CABE supported delivery bodies and local authorities involved in housing growth programmes from 2004 to 2009, advising on issues related to urban design, housing quality and sustainable development.
Planning for and delivering housing growth offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create places where people want to live, work and visit. It provided the potential to improve the quality and economic performance of existing places as well as creating successful new ones; and it offered the chance to create places that help people live and work in a more environmentally sustainable way.
Support for housing growth programmes
CABE’s enabling programme, delivered on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government, directly supported delivery bodies and local authorities planning and delivering new homes, open spaces and town centre regeneration. Our advice across the growth areas and growth points helped to:
- instill local leadership to set a clear vision for the future growth of places
- promote the importance of investing in the quality of places and not just the number of houses built
- build the capacity of public sector clients to manage the design process, make decisions in support of good design, and ensure that new development enhances existing places
- equip local authorities with the skills to use Building for Life and act on Manual for Streets guidance, in order to improve housing quality
- support local authorities to engage in positive dialogue with their communities about growth, through stakeholder workshops in North Northamptonshire, Bath and North East Somerset, South Hampshire and Norwich
This was supported by the design review of key projects and the activities of CABE’s regional pilot programmes with North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit and Creating Excellence (Design South West).
CABE recognised that local problems needed local solutions and developed 10 practical actions for housing growth, in discussion with its partners: English Heritage, Natural England, Environment Agency, Sustainable Development Commission and the Academy for Sustainable Communities.
Best practice in housing growth
Two small urban design interventions had a disproportionately positive impact on the town centres of Raunds and Irthlingborough.
Prioritising high quality design in a complex and ambitious regeneration project through using specialist and impartial design expertise.
CABE helped Kettering Borough Council create a town centre framework which secured £5 million in growth area funding (GAF II).
Helping Brent Council and two housing associations hold a successful design competition to regenerate a run-down urban centre with growth area funding.
Commissioning an innovative and sustainable building to support creative entrepreneurs in St Neots, using growth area funding.
Running a design and build competition for a pedestrian bridge with lessons on how to reach agreement on complex projects with multiple stakeholders.
CABE enabling worked with Norwich City Council to create an outline masterplan for the St Stephens area of the city.
CABE helped Ipswich Borough Council create a masterplan to link up the town centre with the waterfront.
Nottingham’s design initiative, supported strongly by CABE from the beginning, is an excellent example of strong local leadership championing a design-led approach to development in the city.
Using a non-statutory strategic approach to respond to the increasing development pressure in and around Cambridge caused by the phenomenal growth of high-tech businesses.
Place-shaping workshops in North Northamptonshire
With CABE’s support, these design workshops were a good example of cross-authority working and of councils and local communities planning collaboratively for the future of their places.