Communities in Shrewsbury will lead the way in shaping the future design of local neighbourhoods after Shropshire Council, working with the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership, secured £120,000 government funding.
Shropshire Council has been awarded the cash by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and it will be used to help engage with residents to develop a design code that will ensure future developments in and around Shrewsbury are delivered to the highest standards, whilst sensitive to the town’s outstanding heritage.
It comes as part of Government plans to level up the country and create beautiful places to live and work.
Shropshire Council, working with Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partners, made an impressive bid to government for funding which has now been confirmed as being successful.
Councillor Ed Potter, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Planning, said:
It is clear to us that residents should be able to have their say in helping shape future growth in their area and we are thrilled that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has recognised our bid for funding.
The £120,000 awarded will help the community set your own standards for design locally. You can make sure developments fit into your neighbourhood and are sympathetic in character.
I also want to thank the team at Shropshire Council and Big Town Plan partners who supported this successful bid.
The Design Code Pathfinder Programme will empower communities to have their say on the development of new homes, buildings and amenities, such as shops and workspace, in their area and help grow people’s pride in the places they live.
The codes are a collection of design-principles to help local areas deliver more beautiful and sustainable places and communities – such as specifying local building materials or deciding the layout of streets.
Helen Ball, Town Clerk of Shrewsbury Town Council and member of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Board, added:
Having an involvement in the planning process, the Town Council has always advocated the need for a robust set of planning standards to drive up the quality of development within Shrewsbury and Shropshire.
The Big Town Plan Vision recognised that need and recommended the Shrewsbury Test to articulate required standards for the town. We have been glad to see that Shropshire Council planners recognised this as a worthwhile policy direction in its review of the Local Plan and has developed the concept of the Shropshire Test.
The Big Town Plan Partnership look forward to working with Shropshire Council officers to maximise the potential of this funding to develop the Shrewsbury Test aspirations in the Big Town Plan.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP added:
We want to give local people power over what their neighbourhoods look like and make sure all new developments enhance their surroundings and preserve local character and identity.
Whether that’s choosing red brick for new buildings in our industrial heartland cities or choosing to set sustainability standards for newbuild homes, our Pathfinder Programme will help turn visions of greener, more beautiful homes and places into standards which developers adhere to.
The design codes will be used as examples that communities across the country can draw on to produce their own, with support from the Office for Place.
Chair of the Transition Board for the Office for Place, Nicholas Boys Smith said:
The evidence is clear that good design is good for you and good for our neighbourhoods and civic life. Too many of the lives our fellow citizens lead are affected by poor places, no friends round the corner, less sense of community, less walking, less local pride.
Left behind areas have suffered particularly, blighted with fast roads through town centres, ugly ‘boxland development’ where there used to be a neighbourhood or ‘could be anywhere’ housing units when people want to live somewhere.
It is time to change this and to move from a vicious circle of generic development to a virtuous circle of regenerative development. These 25 council and neighbourhood pathfinders will help light the way to support the creation and stewardship of popular, healthy beautiful and sustainable places.