Hackney Wick Central Masterplan Advice

Protecting, responding to and enhancing heritage to inform masterplan proposals and achieve outline planning approval

Hackney Wick Central forms a key piece of the LLDC’s vision for the area - to create a Neighbourhood Centre that brings together existing and emerging communities. Their aim was to create a framework for the development of a vibrant mixed-use centre, improving connections and creating new routes and public spaces. To achieve this, the LLDC Local Plan allocated the Hackney Wick Station Area as a site for comprehensive, employment-focused mixed-use development, also to include a significant number of new homes.

Project Deliverables:
Heritage and design coding advice for the Hackney Wick Central masterplan and outline planning application.
London Legacy Development Corporation
Karakusevic Carson Architects, Witherford Watson Mann, AECOM
Hackney, London
Resolution to grant outline planning permission in April 2017

Historic England broadly supported the outline application proposals - a major achievement given the Conservation Area designations.

Hackney Wick is a late nineteenth century industrial area that accommodated innovative industrial processes, including early plastics, petrol and dry cleaning, and also the country’s largest confectionery manufacturer. In the early twentieth century, the area developed rapidly to meet the needs of industry with buildings being adapted, extended or rebuilt.

Following WW2 bomb damage, industries generally relocated and the area declined. More recently the industrial buildings have housed small-scale creative uses (including artists studios) which continue the innovative and productive history of the area. A number of the historic industrial buildings remain, some occupied by creative uses and associated social activities.

Much of the masterplan area fell within two Conservation Areas that were designated in parallel with the Local Plan - Hackney Wick Conservation Area and Fish Island & White Post Lane Conservation Area.

To create a new mixed use neighbourhood centre and accommodate the housing numbers envisaged by the Local Plan, the masterplan involved a high degree of change to the area, with 59% of one of the Conservation Areas proposed to be redeveloped. The challenge was to make sure that this degree of change protected and enhanced those elements that contributed to the area’s special interest and to persuade the LPA and Historic England of this.

To gain support for an outline planning application, we advised that the masterplan needed to have a strong heritage rationale. It also needed to be rigorous and detailed, and supported by design codes or other guidance. Our heritage research, assessment and advice informed the masterplan and the outline planning application proposals as they evolved. We also advised the team on the structure, expression and content of the detailed design code.

It supported the spatial arrangement of the masterplan in terms of routes, development blocks and public spaces, including working ‘yards’ which were characteristic of the area. It helped establish the strategy for building heights and massing in the light of viability requirements. It informed the content and expression of the design codes, including requirements for simplicity of building and roof forms and juxtaposition of different heights. And it led to proposals for a Heritage Fund to secure the future of heritage assets where they were not associated with any developable land.

Our Heritage Statement demonstrated clearly how the masterplan responded to heritage issues. Historic England broadly supported the outline application proposals when consulted, with very limited caveats. This was a major achievement given the Conservation Area designations.


  • Winner, New London Awards 2016, Masterplans & Area Strategies category

  • Commended, New London Awards 2016, Mayor’s Prize

Core Team

Below are some of the key people that worked on this project.

Portrait of Jane Dann crop centred

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Learn more about Hackney Wick Central Masterplan Advice and other projects by contacting one of our team

Call Jane on 0207 089 2121 or email