Public Realm

Public Realm

Wolfson Prize shortlist

The five shortlisted entrants for the 2014 Wolfson Prize on proposals for new garden cities have been announced. They are:

  • Barton Wilmore led by James Gross
  • Chris Blundell, Director of Development and Regeneration at Golding Homes
  • David Rudlin of URBED
  • Shelter
  • Wei Wang Partners

The winner will be announced in the early Autumn. Read more

Ministers advise on protection of bowling greens

Ministers from the Department for Communities and Local Government have written to all English councils highlighting measures that can be taken to protect green spaces including bowling greens, following a debate in Parliament. The measures referred to include: the powers to list land or buildings as Assets of Community Value; the NPPF statement that existing open spaces, sports and recreation buildings should not be built upon unless an assessment demonstrates that there is no alternative; and the provisions for Local Green Space designation.
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Revised planning practice in force

The Department for Communities and local government has issued revised planning practice guidance in response to the review by Lord Taylor in 2012. Among other things the guidance:

  • makes clear that councils need to consider strict tests for flood risks of new development;
  • re-affirms green belt protection, noting that unmet housing need is unlikely to outweigh harm to the green belt and other harms to constitute very special circumstances; and
  • states that local plans can pass the test of soundness when local authorities have been unable to identify land for growth for years 11 to 15 of the plan period

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Farrell Review of architecture and the built environment

Sir Terry Farell’s independent review on the future of architecture and planning which was released yesterday after 12 months of consultation. The recommendations in the report, commissioned by Ed Vaizey, are split into five main categories: education, outreach and skills; design quality; cultural heritage; economic benefits; and built environment policy.
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Training to help England’s towns modernise

From September teams of local experts have been advising the leaders of 350 towns how to adapt their high streets to changing consumer behaviour. The training will:

  • Encourage towns to carry out high street health checks
  • Agree what the town centre “offer” will be to residents and visitors
  • Explain how to best make use of planning powers and new community rights to take over closed pubs or shops
  • Detail how neighbourhood planning should be used to decide what local areas should look like in the future.

The training is available to the 350 town teams which were established following the Portas Review. Read more

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey launches new review of architecture and the built environment

An independent review is to be undertaken by architect Sir Terry Farrell. It will look at four main areas:

  • Understanding the Government’s role in promoting design quality in architecture and the built environment;
  • The economic benefits of architecture – maximising the UK’s growth potential;
  • Cultural heritage and the built environment; and
  • Promoting education outreach and skills.

Sir Terry will be supported by an expert advisory panel made up of members from across architecture and design industry which look at the themes in more detail. The report should be produced by the end of the year. Read more>>