The largest of Eric Lyons' schemes for Span Developments Ltd, Parkleys consists of 169 flats and 6 shops in two and three storey blocks on the main road. Behind this 'protective barrier' two storey terraces are grouped around enclosures, with vistas of the landscaping around and beyond. The landscaping of trees, grass and shrubs emphasise colour, contrast, texture and contour with areas of paving, lawns and planting on rectangular designs. The spirit of the original design is still evident. Prior to housing development the land had been a nursery and a number of existing trees were retained and incorporated into the landscaping.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2004
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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, such as here at Parkleys 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.