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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 101 - The benefits of stakeholder engagement

101 - Raunds Masterplan

The delivery of 800 new homes by 2021 as required by the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy will have a huge effect on the small town of Raunds. Aims of the project were to build local consensus on the vision for Raunds, identify a way for the current allocated development to be accommodated and to enable future development opportunities / constraints to be considered. Work was needed on a clear vision and strategy for the longer term for Raunds and to ensure the preservation of the local environment and the character of this market town.

A week long Enquiry by Design workshop brought together Council members and officers, business owners, residents, school children, health professionals, educationists; utilities companies and developers. The product was a series of development scenarios proposing differing amounts of housing growth and associated community facilities. Wider community engagement was then carried out via a questionnaire with the development proposals accessible on ENC’s website and a preferred town wide regeneration approach was approved.

Holding events in the school, day time and evening workshop sessions and an exhibition of proposals over a weekend was an effective means of reaching as many people as possible and involving them in the process. Even where groups had strongly held views on different matters some broad consensus was achieved around a need for change, and aspirations for how that change might be delivered. A workshop with secondary school pupils saw students participating enthusiastically in the activities, and producing uninhibited ideas about the future of Raunds that were of great interest to stakeholders and members of the public and helped to spark debate.

The masterplanning process has demonstrated a clear community preference for any new housing growth to be equally dispersed around the town, whereas the Core Spatial Strategy states that growth at Raunds should be in the form of a Sustainable Urban Extension. If the LA genuinely want to meet the community’s aspirations growth plans need to be reconsidered.

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UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seedg the Seed 

Key recommendations include: Spreading growth equally; Connecting community facilities and integrating open space; Providing a framework for potential new homes and jobs

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