rural land, with limited access, coupled with zoning for employment use.

Drawing on international best practice, ZZA worked with the project team to build a proposition for a walkable, multi-generational, mixed income development, accommodating live, work and play. We worked methodically and responsively with local parties, using interviews, workshops and exhibitions to marshal and distil a wide range of views from neighbours, children, teens, young old, old old, local business and service providers, to inform a shared vision. A major strand involved guidance on physical translation of the strategic brief in the evolving masterplan and design charettes.