Set between Epsom Downs and the Burgh Heath Woods, Preston is an overspill estate developed in the 1950s by London County Council. Despite its verdant, low-density layout and the high value of the surrounding owner-occupied villas, the area is a suburban ghetto, with high levels of social deprivation and an unbalanced tenure profile. Most of the 3000 residents are housing association tenants.
As part of a wider programme of economic transformation, the local authority selected a team including Penoyre & Prasad to prepare a regeneration masterplan for the area. The team, led by Urban Practitioners, also included CB Richard Ellis and Faber Maunsell.
Following a series of lively public consultations, the masterplan proposals include the replacement of single-tenure blocks with mixed-tenure apartments and maisonettes. Further improvements − such as safe and legible pedestrian routes and a new neighbourhood centre − would be funded by additional residential development on residual open land.