Tripwire MarchApril 2012


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Tripwire MarchApril 2012

  1. 1. Issue 69 March/April 2012 Special Sustainability EditionM A G A Z I N E O F T H E R . T . P . I . W E S T M I D L A N D SLet the games begin! The RTPI Ball andAnnual Awards. Friday 13th July 2012 Inside Chairman’s report 2 fter the fantastic success of last year’s Tickets are now available from Sue Griffith-A glamorous Brits Awards party, the RTPI West Midlands is delighted to announcethat this summer all members are invited to Jones on 0121 709 1599 or email Book & pay before the 15th June to take advantage of the Sustainable Development – Coalition Style 3our very own Summer of Sport Awards Ball for earlybird rate of £45 per person. Tables of ten ‘This is a local shop 4Planning Achievement. are also available at £450. Ticket prices will for local people’ increase from 15th June.Why not help celebrate planning excellence in Birmingham and Black 5the region and join the sporting extravaganza on RTPI West Midlands are very grateful to GVA Country ‘NatureFriday 13th July 2011 at the wonderful for taking the lead sponsorship package, and Improvement Area’Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Partners and to Alliance Planning, DLA Piper, JMP and No5guests are very welcome to join us for dinner, Chambers for taking other sponsorshipthe presentation of regional awards by the packages. Green Infrastructure 5Institute’s President, Colin Haylock, and dancing. The Summer of Sport Awards Ball will be a An experience of 6In addition to the main award for Planning black tie event. There’ll be music and dancing, Berlin & FreiburgAchievement (and possible commendations), good food, warm company and a real chancethere will be awards for the Best Consultancy, to see the West Midlands at its best! See you Freiburg – the 7Best Local Authority, Team of the Year, Young there! sustainable cityPlanner of the Year, Chairman’s Award, andnew for 2012, Planning Leaders Award. Details Please book early to avoid disappointment. Child’s Play 8of how to make nominations can be found on We anticipate demand will be high for thisthe flier attached to this magazine. event. I Managing Environmental 9 Change at the Rural Urban Fringe The Sustainable Urban 9 Neighbourhoods Network (SUNN) Publishes Final Report Planning Aid England 10 Planning Aid – Stop press 10 RTPI launches Map 11 for England debate RTPI Planning 11 Leaders Award David Jones: 1952–2012 12 Editor – John Acres, Ripon Cottage, 5 Manor Road, Kilsby, Near Rugby, Warks, CV23 8XS CPD events 12 Work: 0121 234 9106 • Home: 01788 824343 • Email: 1 | Mar / Apr
  2. 2. Chairman’s report elcome to this environmentally Improving our connectivity, especially withinW themed Tripwire. It is excellent that we have the opportunity to showdiversity within our profession and the region is an absolute must. As for the south east airport debate, I am sure a number of people will be looking at that withpersonally, with an Environmental Science interest – in particular Birmingham Airport.background, it is good to see how this fieldis growing. Messages from Government are once again that planning is seen as a barrier toIn any profession it is important not develop investment and harms the economy.cliques or become too self-indulgent or Whether true or not, what is clear is that we,inward-looking and indeed to move forward, as a profession, need to prove our value, usewhilst appreciating from where we have the powers we have got fully and movecome. Specialists need to be aware of a forward quickly. We need to show our addedwider world, being able to adapt and value and our right to be at the table.modernise and to embrace change. It appliesto all organisations and individuals. The new We need to show the world that the criticsRTPI website will be coming soon. are misguided about the planning profession. To do this we must work as one,It has been a hectic couple of months since share best practice, learn from mistakes andthe last edition of Tripwire, with new wherever possible lead.initiatives, progress and success on all And above all socialise with each other andfronts. The Budget was quickly followed by To assist you there are a number of things have some fun. Our Annual Awardsthe National Planning Policy Framework. The that RTPI West Midlands are doing: Ceremony on 13th July 2012 at the Botanicalfinal version of the NPPF is much improved Gardens is shaping up to be a fantasticon the draft, in my view, with the new 12 • CPD Season Ticket – keep yourself up to event. We are looking for nominations (formonth transition period, but overall it could date and at the forefront of what is awards) sponsors and tickets are going fasthave been a lot worse. At least some of the happening around us. The next few so don’t forget to book early.principal concerns appear to have been events will be on 16th May, 1st June andaddressed. But some of the definitions will 20th June. By the time you read this I will be instill need to be closely monitored. (see Rome…… but please feel free to contact me ifcomment elsewhere in this edition) • Share and discuss issues of the day – you feel inclined to give feedback or want to both the RTPI West Midlands and RTPI know more. IObviously HS2 is in the Budget, but in terms centrally are on LinkedIn.of infrastructure, I considered that projects Andy Thompsonfor the West Midlands were very limited in • Nominate best practice – we are looking RTPI West Midlands Chaircomparison to other regions such as the for nominations for regional awards. Email: and southeast (for example). Show us all how good you all are. or via my LinkedIn Profile Upcoming Events 16 MAY – LEPs & REGENERATION 21 MAY – RTPI MIDLANDS AGM (see below) 1 JUNE – NPPF & THE FUTURE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING 20 JUNE – ROLE OF COUNCILLORS IN QUALITY DESIGN Contact: The RTPI West Midlands AGM, which is free to all members, will be held on 21st May 2012 at 6.30pm at The Welcome Centre, Parkside, Coventry. The AGM will be followed by a presentation by RTPI Development Planning Network Manager, Andrew Matheson, entitled “Open Source Planning – The Reality”. Refreshments will be provided. No need to book. –––––––––––––––––––– Tripwire Editor; John Acres is now Residential Business Director at Turley Associates; 9 Colmore Row, Birmingham. B3 2BJ Telephone; 0121 234 9106 Email: | Mar / Apr
  3. 3. Sustainable Development – Coalition Style o the waiting is over and with the The policies in paragraphs 18 to 219,S publication of the final National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)we now have a ‘significantly enhanced’ taken as a whole, constitute the Governments view of what sustainable development in England means indefinition of sustainable development practice for the planning system.and even a policy specifically designedto ensure that Sustainable Development I think there can be little debate that incan secure a consent in the absence of a the draft version the Government placeddevelopment plan. Whatever your view more weight on the economic aspects ofof the definition or the content of the sustainable development although theNPPF might be, there can no doubt how final document has sought to rebalancethe Government views the NPPF and the this with the social and environmentalrelationship between planning and aspects through a number of additionalsustainable development. The Ministerial policies and by reaffirming that allforeword is quite clear; elements should be sought jointly and simultaneously through the planningThe purpose of planning is to help system.achieve sustainable development. It is interesting that there are no enhancement is still there along with anFor someone who believes in the concept references in the NPPF to some of the introduction to the concept of Gardenof sustainable development is this now more traditional metrics of sustainability Cities which was a surprise, but welcomean unambiguous steer from Government such as BREEAM or Code for Sustainable addition. Conversations with my urbanthat it is serious about sustainable Homes. There is a direct reference to design colleagues excites me about thedevelopment and it will live up to its applying the governments zero carbon prospect of being involved in such aclaim to be The Greenest Government buildings policy which is interesting project and one would hope that theEver. given the fact that we do not yet have all market will respond to this opportunity of the information on the Governments as it did with the Ecotowns policy.The waiting may well be over but the Zero Carbon Buildings policy! We dodebate can now start! What does the know that this is being implemented So now that we know that the policiesGovernment mean by Sustainable through Building Regulations and that within the NPPF are effectively theDevelopment and does this mean that these are continuing on a rapid timetable Governments blueprint for Sustainableimplementing this in practice will require of improvements toward the eventual Development, what does this mean inus to develop new systems and tools to Zero Carbon standard. Is the NPPF practice for the sustainability anddemonstrate that our applications are implying that local authorities should planning professions. Do we have tosustainable? simply use Building Regulations as their adopt a completely new approach to adopted metric for carbon emission sustainability and set new expectations,No doubt there will be many different reductions in new build? One could or is there a mechanism forviews on this as the NPPF is scrutinised argue this with greater effect based on demonstrating that a scheme isand then put into practice. Here are the draft version but the introduction of sustainable?some of my thoughts! paragraph 96 in the final NPPF suggests that local ‘Merton rules’ or carbon In truth the NPPF still promotes a rangeWhat does the Government mean by targets could still exist although an of sustainability features that we haveSustainable Development? evidence based viability study will still become accustomed to integrating into be required. our projects, so we can continue toI think we can answer this question very promote these in our schemes.easily. Ever since the draft first appeared As planners and sustainability Sustainable Development is now at thein July 2011, I have felt that too much practitioners the NPPF creates an heart of the planning system and theemphasis was being placed on the excellent opportunity for us to continue planning community should seize thisdefinition of sustainable development. It to positively shape the built positive opportunity to continue to makeis important of course, but it was an environment. As an example the NPPF a real difference. Within Turleyrealistic expectation to have developed a gives great weight to design quality as a Associates we have already had manydefinition that could be applied in sustainability indicator and our urban interesting discussions on implementingpractice given the largely subjective design colleagues can use this to create Sustainable Development – Coalitionnature of sustainable development and new communities and places that Style – so we look forward to thethe unique social, environmental and promote low carbon living through challenge!economic characteristics that each homes that meet increasingly stringentproject displays. building regulations requirements and Finally, I thought a word search of the that facilitate sustainable transportation NPPF might be interesting. A quickI believe greater focus should be on what either through site selection or through a appraisal of the policy text suggests thatthe Government thinks sustainable sustainable travel plan. There is a clear Sustainable is mentioned 91 times,development should look like in practice. reference to the importance of mitigating Economic 43 times, Environmental 30For the planning profession this and adapting to a changing climate and times and Social 24 times. Does that telltranslation of policy into physical and so we see policies supporting the us anything more? Ispatial characteristics of plans and development of renewable and lowprojects is one of our principal carbon infrastructure (an absolute Colin Morrisonobjectives. Paragraph 6 of the NPPF priority in my opinion!) and the use of Head of Sustainabilitystates green infrastructure as an adaptation Turley Associates feature. Biodiversity protection and 3 | Mar / Apr
  4. 4. ‘This is a local shop for local people’Reflections on the future of planningeducation in an era of localism. iven the coalition government’sG ambition to ‘radically reform’ the planning system by placing astrong emphasis on ‘localism’, whilstsimultaneously seeking to relaxplanning legislation in an effort tostimulate economic development, it istimely to consider what these proposalsmight mean for the future teaching ofplanning. Arguably, planning education– at least in the short-term – will have toprovide aspirant planners anddevelopers with the multifunctionaltechnical and personal skills andknowledge(s) to both support and development theme. Here we stress to publicise and communicate whereneighbourhood planning whilst the way planning interacts with the planning has been successful. Whilstdelivering on the onerous set of natural environment and how the internet is cited by many as theprovisions outlined in the NPPF. development is as much about the social prime source for information, this is aCrucially, at a moment when planning and environmental improvement as GDP! passive form of communication andand the environment are seen by engagement. More needs to be done bygovernment as the ‘enemy of Second, course teams teaching on planners for planners in terms of raisingenterprise’, the wider public also need planning courses should seek to actively the profile in TV and media interviews,to be reminded of the importance of a encourage, promote and develop media blogs and the like. Academic plannersstrong planning profession to help contacts through existing regional RTPI could do much more here to showcaseenable their needs and aspirations in networks, university marketing and the findings of successful researchemerging local plans. press officers, careers advisers and projects using the power of digital identify spaces in the (national and media technology. This approach hasHowever, as academics we can and local) media calendar when they might this obvious and immediate advantageshould do more to help champion be more receptive to stories relating to of circumventing the ‘traditional’ tabloidplanning both in terms of promoting the positive aspects of planning. By print media agenda - which perhapsvalue of the discipline and the profession. recognising the potential opportunities currently gives more attention to theThe silence of academic criticism within for encouraging news stories that have limitations or the failings of athe draft NPPF last year was deafening an ‘everyday’ significance is particularly ‘dysfunctional’ planning system - toand does reflect a gap between the relevant given the recent attention that reach those potential audiences foragendas of planning academics and the has been focused on the participatory whom newspapers may not be the mostwider policy community. First, there is a aspects of planning. This raises the immediate source of information.need to embark on a thorough critical rather obvious question over the needassessment of how planning education for planning education - and those Whether academic planners areand planning itself engages with, and is academics involved with the creation of motivated by reasons of disciplinaryunderstood by, the broader public. research projects – to consider how survival and job protection, dedicationPlanning schools, therefore, should these projects will be communicated in to pedagogy - or any mixture of thesedevelop strategies that are more ways that can genuinely stimulate factors - it is argued that we need to‘outward-facing’. These could include a greater levels of public interest in the seriously consider how to communicategreater level of critical engagement discipline. Oxygen should also be given in different registers for wider audiencesthrough participatory work, advocacy, to the promotion of those stories where and broader impact. The government’suser guides and knowledge exchange of good quality local development has Localism Act and the publication of theresearch and consultancy through more been successfully achieved - not just National Planning Policy Frameworkaccessible media. Of particular because of high levels of local public represent two of the most significantimportance to the future of planning involvement but also because a pieces of legislation to affect theschools is the need to engage with ‘strategic’ and ‘joined-up’ planning planning system since the 1947 Act. Theschools and colleges alerting students to system allowed for the development to rhetoric accompanying these pieces ofthe potential of a career in the built flourish. For example, Birmingham City legislation has done little to enhanceenvironment professions. Here, planning University have recently developed an the public perception of the discipline.schools should combine forces with innovative set of Video Policy Briefs and If the approaches outlined above werepublic, private and voluntary sector an interactive learning tool ‘Rufopoly’ embraced, these small and subtle shiftsplanners to deliver powerful messages under recent research on the rural urban in practice could go some way toabout the opportunities and challenges fringe funded by the Research Councils changing such negative representationsof a planning career. In short, the UK Relu programme. of planning. Iproduct that is being delivered should beattractive to and, more importantly, Finally, some emphasis should be David Adams and Alister Scott,distinctive to prospective students. For placed on ensuring that websites and Birmingham Schoolexample, Birmingham School of the Built other multimedia (websites, blogs, of the Built EnvironmentEnvironment is developing its own unique podcasts, and other forms of social Birmingham City University, Millenniumidentity within the environment planning networking) are used more successfully Point, Curzon Street. Birmingham.4 | Mar / Apr
  5. 5. Birmingham and Black Country‘Nature Improvement Area’ n response to Professor Sir John targeted approach to improving greenspace example, the project was the only one toI Lawton’s report ‘Making Space for Nature’, the Natural England White Paperinitiated a competition to select 12 Nature and encouraging biodiversity with a genuine will to engage local people in the work. In some rural areas there was fear that NIA propose a co-ordinated approach to enhancing the ground flora of planted urban woodlands, for example, it seemsImprovement Areas (NIAs). These would status could stifle development; in contrast everyone is in favour of planting trees, butbecome the foundations of an England- urban planners embraced the proposals. there is a strange reticence when it comeswide network of landscapes managed with They recognised that investment in green to adding the smaller flowers and plantsbiodiversity in mind. It appears that the infrastructure and improving the quality of that make characterless plantations intoinitial entry of 76 proposals took DEFRA the environment are critical to attracting new thriving woodlands. Finally, and perhapssomewhat by surprise – not least because businesses and driving urban regeneration – surprisingly, the quality of the data theof the quality of the great majority. What indeed the NIA seemed an obvious wildlife and habitats across the NIA isfollowed was a long, and rather gruelling, extension of aspirations and policies already exceptional, allowing a sophisticatedprocess which reduced the field to 20, then in place across the area. spatial approach to targeting delivery.15. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the final12 are well known ‘countryside’ landscapes So what made the project stand out? The The long term aims of the NIA includethat one might expect to fulfil such a role – partnership brought together by the restoring the scattered remnants ofthe limestone around Purbeck, the South Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black heathland across Walsall and Birmingham,Downs and the Dark Peak. Yet there is one Country to develop the project has restoring the management of neglectedname on the list that is very different; impressive credentials. The support of all grasslands and improving the wetlandBirmingham and the Black Country has five local authorities was key, as was that of network of river and canal corridors thatbecome the only totally urban Nature Government agencies. But the presence of plays a crucial role in linking wildlifeImprovement Area. large and small voluntary sector habitats across the area. I organisations and businesses (includingThe Birmingham and Black Country NIA two of the biggest environmental Neil M. Wyattbrings together many existing initiatives, consultancies) added to the credibility of Chief Executive, Birminghamsuch as the Black Country Urban Park, with a the bid. A second factor was innovation. For & Black Country Wildlife TrustGreen Infrastructure“When we see land as a community to many green features which already exist in The use of the term ‘green infrastructure’ iswhich we belong, we may begin to use it our towns and rural areas such as trees, a huge and important philosophical andwith love and respect”. Aldo Leopold woods, football pitches, road verges, conceptual step in placing natural features gardens and fields. in the frame along side the other important he term ‘green infrastructure’ is components of the man made environment.T increasingly becoming established as part of the planning language in muchthe same way that ‘green corridors’ were in The value that using the term ‘green infrastructure’ brings is that it is an understanding and approach to green It takes green features such as arboriculture, biodiversity, open space provision, street tree planning, Sustainable urban drainage,vogue several years ago. features as a joined up and strategic matrix (SUDS) etc. and places them as part of the of ‘natural’ features relating to and part of urban design of places. IIn the same way that terms such as ‘green the man made environment that help makecorridors’ and ‘green wedges’ meant very good and successful places. For more information on greenlittle to local communities, the term green infrastructure planning please contact:infrastructure probably means very little to This in essence is green infrastructurethe everyday person who would see it (very planning. Michael Voutreasonably) as a jargon expression of the Chair of WM RTPI Urban Design Forum 5 | Mar / Apr
  6. 6. A different shade of greenAn experience of Berlin & Freiburg bristled with activity. We visited new, the nearest former filling station outlying housing areas served by public forecourt or ex-industrial unit to watch s well as all the ‘eco-savvy-ness’A tramways and all manner of communal, underpaid migrants wash your car this our Birmingham City University commercial and social facilities and weekend, why not pull it down the drive field trip to Germany displayed, services, built long before the houses and wash it yourself (using no morethe element that struck and impressed were completed. In what we would than two buckets of water, of course).me the most was the social dimension consider areas of high density housing, As you’re doing so, chat to theof sustainable living. After all, if a place with structures of 3-5 storeys in height, neighbours and passers-by. They mayisn’t desirable to live in, it’s not going to never more than a short walk away from think you’re mad but, if nothing else,be sustainable. communal open space, shops and the exercise will do you good. efficient public transport, fences wereBerlin appeared to be an anxious city, few and far between. Boundaries Better still, when you’ve finished, pull theconstantly in a state of churn, between ‘private’ gardens and car up against the garage – which, if it’sattempting to cherry-pick a version of communal spaces were defined by anything like mine, is still full of junk, thethe past to carry forward into yet virtually transparent (in springtime) low majority of which hasn’t seen the light ofanother reinvention of the future. hedges of planting, the wood stores and day since you last moved house. If youRestless and vibrant, it was kids toys there for all to see but, can find them in there, get out a gardennevertheless, an attractive place, and evidently not touch. chair or two, and maybe a table, and setnot just to visitors. During an effortless them up on your drive or in the frontconversation with an economics More particularly, these open areas garden. Have a glass of somethinggraduate on a railway journey between between the houses were far better refreshing; after all, you’ve earned it.the Berlin and Freiburg (the majority of used, by all members of the Chat some more to the neighbours, ifGermans speak very good English), I neighbourhood. There was trust and they’re not now eyeing you with deepasked the young Berliner what he respect. There was a real sense of suspicion. They may even join you.thought about this seemingly never community and togetherness. It was Watch the kids play in the street. Dreamending change. He smiled and said, instantly alluring, and heart warming to of how it could be. I’m lucky enough to“But it will always be home”. see. have seen the reality... IBy contrast, Freiburg felt smart, green, So here’s a thought. Far be it from me Dan Robertscool and confident. The rebuilt city to suggest you deprive deserving folk acentre, all but flattened during WWII, living but, instead of driving your car to Images of Berlin6 | Mar / Apr
  7. 7. Freiburg – the sustainable city n October 2008, Andrew Purvis for the development measures can help reduce relationships and community spirit whenI Observer wrote an article asking the question; ‘Is Freiburg the greenest Cityin the world? It is described variously as the amount of carbon emissions generated and reduce energy usage. The measures adopted and the lifestyle and communities designing in shared open space, communal facilities like restricting use of vehicles in residential areas, providing a pizza oven for‘the Green City’, ‘the Most Sustainable created in Freiburg are completely alien to community gatherings and allowing childrenCity’ and a ‘Model City’. the life I live in England, yet one that, as to play freely and giving residents more planners, we need to incorporate into opportunity to meet and interact. However, IAt the end of March, a group of students planning for the future. Freiburg screams did wonder if you lived here this might get afrom the Birmingham City University MA ‘sustainability’; From incorporating bit too much at times, and you would crave aSpatial Planning Course, together with a sustainable transport strategies to bit of solitude’. Jen Towershandful of RTPI planners, visited Freiburg adapting the existing 1960’s housing stockto find out. Here are some of the students’ the city of Freiburg has demonstrated that Regeneration and recovery. I really hadn’timpressions. cities can become sustainable, that what expected to be looking back to the past so we do today can meet the needs of future much or feeling so much discomfort atFreiburg: A green city for people. Freiburg societies’. Vicky Stone discovering the full effects of Alliedrebuilt their city after the Second World War bombing in Freiburg - almost totallike other cities in Europe. But Freiburg has destruction, as the ‘before, during anddone something extraordinary, something after’ maps and photographs made and unique to be proud of. Freiburg But the determination of the city todidn’t build for cars, but built for people: recover, following old layouts and formsBike lanes, pedestrian streets, fantastic but rebuilding and planting for the future,trams and small canals that run down the with sustainability in mind, was verycentral city’s streets. Freiburg is called the impressive’. Ruth Bensonsolar city because of its unusual work withsolar panels based every where on the roofs Bedlam of Bikes. Freiburg has set theof houses, churches, schools, city halls- and global standards for encouraging,the inspiring work in SC Freiburg football supporting and implementing sustainablestadium. There is a high level of forms of transport. It appears that the cityunderstanding of sustainability culture in planning transport strategy has placed anFreiburg’s people and their commitments. emphasis on facilitating cycling as the keySimply, this makes Freiburg an outstanding mode of sustainable transport due to thecity for people. Heyam Kesham sheer volume of bikes on the streets of Achieving social equity. In Freiburg social Freiburg. In many areas there was aTransport integration. The first thing I equity is the most obvious aspect of constant stream of bikes, users of differingnoticed on arriving at the station in Brundtland’s tripartite definition of ages, doing differing speeds and withFreiburg was how seamlessly integrated sustainability. When walking through the differing needs. However, whilst thedifferent forms of transport were. Placing settlement there is an unmistakable feeling highway layout has been designed tomy suitcase on a conveniently positioned of community; from the communal pizza segregate cyclists and pedestrians, as aconveyor belt running parallel to the steps oven to the well used (and well visitor to the area (not being familiar withleading to a bridge above the station on maintained) play area. There are toys the highway layout), there was almost awhich a tram took us to our hotel. This casually cluttering the public space and conflict over the use of public spaceease of movement theme continued with people on bikes and scooter at every between the pedestrian and the cyclist. Atbicycles seemingly the only form of viewpoint. The design of the settlement times you could not walk on the pavementstransportation to take priority over facilitates social interaction and the people without feeling overwhelmed by thepedestrians. The sustainability culture has of Freiburg have embraced this opportunity number of bikes and without our highwaybeen instilled into Freiburg’s inhabitants and the notion of communal living has safety being compromised’. Vicky Stoneover generations. They also possess a become a way a life. How this conceptwillingness to share space and interact could be transferred to the UK? In order towith each other rather than fence off land create a sustainable city there needs to beas domestic gardens increasing social active participation by local residents andcohesion. Freiburg is unlike anything I’ve a passion to embrace community values.experienced in the UK. It serves as an As planners we need to ensure that we areexample of what could be achieved. Pete building not just homes, but communitiesAttwell for the future. Rosie Paget A new utopia? Are the new Freiburg districts of Vauban and Rieselfeld really ‘sustainable development utopia’, or can we find our own UK ways of achieving zero carbon living? It seemed that even poorly built postwar ‘modernist’ buildings can be made into new sustainable and attractive homes if there is enough will. With building sites and a good buzz everywhere, A Sustainable City. Freiburg is an amazing Building a community. It felt like they had sustainable urban regeneration andcity. The city planners have demonstrated really thought about and been considerate development was clearly helping thehow the implementation of sustainable to building community and promoting strong German economy’. Ruth Benson I 7 | Mar / Apr
  8. 8. Child’s Play ny urban designer will tell you, garden needed to have a purpose Year 5 and 6 were able to developA it’s a dream when a client approaches you with a projectwhere a single mark is yet to be made that made it relevant and useful to the local community. The key to informing how that would be this further and take the emotions they wanted to feel and design a garden around this theme. Buildingon the paper and you are involved encouraged was inspired by the on this and by producing 3D models,right at the beginning. For someone geography of the site: it lies in close drawings and songs, all groupslike me, with an aptitude for proximity to five infant and junior created ideas for gardens that couldengaging communities in the schools that had agreed to take part provide learning resources forplanning and design process and for in the design process. We would different lessons and effectively ‘takeworking with young people, if that design a Learning Garden that would the classroom outside’.client also says “and by the way, we be frequented by school pupils, theirwant the design to be community-led teachers, parents and family. The next stage is to interpret theseand engage local schools” then it’s a ideas into something real by workingheaven-sent opportunity. Crucially, all parties were on board with the landscape designers. with this concept and this provided Facilitating that is a skill in itself. OneThis was the case when I became the framework for designing the group of pupils wanted a “Treeinvolved with a housing association content of the school engagement Protector”, a giant pea-like characterthat owns a piece of grassed land in activity days, which would take place to watch over the garden and lookWalsall where Caldmore Village on three separate days with Year 2 after people while they are there -Festival takes place each spring. The pupils (ages 6-7) and Year 5 and 6 perhaps not all that dissimilar to theland remains fenced off and unused pupils (ages 9-11). volunteer City Centre Ambassadorsfor the rest of the year – with the who are so effective in caring forexception of a range of anti-social The beauty of working with young Sheffield’s people and award-winningbehaviour. people of these age groups is that public realm? their creativity is largely unfetteredThe housing association wanted to by peer groups or being expected to Its very early days in this project,change this by designing a community be sensible. This makes them which is precisely why the publicgarden, accessible to all and owned by fantastic people to generate ideas for participation has the scope to be soall. But how to achieve this without designers to use as a starting point. influential and contribute towards acreating a space where anti-social By making the activities fun and local resource that is much loved andbehaviour could continue as it does allowing for expression according owned by the community. Watch thispresently without locking it away personal ability and flair every school space. Ibehind security fences and gates? event produced measurable, meaningful raw data that we can start Katy CraddockThe answer lay in ‘self-policing’ – to build up into a design. Urban Designer and Communitycreating a place that feels safe Facilitatorbecause it is well populated and Year 2 pupils focussed on expressing Planning Aid West Midlands Regionalregularly used. For this to happen the how they wanted to feel in a garden. Advisory Panel and volunteer8 | Mar / Apr
  9. 9. Managing EnvironmentalChange at the Rural Urban Fringe his 18 month research project1, grounded, accessible and intelligible yet 5. Connect policies across scales andT involving 20 researchers and practitioners from 11organisations/institutions, recently reported robust and credible outputs. One high profile output that engaged the sectors in order to secure joined-up planning. The rural-urban fringe crosses many boundaries and consequently canon 29th February at Birmingham, City imagination of media, professionals and be marginalised and/or under-resourced.University. A workshop format showcased publics alike was Rufopoly. Conceived as an 6. Think about the long term in policy-the research outputs through an innovative accessible and fun learning tool it allows making about the fringe. Strategies needseries of policy brief videos made by the players to make a hypothetical journey to build confidence for long termteam. These videos captured the key themes through Rufshire answering similar questions investment that will realise newof the research which used a series of that the project team faced over the course of opportunities. Current planning cycles areworkshops and visioning exercises in their research journey. Through the roll of a too short term and political, leading toHampton (near Peterborough) and North die, people are engaging with complex messy uncertainty.Worcestershire as the principal evidence problems which characterise the rural-urban 7. Learn from the past in order to plan forbase. Uniquely, the event made use of Cisco fringe and their decisions allow them to the future. We often fail to have adequateWeb Ex to allow over 150 delegates to construct (and reflect on) their own visions. mechanisms to capture this institutionalparticipate and interact in an exciting blend and human capital. The abolition ofof video, plenary and keynote activities. Eight key lessons emerged from the regional planning provides a salutatory workshop with the need to:- lesson here.• Re-discovering the rural urban fringe 8. The way we value the rural-urban fringe is• Reconnecting the built and natural 1. Identify the rural-urban fringe as an complex and messy but those values environment divide in the rural urban fringe opportunity space - based on an need to be unpacked using inclusive and• Understanding connections by crossing assessment of the needs of the people, effective mechanisms. There is a danger boundaries in the rural urban fringe place and environment of the fringe itself. that we only value what we measure as• Managing contested values in the rural 2. Consider proactively the rural component opposed to measure what we value. urban fringe of the fringe rather than conventional Moving away from hard economically• Adapting for the long-term in the rural reactive, urban-centric ideas. driven data is important as many aspects urban fringe2 3. Link the institutional architecture of the built of the fringe that are most valued escape and natural environment more effectively or refute monetary measure. IThis interdisciplinary research focussed on moving away from the policy disintegrationimproving the foundation for decision making evident between DCLG and Defra. Green Alister Scott and Claudia Carterin the rural-urban fringe; a forgotten space. Infrastructure and Community Infrastructure Birmingham City UniversityA conceptual bridge was developed through Levy have considerable potential here. ––––––––––––––––––academics and practitioners working 4. Reduce jargon to more understandabletogether to link the disparate areas of spatial language so that other professional 1 ESRC –RELU grant, Number ES/H037217/1planning and the ecosystem approach. The sectors and the public can interact and 2 Videos can be accessed via web siteimportance of working together as one team participate more effectively. The within a managed research development of our videos/Rufopoly excellence/centre-for-environment-and-process enabled what we believe is helps facilitate this. society/projects/relu/policy-briefsThe Sustainable Urban NeighbourhoodsNetwork (SUNN) Publishes Final Report UNN was established in 2009 by the councilors, local government officers, • Stress on the importance of a largeS Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to explore first hand the experience ofdeveloping new urban neighbourhoods in architects and planners, land owners and developers, community activists and staff from housing associations. spatial planning framework to underpin community building;England. Based on ‘looking and learning’ in • Demonstrating the crucial importance ofthirteen new communities in ten English SUNN’S report looks at the design of local vision and leadership in the localtowns and cities, the report shows how to sustainable urban neighbourhoods, authority; andbuild more homes, better neighbourhoods summarising what SUNN learnt from a reviewand stronger communities in both growth of existing research and during field visits. • Highlighting good practice in design, localand regeneration areas. This learning is summarised in a series of governance, community facilities, ‘tests and guidelines’ for new communities. management of public space, retailMost SUNN new communities are urban The report also focuses on how local partners provision and long-term stewardship.extensions, mainly on brownfield sites, but in the development process can work bettersome also involve estate renewal. Each together to foster localism and realise the SUNN’s final report can be downloaded forcommunity is at least partially constructed aspirations of the National Planning Policy free from the website of the JRF in a shortand new residents have moved in, giving a Framework. Finally the report sets out and a long version: empirical base for drawing recommendations for government and other publications/local-government-sustainable-conclusions based on full and frank organisations arising from the analysis. urban-neighbourhoods. Idiscussion within SUNN about what worksand what doesn’t in the development of The key findings of the report include: Michael Voutsustainable urban neighbourhoods. Chair of West MidlandsRepresentatives from the neighbourhoods • Identification of the characteristics of a RTPI Urban Design Networkthat participate in SUNN include local sustainable urban neighbourhood; 9 | Mar / Apr
  10. 10. Planning Aid England lanning Aid in the West Midlands Towards the end of March we also held Changes in the national contract haveP has been making good progress towards meeting both its ownBusiness Plan objectives, and its share a very successful (and over subscribed) event for community groups, Parish and Town Councils - “Are You Fit for also coincided with changes here In the West Midlands. Bob Keith, the RTPI’s “outreach co-ordinator” who has workedof the national outputs agreed with Neighbourhood Planning”, which so hard in this region to keep PlanningDCLG in respect of the contract grant. generated considerable interest not only Aid a credible concept, is now leaving to in the potential of neighbourhood take up a policy planning post withWhile the National Advice Line has planning, but also in the role which Daventry District Council. I know thatcontinued to provide an essential other parts of the local planning system Bob has many regrets about leaving atservice for development related have to play and the importance of this stage, and has said that he hopes toenquiries, we have been reaching out to community engagement in these. continue to support Planning Aid in alocal authorities and communities reduced capacity. Through this article, Iinterested in neighbourhood planning. Future progress nationally had been would like to thank Bob, on behalf of theThis has included very well received uncertain, despite the best efforts of the Regional Activities Committee, for thetalks to community forums, parish and Institute, following the end of the current progress which he has made, and totown councils, initially those in government funding contract for Planning wish him all the best for his new role.neighbourhood planning front runners Aid at the end of March. At the time ofacross the region in places such as writing though, ministerial approval had The RAC’s Planning Aid Sub-group willShropshire, Telford, Wolverhampton and just been given for a four month be meeting shortly to consider theBirmingham, but also where possible extension of the contract, pending a implications of all these changes (Ed.focussing on our objective of helping fuller review of funding objectives and Including the implications arising fromthe 20% most deprived communities. mechanisms by DCLG. The RTPI has had the Stop Press article below), and we will verbal confirmation of the extension and keep you in touch through this column.These discussions have been is awaiting written confirmation and asupplemented with approaches to local formal contract. This means that for the In the meantime if you are interested inauthorities setting out the contribution immediate future, activity on community becoming a volunteer, then please stillwhich Planning Aid volunteers can make and neighbourhood planning support will register on the Planning website:towards their own developing continue once the contract is in place and on neighbourhood planning, staff are reemployed, in addition to the how_to_apply/ Ialthough this has been less successful National Advice Line which the RTPI had(something which local authority already agreed to maintain. Please check Dave Marrreaders might like to discuss within for updated Chairman of thetheir organisations). news and developments. WM Planning Aid Sub-GroupPlanning Aid – Stop press CLG has formally agreed the four Overall, our new contract will mean that undertaken to do this. The Institute isD month continuation to their grant to the RTPI under the SupportingCommunities and Neighbourhoods in we will widen the offer of support to include the ‘Wave 5’ Front Runners, which brings the total of Front Runner areas to appointing staff to support the contract continuation and will be shortly announcing, in more detail, both thePlanning scheme. The grant period has 233. We will be aiming to help these staffing structure and workingnow been extended until 31 July 2012 communities to ‘get over the line’ and to arrangements. Iand the focus of the work has been make measurable progress towardsmodified to reflect the final provisions getting neighbourhood plans in place. Professor Gavin Parker MRTPIof the Localism Act and in light of the Director of Professional Standardsnew Neighbourhood Planning powers DCLG would not fund the PAE advice line Royal Town Planning Institutethat have come into effect. during this period but RTPI hasFor the next four months Planning AidEngland (PAE), working with PlanningAid for London, will focus more on whatFront Runner communities need to helpthem to progress their neighbourhoodplans. Importantly, we were also able topersuade the Department to fundsupporting communities within the top20% of the Index of MultipleDeprivation, to engage in planning theirarea. In this way we can ensure that allcommunities have a voice and anopportunity to influence plans using thenew powers.10 | Mar / Apr
  11. 11. RTPI launches Map for England debate he RTPI has recently launched a approach to planning infrastructure and Additional benefits of a ‘Map forT debate on the benefits of having a ‘Map for England’ to planinfrastructure and services and to services, perhaps by way of a single portal. We are launching a debate on this proposal to see if others share our England’ include: • Helping to boost growth. Housing,enable decision makers at the local views and to ask what mapping industry and business would be ablelevel to make more informed policy information should be included.” to make quicker and better informedchoices. investment decisions which are more A Map for England would also help to closely aligned to public sectorNew research commissioned by the RTPI meet the pledge in the Coalition infrastructure funding plans.from Manchester University shows that Agreement that data published byindividual government departments now public bodies is published in an open • Being much more transparent. Localhave more than 100 major maps for and standardised format. communities would be able to findEngland relating to policies and Stakeholders are being encouraged to out about how government plansprogrammes on the economy, transport, send their views on 5 key questions affect their areas and to influencecommunications, housing and the about the initiative and can do so by them.environment. None are available in one going to or through a single data source • Saving time and money. Whenand can be very difficult to find as they Analysis by the Centre for Urban Studies writing new strategies, governmentare scattered across web sites and at Manchester University reveals that in departments could see the existingwithin departmental reports. fully 2/3 of maps the implications for plans for different parts of the different places are not made explicit. country and relate their newThe RTPI President, Colin Haylock By overlaying a number of these maps strategies to them. Datasets driveargues that with a Map for England and diagrams together, the researchers innovation.policy makers could make better demonstrated that some policies andjudgments about how individual policy programmes, when considered against • Helping to coordinate infrastructureproposals interact with and affect each other in relation to different parts across borders with Scotland anddevelopment of the country as a whole. of the country, may have unintended Wales.He feels that such an initiative would consequences, eg. the study revealedalso increase consistency in the that there is considerable overlap Throughout the rest of 2012 the RTPIappraisal of policy, improve security and between broad areas where housing will be holding various events toresilience, and provide a better growth is projected in the future and stimulate a debate on the Map forunderstanding of sectoral issues that where there are the greatest England. Join the debate on the Map formight complement or conflict with each environmental and policy constraints to England on Twitter @rtpiplanners orother. growth. These constraints include the #map4england. I risk of flooding and expected futureColin said “A Map for England offers the household water shortages. John Acresopportunity of a truly joined up EditorRTPI Planning Leaders AwardAre you a leader who is making a successful manager leading a planning and Nations Panel representatives anddifference in planning? team. We want to celebrate leadership past presidents. in all its different forms and we are he RTPI is celebrating the success keen to receive nominations from What happens if you win?T of planners who are leading the profession in creating great placesto live and work. The success of our planners at different stages in their careers. You will be presented with a framed certificate by the RTPI President as partprofession is due to the hard work, There will be one award winner in each of his Presidential visit to the Annualdedication and professionalism of our RTPI Region. Ball in July. You will also be nationallymembers. RTPI President Colin Haylock recognised in Planning Magazine and inhas launched the Planning Leaders How are the winners selected? your Region.Awards to celebrate members who areleading and inspiring the profession, Members are asked to nominate How do I enter?creating the places of tomorrow. candidates by region. Each candidate will fill in a nomination form setting out All you need to do is complete theWho are the awards for? their achievements. The nominations attached nomination form and send it will then be reviewed by a judging panel through to Charles VealThe awards are open to any RTPI and a winner selected. ( If you havemember who can demonstrate any questions or queries please contactoutstanding leadership in the field of The judging panel 020 7929 9477. Please return allplanning. You could be new to the completed nomination forms by 18thprofession and making your mark with a The judging panel will be made up of May 2012. Igreat project, or maybe you are a General Assembly members, Regions 11 | Mar / Apr
  12. 12. David Jones: 1952–2012 any planners around the region who David did this for nearly 30 years and his worked for him. So, while he developed a M have worked with David or know of his work for Stratford-on-Avon District Council, will be saddened to hear of work was acknowledged by colleagues, councillors and developers alike for being thorough and meticulous. At Planning comprehensive computer database of housing applications, he also kept using his tried and trusted manual reference system. his death after a short illness. Inquiries, while various parties would argue the toss over how figures were interpreted, David gave advice and support to many David started at the District Council back in they knew the figures themselves were colleagues in other local authorities who did 1974 before going to Belfast University to accurate – because David Jones had similar work – and this was greatly gain his Masters Degree and returning to produced them. He had many enjoyable appreciated. take up a planner post in 1979. David’s work times at Public Inquiries defending his work! took up a large part of his life. He was David was an invaluable member of the invariably first in and often one of the last to David embraced new Information Technology District Council’s Planning Policy Team. leave the office each day because he was – he knew what it could do but he wasn’t a People came and went but he was the dedicated to what he did. slave to it. He also used the old methods that foundation stone around which we worked – providing extensive knowledge of the local David particularly enjoyed the opportunity to area. contribute to projects that made a difference to the quality of the environment around us. He was also the Royal Town Planning His involvement in the Cotswolds Area of Institute’s Office Convenor at the District Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Council for many years – circulating Plan and the Sub-Regional Habitat information and the regional magazine to Biodiversity Action Plan are two such areas of colleagues in the office. The RTPI places on work which gave him much satisfaction record its thanks to David for his service in because he loved the countryside and this capacity. wildlife. David’s colleagues at the District Council But David’s main area of work – for which (past and present) - and from many other many of us will remember him by – was local authorities and organisations - will miss housing monitoring. Now that may sound his wisdom, experience, support and calm rather boring to many of us but someone has presence. Above all, we will miss him as a to do it and it is a critical part of a local friend. I authority planning service – how many houses have got planning permission, have David Jones: 1952–2012. Paul Harris been built, and how many more are needed? Continuing Professional Development : : : : : : : : : : Ev e n t s Ca l e n d a r : : M a y > J un e : : : : : : : : : : Cost: £50 + VAT for RTPI members, £60 + VAT for THURSDAY 17 MAY REGIONAL PROGRAMME non-members. Less if purchased as part of the 2012 RTPI/MPA Minerals Planning Conference Non-members of RTPI welcome to attend RTPI West Midlands 2012 Season Ticket Venue: Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham Programme. Full-time students & the unwaged £20 Cost: £140/£150 + VAT WEDNESDAY 16 MAY + VAT. Organisers: RTPI & MPA LEPs & Regeneration Details & bookings: Sue Griffith-Jones Details: Venue: The Council House, Lichfield Street, Walsall Tel 0121 709 1599 To Book: Tel 020 7963 8003; Fax 020 7963 8001; Time: Afternoon (includes lunch) Email Email: Cost: £50 + VAT for RTPI members, £60 + VAT for non-members. Less if purchased as part of the RTPI WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE THURSDAY 17 MAY West Midlands 2012 Season Ticket Programme. Full- The Role of Councillors in ensuring Quality Design Learning from the Olympics time students & the unwaged £20 + VAT. Venue: Council Chamber, Lichfield A Landscape Institute event open to all. Details & bookings: Sue Griffith-Jones Time: Afternoon (includes lunch) Venue: Department of Architecture, Birmingham Tel 0121 709 1599 Cost: £50 + VAT for RTPI members, £60 + VAT for Institute of Art & Design Email non-members. Less if purchased as part of the Holte Street, Birmingham RTPI West Midlands 2012 Season Ticket Time: 7.15pm – 8.45pm MONDAY 21 MAY Programme. Full-time students & the unwaged £20 Cost: TBC RTPI West Midlands AGM + VAT. Organiser: Landscape Institute Midlands Region plus presentation on NPPF & Related Matters by Details & bookings: Sue Griffith-Jones Details: Sue Griffith-Jones Andrew Matheson, RTPI Development Planning Tel 0121 709 1599 Email: Network Manager. Email Refreshments provided. WEDNESDAY 27 JUNE Venue: The Welcome Centre, Parkside, Coventry OTHER EVENTS 2012 Planning Convention Time: Evening Planning 2012: Making It Work!!! Cost: Free TUESDAY 15 MAY Venue: The Royal Society of Medicine, One Details & bookings: Sue Griffith-Jones A new approach to Community Engagement Wimpole St, London Tel 0121 709 1599 Venue: Royal Haskoning, Rightwell House, Bretton, Cost: RTPI member £195 + VAT, non-member £295 Email Peterborough + VAT. Some reduced price places for students & Time: 9.30am – 1pm licentiates. MONDAY 1 JUNE Cost: £30 + VAT Organiser: RTPI NPPF & The Future of Strategic Planning Organiser: RTPI East Midlands Details: Venue: The Council House, Lichfield Street, Walsall Details: Sue Slack Email To Book: Tel 0845 082 1171 Time: Afternoon (includes lunch) Email: Registration Number: 262865 • Scottish Charity Registration Number: SC 037841 • Registered Office Address Royal Town Planning Institute 41 Botolph Lane London EC3R 8DL.
  13. 13. On your marks, get set… GO! On your marks, get set… GO! ks RTPI West Midlands is proud to present the RTPI West Midlands is proud to present the T West Midlands Summer of Sport Ball West Midlands Summer of Sport Ball rt What: What: RTPI Planning Awards Ceremony, Dinner and Ball When: Friday 13 July 2012 7pm to 1am Where: Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3TR Who: The RTPI President, Colin Haylock, joins RTPI members, guests, friends and family Why: Why: To celebrate planning excellence in the region and wine and dine in style Dress: Dress: Black Tie. We hope you can make this event to enjoy the good food, the great company, the fun evening and the live musicAwards and SubmissionsAwards SubmissionsTo be in with a chance of winning an award fo planning excellence, please submit your nominations by 18 May. Entries or oare to be no more than 1,000 words or 2 sides of A4, including any illustrations and examples of projects if applicable.(details below).TablesTables and Tickets TicketsBook your ticket now and enjoy this exclusive event at an early bird rate of £45 per ticket or £450 for a table of 10(all costs inclusive of VAT). Please note that ticket prices will increase from 15 June. To reserve your place, please email or call 0121 709 1599. Please book early to avoid disappointment, we anticipate demand high for this event.Sponsorship Main Sponsor of the Event f h Best Consultancy Award and y Drinks on Arrival Sponsor kThank you to all our sponsors, listedbelow, we really appreciate your supportof this fa astic event. Sponsorship antopportunities are still available pleaseemail Sue Griffith-Jones for further details. Sue Griffith-JonesRegional Award for Planning for Chairman’s Award Best Local Authority A ard uthority Aw th ityAchievement
  14. 14. RTPI WEST MIDLANDS SUMMER BALL – SUMMER OF SPORT 13th July 2012 Botanical Gardens, Birmingham The following awards will be presented: - The Regional Award for Planning Achievement sponsored by Alliance Planning - The Chairman’s Award sponsored by DLA Piper - Local Planning Authority of the Year sponsored by JMP - Consultancy of the Year sponsored by No5 Chambers - Team of the Year - Young Planner of the Year Plus, a new award for 2012, Planning Leaders Award NOMINATIONS ARE INVITED FOR:LOCAL PLANNING CONSULTANCY OF THE TEAM OF THE YEAR YOUNG PLANNER OF PLANNING LEADERSAUTHORITY OF YEAR THE YEAR AWARDTHE YEARLocal Authority Consultants - It has Have you been in a This award is intended Planning createsPlanners – been a difficult year team or do you know to celebrate Young great places to liveHave you excelled? and yet there are a team that has Planners in the West and work. TheConsultants – many good news delivered (a Midlands. successes of ourHave you found an stories. project, plan or This could be in profession are due toLPA excellent What has your planning document)? planning practice, the hard work,to work with? consultancy The team can be a innovation, dedication andThere are many achieved? Tell us why LPA, Regeneration enterprise or professionalism of ourexamples of your consultancy has body, Consultancy. philosophy. members. Thegood local succeeded. In a challenging Nominations are Planning Leadersauthorities and it is Local Authority time co-operation welcomed for the Awards celebratesour desire to Planners – and collaboration is brightest Young RTPI members whorecognise the hard Who are the encouraged. Planner involved in the are leading andwork that goes on consultants you We are looking for a profession in the West inspiring thewithin Planning have used or worked team that has Midlands. profession andDepartments in the with who have produced the goods Nominees must be 35 creating the placesregion. excelled? and delivered or under. of tomorrow. We are looking to something of quality The initiative is led by celebrate that will last into the President Colin success stories from future. Haylock and follows the region and those If you are proud of on from the who have delivered. something you have successful Today’s done and work you and Tomorrow’s have achieved let us Leaders Awards. It know. will spotlight and recognise the achievements of planners in each UK Region and Nation who have shown outstanding leadership qualities.
  15. 15. HOW TO MAKE A NOMINATION:In not more than 1,000 words or 2 sides of A4 (and using illustrations and examples ofprojects, if applicable), send your nominations to Sue Griffith-Jones the Planning Leaders Award, please go to: Leaders Award Nomination Form.pdf for thenomination form. This form should be returned to Sue Griffith-Jones FRIDAY 18th MAY 2012