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May 1, 2024

Planning Awards shortlists

We are thrilled that both Sunspot and the Jaywick Sands Place Plan have been shortlisted for the Planning Awards 2024. Sunspot in the category for best use of brownfield land in placemaking and the Place Plan for the award for planning to address climate change.

The awards highlight exceptional contributions across varied planning and placemaking sectors, acknowledging excellence in a range of disciplines - so we are delighted to have had our two projects for Tendring District Council selected, both of which designed to bring real benefits to the community of Jaywick Sands.

The winners are due to be announced in June.

March 25, 2024

Jaywick Sands Place Plan shortlisted for the Pineapples

We are really pleased that the Jaywick Sands Place Plan, the regeneration and flood defence strategy we have developed for Tendring District Council, has been shortlisted in the Climate Resilience category for the Pineapples Awards, The Developer's fantastic awards scheme.

The Pineapples celebrate the best in placemaking and place-led initiatives, with a commitment to recognising projects that make a positive social, environmental and economic impact. The winners will be announced in May.

February 22, 2024

Gt Yarmouth Design Code adopted

Our new Design Code for the borough of Great Yarmouth has been adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document by the Council. One of the first authority-wide design codes to have been formally adopted, and the first to cover both urban and rural areas in a single code, we are delighted with the positive feedback that the Design Code has had through the consultation and adoption process.

The Great Yarmouth Design Code is intended to improve the quality and, most importantly, consistency of design across the area. It applies to all scales of development, from large housing sites to infill projects within existing neighbourhoods. The Design Code identifies a range of character areas and development types, and puts in place specific design code requirements for each type. Alongside this, authority-wide code requirements for aspects of design such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity, sustainable drainage and building details are put in place.

The Design Code is now a material planning consideration and we are discussing with the Council how to potentially incorporate it into the emerging new Local Plan.

January 28, 2024

Sunspot shortlisted and highly commended for MacEwen Award

Sunspot, our workspace project in Jaywick Sands, is one of only 3 highly commended projects for the RIBA MacEwen Award, which celebrates ‘architecture for the common good’ – projects which demonstrate a clear sense of social purpose. We’re honoured and delighted to be considered for this award, which celebrates the reason we have our practice - to make a difference in communities and bring joy and opportunities to everyday life.

"It was HAT Projects’ enterprise and skill in fostering the conditions for the project that particularly impressed the MacEwen Award jury. They praised the optimism and confidence it exudes."

The jury were “especially impressed by the ‘ground-up’ nature of a project rooted in consultation and realised through careful navigation of local sensitivities,” commenting that HAT “succeeded against the odds, winning funding and the support of residents and delivering a superb outcome.”

The project is the result of hard work from the whole team, with thanks to our client Tendring District Council as well as support from Essex County Council.

January 17, 2024

Colchester City Centre Masterplan adopted

We are delighted that the Colchester City Centre Masterplan was adopted earlier this week by Colchester City Council, following extensive public consultation last year. We developed the masterplan in collaboration with We Made That, PRD, Steer and Authentic Futures and it sets out an ambitious vision for a sustainable city centre with more homes, workplaces, culture, leisure and retail as well as a transformation of the public realm and setting of important heritage assets such as the Roman Wall.

Alongside collaboratively developing the strategic approach, we were responsible for the site-specific development frameworks for a range of sites allocated in the Local Plan, including Britannia Yard, Vineyard Gate and the former bus station site. We also developed strategies for important public realm spaces and streetscape areas including the High Street and Southway. A focus of the masterplan is reconnecting the city centre better with its surrounding neighbourhoods, particularly to the south, and creating inspiring and welcoming public spaces alongside the Roman Wall wherever possible.

Councillor David King, Leader of Colchester City Council, has commented that “Colchester's City Centre Masterplan represents an exciting opportunity to reimagine the heart of our city. It can be thought of as a blueprint that will help guide future development and inform regeneration already underway in the city centre."

The full masterplan can be read via Colchester City Council’s website and is now an adopted Supplementary Planning Document, making it a material consideration in the determination of planning applications for the city centre area.

December 26, 2023

Sunspot one of Observer's 'Five best projects of 2023'

We are very proud to have Sunspot picked among Observer architecture critic Rowan Moore's 'Five best projects of 2023', describing Sunspot as "a case of doing a lot with a little, a robust and playful structure that brings much-needed employment to Jaywick Sands, Essex. It's a new landmark for the resort, with the improvisational spirit of its pioneers."

We believe that all communities deserve new buildings that are uplifting, joyful and a source of local pride. It is a depressing fact that this is not often the case, and particularly rare, sadly, in this part of the world. Three out of the five projects on the list are in London, and none of them are for public sector clients - the fifth, the only other regional project, is a folly for the Rothschilds.

So we are really happy for the community in Jaywick Sands, and for Tendring Council, our client. We persist in believing that design really does matter, and that lowest common denominator buildings are neither good value for money in the short term, nor result in long term rewards for their communities. If you agree, we want to work with you.

November 20, 2023

Jaywick Sands Place Plan published for consultation

Community consultation has opened today on the draft Jaywick Sands Place Plan. This is a major piece of work looking at the long-term future of this extraordinary community and its challenges.

We have spent a lot of time talking to people who live in Jaywick Sands, both informally and in a big consultation last year; on research; in dialogue with the Environment Agency over the critical issue of flood defences, and doing tough systems thinking around tackling the blight caused by dereliction and rogue landlords. The plan we have developed for Tendring District Council includes:

  • New flood defences integrated with a major seafront public realm strategy, that will protect Jaywick Sands for the next 100 years and help grow the visitor economy drawn by the amazing sandy beach
  • A strategy for addressing the dereliction and blight caused by abandoned and vacant plots
  • Public realm and accessibility/connectivity improvements
  • A land use framework for the community as a whole, setting out where additional business space, community services and homes should be located.

This is a fascinating project which deals with the very critical issues of coastal adaptation, tidal flood risk, climate and the intersection with poverty. If the response is positive and this goes forward to adoption, it is just the start of the work needed to attract funding and deliver.

Have a look at the public-facing survey to find out more, or visit Tendring District Council's dedicated webpage to download the whole plan. And we will have a number of consultation events over the next few weeks, so if you want to chat, pop down.

November 16, 2023

Lowestoft Town Hall wins planning

We are thrilled to have received planning and listed building consent for our project at Lowestoft Town Hall. The site has seen a town hall on it for centuries in various forms, but since 2017 the current incarnation, a Victorian set-piece, has been unused and sadly fallen into significant disrepair.

With this latest milestone, we are fully on track for restoring it to its rightful place at the heart of the community, and completing its urban block to make a beautiful and welcoming civic hub for the community.

September 26, 2023

Lowestoft Town Hall awarded NHLF funding

Our project to restore and extend Lowestoft Town Hall has been awarded £3.2m grant funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This fantastic support will enable the currently vacant Grade II listed building to be returned to its rightful civic role by becoming home to Lowestoft Town Council and the registry office, and a venue for civil ceremonies and community events.

With a diverse mixed-use program, the project will restore the building’s public presence through restoration of the Victorian frontage and set-piece Council Chamber. The Town Hall will become a hub for local heritage with displays about the local area as well as community arts activity, and extensions that complete the Town Hall’s urban block will house an event hall, co-working and other facilities, set around a new courtyard garden. The works will make the building fully accessible and will significantly reduce its carbon footprint through insulation and energy efficient systems.

We are excited to continue the next phase of work for this brilliant project, working with Richard Griffiths Architects as conservation specialists; Momentum Engineering and Max Fordham. Read more about it on our project page.

September 26, 2023

Sunspot opens in Jaywick Sands

Sunspot has opened! Our landmark project in Jaywick Sands celebrated completion with a wonderful community event on Saturday, with local bands, fairground rides, climbing wall and many of the new tenants showcasing their businesses to the community.

The Sunspot includes affordable business units, covered market, café, public toilets and meeting rooms alongside a community garden, bus shelter and event space. Commissioned by Tendring District Council, the project creates a new landmark for Jaywick Sands, generating jobs and local services in a community which has experienced severe deprivation for decades. The building has a distinctive geometric design and graphic colour scheme, and has been designed as a ‘long meanwhile’ project that can be disassembled and re-erected, or the elements reused and recycled, if the site is redeveloped as part of wider long-term regeneration.

Our director Hana Loftus said “Completing the Sunspot is a milestone in the regeneration of Jaywick Sands. We developed the original business case and have been involved in the whole process through to marketing, letting and opening the building. We hope the design expresses the joy and originality of Jaywick Sand – a place that is unique in its architecture, its history and its sense of community.

Lee Heley, Corporate Director for Place & Economy at Tendring District Council, said “The building and the public spaces around it are a real beacon of change for Jaywick Sands – a project that brings much-needed facilities that will benefit everyone, as well as generating jobs and supporting tourism. The building is a memorable addition to our coastline and we are thrilled with the result.”