Create Streets have published new research, ''Create Mews'. The paper builds on previous work by suggesting a means of generating new development in the central areas of blocks, especially on the sites of disused alleyways, dilapidated sheds, waste ground and areas of rubbish dumped at the neglected ends of long yards. They illustrate this with recent projects from Create Streets, ADAM Architecture, and many others.
Specifically, this paper proposes giving residents of blocks — that is, residents of those properties which encircle some area of land—the right to choose collectively to allow themselves to develop those spaces into new mews or other developments, so long as these are effectively invisible from the street, and compliant with extensive rules on design and safeguards for other residents. As well as helping to make better use of privately owned land, this may help councils and housing associations with the replacement of disused blocks of sheds or garages. Block residents may not use such block plans to change the facades facing surrounding streets, because other residents looking on to those facades will have had no chance to participate.
Click here to download the research pdf.
Hugh Petter's endorsement and view on mews-style infills:
"Mews-style infill is a well-established and valuable form of intensification, transforming under-used spaces into good homes whilst creating a finer, more interesting and intensive urban grain. Such development can bring a new life and vitality to areas which sometimes have become neglected and indeed where undesirable things can happen. Mews-style infill developments are particularly useful for providing a rich mix of working and residential spaces: these are especially sought after now in the wake of the pandemic. This excellent and enlightened report throws welcome new light on this key aspect of our towns and cities and explains how we can achieve this more often with the support of existing communities."