Eric Lyons' Span developments were built from the late 1950s, particularly in Twickenham and Petersham, with a governing principle being to set the housing amidst gentle landscaping with trees planted, communal lawns, and courtyard gardens. Fieldend was built in 1961, a development of 51 weather-boarded terrace houses with private gardens arranged informally among landscaping that has silver birches, grass areas and shrubs. The estate was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as 'now the most sylvan of all Span developments in London'.
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The Span development consortium grew from the partnership formed in 1938 by architects Eric Lyons (1912-80) and Geoffrey Paulson Townsend who embraced Modernist ideology. In the late 1940s the partnership evolved whereby Townsend would act as developer, acquiring the site for a housing scheme that Lyons would then design. In 1957 Townsend acquired a company, Span, and this led to the establishment of Span Developments Ltd, which also included builder and developer Leslie Bilsby, who had worked with such Modernist architects as Erno Goldfinger and Denys Lasdun. In 1955 Eric Cunningham had joined Lyons' architectural team and became particularly responsible for the design of the landscaping for the schemes, the partnership becoming the Eric Lyons Cunningham Partnership in 1963. The Span schemes were often set within existing planting, for example the Parkleys Estate (q.v.) in Ham is sited on a former nursery. Part of the ethos was to engender a communal spirit whereby the residents took responsibility for the overall environment and initially nearly all Span schemes were originally leasehold properties, Span remaining ground landlord, with tenants covenanted to keep the estate in good order. Maintenance of communal areas was undertaken through residents' management committees.
Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999