Paradise Depot

Rg + p have submitted plans to regenerate the Paradise Depot brownfield site in Hemel Hempstead, for homeless charity DENS

The new Paradise Depot site will provide 56 new homes and a purpose-built charity headquarters.

On behalf of Dacorum Borough Council, rg+p has designed and submitted plans for a complete redevelopment of the Paradise Depot site, which is located off St Albans Road, east of the town centre.

Currently occupied by the DENS office and foodbank as well as other commercial/industrial premises, the intention is for the site to become an asset for the town.

‘An attractive, sustainable environment that will wholly benefit the community’

Grant Giblett, the project’s lead and rg+p’s director said: “Paradise Depot occupies a central location within Hemel Hempstead; there are plenty of amenities nearby, it’s easily accessible by public transport and is bordered by a public park so is entirely suited for a modern, mixed-use development.

“Our design has sought to create a real sense of place, not just somewhere to live and work, but an attractive, sustainable environment that will wholly benefit the community.”

The two-storey building will better serve DENS needs, comprising ground floor foodbank and bike workshop together with first floor community café, office space, kitchen and multi-functional meeting rooms.

A shared surface unites this building with a new apartment block of 56 one and two-bedroom homes.

The design is influenced by Hemel Hempstead’s distinctive local vernacular, with the concept of the building referencing the Old Townscape’s Tudor heritage.

The new DENS centre will have a predominantly darker appearance with black frame windows and rainscreen cladding. However, the foodbank entrance is designed as a focal point and will feature decorative tiling inspired by Hertfordshire Puddingstone.

‘Deliver essential homes and services for some of the most vulnerable people in the community’

Giblett added: “The local architecture has offered plenty of inspiration and we’re confident these new buildings will complement the townscape.

“More importantly, they will deliver essential homes and services for some of the most vulnerable people in the community. Having worked with Dacorum Borough Council for several years, we fully understand their ambitions, especially regarding repurposing brownfield sites and avoiding greenbelt development.

“We extensively modelled Paradise Depot to maximise the number of new homes, which I’m pleased to say delivers beyond the original expectation without compromising on space standards for residents. We understand a formal consultation process is due to begin shortly and are hopeful a positive outcome from this application will follow”.

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