Walton Court Regeneration, VAHT

Client name:
Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust

Services:
Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Architecture, Principal Designer

Value:
£7,000,000

The Walton Court Centre is a mixed-use community hub in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Built in the late 1970’s, it provides a mix of retail and community facilities topped by 58 residential units in a low-rise suburban setting. Unfortunately, the original layout of the Centre placed a public precinct in the middle of the site which acted as a magnet for anti-social behaviour, and illegal activity. Without an active shop front, the commercial units were struggling to survive, the community facilities were poorly used, and vacated flats were hard to let. The negative image and poor reputation of the Centre needed to be overcome. The building needed to be ‘re-imagined’ both as a decent place to live and a good place to shop and visit community facilities.

Keegans, in conjunction with our sister company, ECD architects, were appointed to provide full multi-disciplinary services from inception to completion, following a successful design competition. This was a complex project due to the variety of tenures involved, social rented, leasehold and commercial. All options for regeneration were considered including demolition and redevelopment. However, in the end a complete reorganization and refurbishment of the building was undertaken. This involved:

  • Relocating and expanding the retail units to become a street facing shopping parade
  • Enclosing and redesigning the central courtyard as a resident-only amenity space
  • Expanding the Healthy Living Centre which had out-grown its existing facilities
  • Reducing the size of the Community Centre that was struggling to remain viable
  • Increasing the Centre’s value through the creation of 21 new in-fil homes
  • Refurbishing all existing homes to meet decent homes standards and enhanced energy efficiency measures

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