Tendring/Colchester Garden Community

Colander is delighted to alert you to this wonderful master planning project to build a new garden community: the Tendring and Colchester Borders Garden Community (TCBGC), which is located on the eastern edge of Colchester. As a mark of the importance that has been placed on this project, the client, Latimer by Clarion Housing, has decided to hold a competition to find a design team with strong landscape sensibilities to deliver an exemplar masterplan.

Announcing the winners

We are delighted to announce that the team led by Haworth Tompkins has won this competition.  Our congratulations to everyone involved.  

The seven-strong team will now work with Latimer to prepare a detailed masterplan for the site in advance of an outline planning application for the new garden city, to be submitted next year.

The full press release can be found in the side bar of this webpage.

  • Winning submission 1/2
  • Winning submission 2/2

“We were incredibly impressed and privileged to assess as many as 30 innovative, compelling and inspiring proposals from home and abroad on our journey to appoint an outstanding masterplanning team for this once-in-a-generation project.

“A huge thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to the winning team. This marks the beginning of a crucial working partnership which will help us set the standard for future placemaking at a sustainable 21st garden community.”

— Richard Cook, Group Development Director at Clarion Housing Group

Shortlist announced

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for this competition. Five visionary teams have been selected to take part in the final stage. Each was awarded scores of over 90% by the judging panel. The teams are:

  • Haworth Tompkins and Kjellander Sjoberg with Periscope, Arup, Michael Pawlyn, Grounded_Practice and Connect;
  • Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Baumschlager Eberle Architekten and Jas Bhalla with OP-EN, Arup and Soundings;
  • Velocity (Tibbalds, Mikhail Riches, Petra Marko, Sarah Wigglesworth and Studio Octopi) with BBUK, The Landscape Partnership, Biodiversity by Design, Expedition Engineering and Thomas Matthews;
  • Farrells and Office S&M with Exterior Architecture, Sarah Price Landscape, Hoare Lea and Iceni Projects;
  • Grimshaw and Gbolade Design Studio with Gross Max, Bioregional and ECF.

The press announcement can be found in the sidebar of this webpage.

The competition

This is a two-stage competition:


An open call, asking for expressions of interest from inspiring teams that believe they have the ability to rise to this creative challenge.


No more than five teams will be shortlisted to take part in Stage 2 and submit a response to an Invitation to Tender.

"Launching this high-profile competition to appoint an exemplar masterplanning team marks a major milestone in our Tendring-Colchester Borders project, which will deliver vital homes and facilities for generations to come.

"Everyone involved in this landmark scheme has a fantastic opportunity to create a lasting legacy and set a new standard for placemaking. We are looking forward to bringing a new project team on board to design a sustainable 21st century garden community where people aspire to live, work and visit."

— Richard Cook, Group Development Director at Clarion Housing Group

The client

The Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community (TCBGC) is a joint project between Tendring District Council, Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council. Latimer, by Clarion Housing Group, and Mersea Homes were announced as the joint Development Partner for the project in July 2021. This project is one of the largest development opportunities within the Clarion Housing Group portfolio and the largest for Mersea Homes.

Latimer (Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community) Developments Ltd will act as Master Developer for the new community, and is the instigator of this competition. It will be the Employer for the project consultant team as the project progresses.

About the project

This is an excellent opportunity to meet the needs of a growing population over the next 30 to 40 years by creating housing, employment and associated community facilities and infrastructure within an exemplar development.

TCBGC will be true to Garden Community principles that put community-building and environmental sustainability at the fore. The work to date has been underpinned by a positive vision for the future which has been developed through engagement with residents, stakeholders, businesses, partners, and other interested parties.

TCBGC will be large enough to accommodate new homes and supporting community facilities and services, alongside employment needs for business and industrial uses. It will be served by a network of green and beautiful spaces to promote wildlife, attractive places, healthy living, recreational activity and sustainable drainage to help tackle the climate emergency. It will be supported by new services, facilities and infrastructure including a new Rapid Transit System (RTS) and a new Link Road between the A120 and the A133.

TCBGC will create a brand-new place for people to live, work and play, which will be planned from the start to provide high quality, energy efficient and innovatively designed homes.

The client will be looking to deliver:

  • At least policy compliant levels of affordable housing
  • Up to 9000 homes delivered over the next 20 years to sell on the open market and contribute towards housing Clarion’s affordable housing portfolio
  • Serviced parcels that may be sold to the third-party housebuilding market from 2025 and over the next 20 years
  • A stewardship role in delivering an exemplar garden community
  • 50% as publicly accessible green space
  • Exemplar employment expansion for the local area

It is an ambition to develop a global exemplar for new communities that is true to the founding Garden Community principles.


The proposed Garden Community lies to the eastern edge of Colchester. While the precise application boundary is yet to be defined, the broad location is outlined within the Part A Local Plan: the site is bordered by the A120 and fields to the north and west of Crockleford Heath following the line of Salary Brook to the north west, with, to the south the A133, the University of Essex and Knowledge Gateway Business/Science Park. The A120 defines the north eastern edge.

Colchester town centre is situated approximately 3.1km to the west and the settlement of Wivenhoe is located approximately 1.5km to the south. The residential neighbourhoods of Greenstead, Parsons Heath and St Johns are all in close proximity to the west of the site, however Salary Brook and its valley presents a distinct separation between these residential areas and the western boundary of the broad area south of Bromley Road due to the sudden change in topography.


The site offers a tremendous opportunity to accommodate a uniquely sustainable new community that is carefully integrated into the surrounding landscape and can take full advantage of links into nearby settlements and the surrounding countryside. The aim is to create a 21C community, not just 21C homes.

Issues that will need to be considered in the design include:


The outdoor natural environment of TCBGC will be amongst its biggest assets. It will comprise green infrastructure where neighbours will spend time, play, interact and grow. It will provide a natural support system for both people and wildlife.

Movement and Connections

TCBGC will be structured around a dense network of traffic-free walk and cycle routes, with rapid public transit prioritised and supported by a range of innovative mobility measures. This will ensure day to day trips are shorter, quicker, and cheaper, without a car

Community and Social Infrastructure

TCBGC will be known for its healthy and happy community. It will have a variety of diverse community spaces, play spaces, great local schools and a network of sport and leisure facilities. It will establish long term and participative stewardship of infrastructure from the outset

Building Places and Character

TCBGC will provide the right homes and spaces for all aspects of life. It will create thriving distinctive places for a range of activities. It will be memorable for its landscape and architecture and will be widely recognisable of its place in North Essex.

Sustainable Infrastructure

TCBGC will make living sustainably easy for its residents. Green infrastructure and building solutions will be integrated from the outset and follow best practice standards

As master developer for TCBGC, Latimer’s baseline priorities for this new community can be described as follows:

  • Encouraging innovation
  • Stakeholder focus
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Commitment to quality, community and places that succeed
  • Communities that are socially and environmentally sustainable
  • Consistent commitment to high quality and low carbon properties
  • Commitment to the people who live in our homes
  • Sustainable methods of construction
  • Health and safety for all

The TCBGC project is expected to both exemplify these values, and establish a world class vision for what a new garden community should be, building on tradition through a modern day interpretation of the Garden City Principles, as defined by the Town and Country Planning Association:

A Garden City is a holistically planned new settlement which enhances the natural environment and offers high-quality affordable housing and locally accessible work in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities.

The Garden City Principles are an indivisible and interlocking framework and include:

  • Land value capture for the benefit of the community
  • Strong vision, leadership and community engagement
  • Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets
  • Mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are genuinely affordable
  • A wide range of local jobs in the Garden City within easy commuting distance of homes
  • Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the best of town and country to create healthy communities, and including opportunities to grow food
  • Development that enhances the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains, and that uses zero-carbon and energy-positive technology to ensure climate resilience
  • Strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable, vibrant, sociable neighbourhoods
  • Integrated and accessible transport systems, with walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms of local transport

Whilst the majority of these principles can be considered universal, others will need reinventing for the 21st Century. The consultant team will have a fundamental role in this.


TCBGC will evolve over many years, at the outset, the key dates are:

  • Submission of an outline planning application in Q1/Q2 2024
  • Achieving an outline planning decision in 2024

Characteristics of the winning team


The winning team will be led by an organisation with strong masterplanning skills, and experience of new settlement/garden community design. Landscape skills will be integral to the team, and while these do not need to be offered by the lead consultant, the client would welcome leadership from consultants with strong capabilities in landscape. In addition the team will need to include expertise in sustainability and in communications and consultation (with both stakeholders and the community). Engineering and other technical disciplines fall outside this commission, as do ecology statements.

The services required have been allocated to separate lots on the basis that Latimer expects to enter into direct appointments for each. The team is expected to include the following disciplines as a minimum:

Lot 1a: Master Planning and Design Code Author (and Lead Consultant);

Lot 1b: Landscape Architect;

Lot 1c: Sustainability Consultant; and

Lot 1d: Community Engagement Consultant

For clarity, Latimer is seeking comprehensive and collaborative submissions from teams of consultants that cover all of the disciplines listed in all of the Lots as a minimum. It is acceptable for teams to submit proposals where the services described under multiple lots are provided by a single consultant, provided that the minimum requirements outlined in Standard Questionnaire are met.

It is assumed that Lead Consultant services will be included in the scope for Lot 1a (Master Planning and Design Code Author), however alternative arrangements will be considered on their merits.

Please note that while an organisation can be involved in any number of competing teams, each organisation or person may only submit one competition entry as the lead consultant. Those wishing to be involved in more than one team must be able to demonstrate, on request, that measures to prevent information sharing between teams have been put in place.

In the unlikely event that it is required, the client reserves the right to make changes to team members.


Latimer is committed to creating a more equitable and sustainable society and it will expect competitors to demonstrate commitment to this objective, with team structures and working methodologies that encourage diverse voices to be heard and listened to within the design and decision making process.

Teams with international players are welcomed, although a local pedigree for the communications and consultation expertise is preferred. Similarly, the client welcomes interest from teams that include small specialist firms.


The winning team will be comfortable with collaborative working, using appropriate digital tools, and open to ideas from others who have different but equally relevant experiences and expertise. Competitors will therefore be judged both on the processes and behaviours through which they generate designs as well as the quality of the designs that they then deliver. Great design on its own will not be enough – but nor will an inclusive process that lacks design leadership. A balanced approach will be required.


Prior and Partners have been appointed by the Local Authority to prepare the Spatial Masterplan and will be retained by the councils during their ongoing Regulation 19 activities.

In addition, the client has appointed a number of key advisors who will work alongside the winning team, including:

  • Litchfields – Planning Consultant
  • RPS – Cost Consultant
  • Turner Morum LLP – Viability Consultant
  • Fourth Street – Vision Consultant

Competition Stage 1: Open call

All information must be submitted via the Delta Portal (see sidebar for link)

Three things are required from competitors at Stage 1:

  1. Parts 1 and 2 of the Selection Questionnaire, completed by each organisation or consultant within the team.
  2. Part 3 of the Selection Questionnaire, completed by each of the organisations providing the core disciplines listed in Lots 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d (see above)
  3. Part 4 of the Selection Questionnaire, completed ONCE, ON BEHALF OF THE TEAM by the lead consultant, comprising:
  4. The team’s relevant project experience
  5. The team’s skills and experience
  6. The team’s design philosophy
  7. The team’s approach to Social Value
  8. A cover sheet

These need to be uploaded onto the Latimer Delta Portal <link> no later than noon on 03 October 2022. Please be sure to allow sufficient time for this; late entries will not be accepted.


The Selection Questionnaire is structured in four separate parts:

  1. Part 1 covers the basic information about the competitor, such as the contact details, trade memberships, details of parent companies, group bidding and so on.
  2. Part 2 covers a self-declaration regarding whether or not any listed exclusion grounds apply.
  3. Part 3 covers a self-declaration regarding economic and financial standing as well as information about the practice’s technical and professional capacity; the Modern Slavery Act; insurance and apprentices. Please note that referees given in this section will only be approached if a competitor is shortlisted.
  4. Part 4 covers the qualitative part of the submission and is specific to this project.


Completed once, on behalf of the team by the lead consultant.

No more than six sides of A4 (or the equivalent) illustrating and describing the projects referenced in the responses to Part 3, Section 6.0 of the Standard Questionnaires completed by your team members. Words and images must demonstrate the relevance of the projects to TCBGC, specifically highlighting where these projects represent collaborations between proposed team members


Completed once, on behalf of the team by the lead consultant.

No more than four sides of A4 (or the equivalent) addressing the following:

  • The individual skills, experience and expertise offered by this team. Include information about the key individuals who would lead the project, their track records and why they have been selected for this project.
  • An organogram showing the hierarchy between the organisations in the team and the skills in each organisation
  • Confirmation that the team has the resource to meet the project programme and is able to deliver a project in Colchester, UK.

Completed once, on behalf of the team by the lead consultant.

An illustrated think-piece, on one side of A2 (or the equivalent), including no more than 500 words, setting out the team’s thoughts on how a new garden community can respond to the challenges of our times, bearing in mind both social and environmental sustainability.

The purpose of this think-piece is to demonstrate the team’s understanding of sustainable place making, its ability to think outside the box, to be creative and to communicate design ideas clearly.


Completed once, on behalf of the team by the lead consultant.

No more than two sides of A4 (or the equivalent) demonstrating how the team has innovatively met social sustainability considerations as part of new settlement/garden community projects, using previous examples where relevant.

Please identify any programmes and initiatives already in delivery and delivered by your team which Latimer could consider extending to this project’s local community as a result of contract award.


Completed once, on behalf of the team by the lead consultant.

A single side of A4 cover sheet that includes:

  • Contact person: name, phone and email address
  • Lead organisation: name, address, phone, website
  • Names and web addresses of the organisations in the team, and their role on this project.
  • Acknowledgement by the team’s lead organisation that in completing this submission, it warrants, represents and undertakes that it is of sound financial standing and has sufficient resources available to it to undertake this project. Further confirmation of financial standing will be required prior to awarding the contract.
  • Confirmation that all members of the team are paying a living wage to everyone working in their organisations.
  • No more than 300 words summarising why this team is right for this project.

Stage 1: Q&A

All queries about this open call must be communicated via the Delta portal, no later than 09 September 2022. 

Responses to the queries received have now been posted on the Delta portal.

Please note that competitors are asked not to make enquiries to the client organisations, or to any stakeholders.

Stage 1: Judging criteria

All teams that enter this competition will be assessed as follows:

  • 22.5% Relevant Project Experience
  • 22.5% The Team’s Skills and Experience, including the 300 word statement on the Cover Sheet
  • 45.0% The Team’s Design Philosophy
  • 10.0% Social Value

No further weighting will be applied but the following issues will be considered in the evaluation process:

Creative ability

  • Has this team demonstrated that it could conceive an exceptional strategic masterplan for a project of this type, importance and opportunity?

Problem definition

  • Has this team demonstrated that it understands the quality of design, collaboration, leadership and innovation that will be needed from the team?

Collaborative thinking

  • Has this team demonstrated an affinity with collaborative working: with its clients, with a community, with lay and professional stakeholders and with other members of the project team?

Communication skills

  • Has the team demonstrated an ability to engage and convey key messages around design, with clarity and inspiration: to lay people as well as those with a professional understanding?

The team

  • Does the team include the skills needed to conceive something extraordinary for TCBGC?
  • Do this team’s passions resonate with this project?
  • Is design leadership within the team clearly defined, to ensure that the complementary design skills of the various players will blossom?

Stage 1: Selection panel

The Panel assessing the Stage 1 submissions will include:

  • Lord Matthew Taylor, Past, Planning and Garden Communities Policy Advisor to Government
  • Russ Edwards – Project Director, Latimer
  • Michele King – Community Liaison Manager, Latimer
  • Rebecca Ogunmodede – Development Apprentice, Latimer
  • Miles Lewis – Group Director Sustainability, Clarion
  • Ayo Allu – DT&I Director, Latimer

Competition Stage 2: Invitation to Tender

Due diligence checks may be completed on teams, and references taken, prior to confirmation of their inclusion on the shortlist.

The Jury Panel will shortlist no more than five teams. The names of the shortlisted teams will be posted on the Delta Portal. The Invitation to Tender will be issued to shortlisted teams on 17 October 2022.

Responses to the Invitation to Tender must be submitted via the Delta Portal by noon on 02 December 2022.

Interviews will be held with all shortlisted teams in January 2023. Following interview there will be a period of clarification to resolve any contractual issues.

Each team that is shortlisted to take part in Stage 2 will be offered an honorarium of £8,000 + VAT payable on receipt of a compliant Stage 2 submission.

Unfortunately, it will not be possible to visit the site as part of the competition process.

Stage 2: Requirements

A detailed project brief, discipline scopes of works, programme and budgetary information and appointments will be included in the Stage 2 briefing pack.

There are six parts to the deliverables from competitors at Stage 2, details will be shared with the shortlisted teams:

  1. Design approach to this project:
  2. A short piece to camera
  3. Two A1 boards
  4. A design delivery report
  5. A resource schedule
  6. A fees schedule
  7. A completed ITT proforma
  8. Comments (if any) on the proposed form of contract

These will need to be uploaded onto the Delta portal no later than noon on 02 December 2022.

Stage 2: Judging criteria

Judging criteria for Stage 2 will be shared with the shortlisted teams, and will comprise a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures.

Stage 2: Jury Panel

A Jury Panel comprising industry experts and members of Latimer by Clarion will be assembled to assess the Stage 2 submissions. Names will be shared with the shortlisted teams

In addition, Latimer’s internal Design Technical and Innovation team will undertake a review of the Stage 2 submissions ahead of interviews and provide a concise summary to the jurors, highlighting any areas of technical strength and concern.

Key programme dates

01 September 2022 Competition launch

09 September 2022 Deadline for any queries about this competition

03 October 2022 Deadline for receipt of Stage 1 submissions

17 October 2022 Announce the shortlist, issue Stage 2 brief and ITT

02 December 2022 Deadline for receipt of Stage 2 submissions

January 2023 Interviews with Jury Panel


The copyright in the briefing documents is vested in Colander/Latimer Developments Ltd (LDL) and may not be reproduced, copied or stored in any medium without prior written consent. This brief and any document issued to bidders supplemental to it shall remain the property of Colander/ LDL and shall be returned upon demand.

The ownership of copyright of all ideas submitted will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs & Patent Act 1988. By entering the competition, teams acknowledge that their submissions may be shared with other competitors and with the public at large through press and other media, exhibitions and events.


There will be publicity associated with this competition as it progresses.

In particular, there will be public interest around Stage 2, and the Stage 2 submissions will be used in publicity to announce the competition winner. By entering the competition, competitors acknowledge this fact, and freely consent to their submissions being used for publicity purposes.

Participating teams shall not, without the prior consent of LDL, take or authorise the taking of any photographs of the Site or the Project for use in any publicity or advertising nor publish alone or in conjunction with any other person any articles, photographs or other illustrations relating to the Project or any part of it, nor shall they impart to any publication, journal or newspaper or any radio or television programme any information about the Project.

All press releases relating to the Project must be approved by the LDL’s Communications Team and LDL given the opportunity to provide a quote in any press release.


Subject to the exceptions referred to below, the information in this brief is made available by LDL on condition that bidders shall:

  • not disclose, copy, reproduce, distribute or pass the information to any other third person or allow any of these things to happen; and
  • not use the information for any purpose other than for the purpose of making (or deciding whether to make) a submission.

Notwithstanding the conditions referred to in the paragraph above, bidders may disclose, distribute or pass information to another party if:

  • done for the sole purpose of enabling a bid to be made and the person receiving the information undertakes in writing to keep the information confidential on the same terms as set out in this brief; or
  • LDL gives its prior written consent in relation to such disclosure, distribution or passing of information.

LDL may disclose any information relating to the bids to its directors, officers, employees, agents or advisers. LDL also reserves the right to disseminate information that is materially relevant to the Contract to all bidders, even if the information has only been requested by one bidder. LDL will act reasonably as regards the protection of commercially sensitive information relating to the bidder.

LDL will treat all information received from bidders as private and confidential. Unsuccessful tenders received will be held on file for a minimum of 6 months while successful bids will be held on file for the Contract duration.


Any submission will be excluded from the competition if:

  • It is received after the submission deadlines
  • In the opinion of the Jury Panel, it does not fulfil the requirements of the brief
  • A competitor improperly attempts to influence the decision
  • Any of the mandatory requirements of the competition brief and conditions are disregarded.

Small Print

While the information contained on this webpage is believed to be correct at the time of issue, neither Latimer, nor its advisors make any warranty or representation (express or implied) with respect to such information; nor will it accept any liability for its accuracy, adequacy or completeness.

Please note that while the client has every intention of appointing the winning team to design and deliver the masterplan, it reserves the right to make changes to the team and the procurement process if required.

Colander Associates has taken all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information included is accurate, however, it cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies.