In 20C Hayfield has had a continual process of change and redevelopment over many centuries. The process of “infilling” between building was adopted in the nineteenth century and still occurs occasionally, although the opportunities for infill are now very limited. From the research of local community views in Hayfield, many residents have lived in Hayfield for a very long time, if not born and raised in Hayfield. However, from the 20th century, the vast infill of housing development causes Hayfield to become a communal town with many new neighbourhood faces. They feel that Hayfield is no longer the large ‘playground’ they use to know, disconnected with the latest coming community, and loses the sense of belonging.
In our project, a consistent theme across our work has been to address the mental health issues faced by individuals in urban areas due to isolation, this is more apparent in times when we are dealing with a pandemic. We believe there is a relation between this and how architects and planners have designed the spaces in urban areas. We will attempt to identify the design decisions that have lead to such a development and compare it to the planning & design of small settlements. When proposing new development and expansion we will try to avoid making decisions that lead to the problems faced by urban areas today. Architecture must adapt to the changing conditions and acts as a tool to facilitate social interaction and health and well-being for the community. We believe we can learn from analysing the oldest parts of a settlement and then attempt to recreate spaces with the ‘English village charm’ by decoding the intangible into tangible whilst retaining what is valued from our collective pasts.