Five places win professional body recognition for quality plan-led placemaking

Five places across England have been picked as exemplars of high quality plan-led place-making, in a programme jointly run by the Local Government Association and built environment professional bodies.

Clockwise from left to right: Gateshead, Great Yarmouth, Bradford ©John Cade, Exeter and North Northamptonshire
Clockwise from left to right: Gateshead, Great Yarmouth, Bradford ©John Cade, Exeter and North Northamptonshire

The winning areas in Future Place programme, announced yesterday at the Mipim property conference in Cannes, are: Bradford, Greater Exeter, Great Yarmouth, Gateshead and North Northamptonshire.

According to a statement from the programme organisers, all the winning areas "work in collaboration with public, private or voluntary sector partners to develop and advance innovative placemaking strategies ".

The professional bodies involved are the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

RTPI president Ian Tant said all five places "show that strong, experienced local planning leadership makes all the difference to delivering places that thrive and work for people".

Speaking to Planning at Mipim, RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills said that all the winners were areas where planners were "joining the dots" between education, economic development and other placemaking priorities.

Government agency Homes England has announced that it will join the existing partners as a partner in the scheme. The local authorities in the winning areas have been promised a single point of contact at Homes England to support their vision and access to professional advisers engaged through the agency’s frameworks to help them create places "where people really want to live".

Below are selected quotes from the programme organisers' citations for the winning areas.

(City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council)

The Future Place programme offers an opportunity to kick start the process of updating the 2015 city plan and 2017 area action plan. Next steps include producing a masterplan for a new "city village" and a housing design guide that will set out what is expected from new developments.

Greater Exeter
(Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Mid Devon District Council and Teignbridge District Council)

A group of five local authorities was formed to create the Greater Exeter strategic plan - a joined-up vision for the area. Joint initiatives include: making public transport quicker and more convenient; promoting active travel; freeing up land used for driving and parking for social uses; and building more green spaces with arts and cultural facilities to encourage healthier lifestyles. In the next twelve months the authorities intend to publish their draft strategic plan for the new Exeter sub-region and launch a transformational housing plan for the city to deliver 12,000 new homes between 2020-2040.

Great Yarmouth
(Great Yarmouth Borough Council)

The council is currently driving forward an ambitious town centre masterplan and major regeneration projects along the seafront, in addition to crafting a culture and tourism strategy to help broaden and enhance the tourism offer. The council is also lobbying for a bespoke housing deal for Great Yarmouth. The Future Place programme will help Great Yarmouth to help optimise, amplify and advance these initiatives.

(Gateshead Council)

‘Fit for a City’, the regeneration strategy adopted by the council in 2008, now requires reinvigoration, and the core strategy and urban core area action plan (adopted jointly in 2015 with Newcastle City Council and setting the planning framework for the town centre) is ready to be advanced.

North Northamptonshire
(Northamptonshire County Council, Corby Borough Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Kettering Borough Council and Borough Council of Wellingborough)

North Northamptonshire is comprised of five partner local authorities who are currently moving towards the formation of a unitary authority. It has had a joint planning committee and joint planning unit (JPU) in place since 2004.

In 2017 the JPU was combined with a delivery unit forming the joint planning and delivery unit (JDPU). This new body plans to advance North Northamptonshire’s ambitious growth agenda (increasing the population by 25 per cent) and ensure quality design.

The Future Place programme will support North Northamptonshire’s JDPU to deliver the work they have planned for the next year, including creating a place-shaping website, a supplementary planning document to assist developers, and progressing plans for a new garden village.

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