OK, so it is pantomime season, but last week we were not expecting to be accused of “dressing up” at a Core Strategy examination.

But that is exactly what happened to Kirkwells, Managing Director, Michael Wellock.

Representing Hartshill Parish Council at the examination in to the North Warwickshire Core Strategy Michael was accused, by consultants representing a large landowner, of “dressing up” the Parish’s representations.

Forgive us, but that is what we thought we, as expert planning professionals, were paid to do. In this instance, help Hartshill articulate their concerns that North Warwickshire’s proposed strategy was wrong and identified too much future housing for Hartshill.

It seems that Hartshill, by having the temerity to appoint paid professional planners, just like most of the landowners and developers at the examination had done, had done the unthinkable – and challenged the big players. Perhaps Hartshill should have stayed at home and let the development industry get on with it?

Er, no. As Michael pointed out:

“Hartshill Parish Council had just as much right to be around that examination table as any one else. And to be accused of “dressing up” local views misses the point. Hartshill, indeed, any parish council, has just as much right as any big landowner to seek out the best planning advice, the type of advice Kirkwells provide, to help get their viewpoint across, and protect the interests of local people.”

Do you need expert help to make your case at an appeal, inquiry or hearing? Get expert help from Kirkwells by calling 01282 872570, or email for our brochure “Outgunned? Town Planning Support for Parish and Town Councils”.

The examination continues this week (w/b 13/1/14).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chaddesley Corbett Cover_editedThe Chaddesley Corbett Neighbourhood Plan has reached the important Regulation 14 consultation stage. 

Kirkwells have supported Chaddesley Corbett in their neighbourhood plan preparations by turning the work undertaken by the steering group and theme groups in to effective planning policies.

Working closely with Wyre Forest District Council this means that the Chaddesley Corbett Neighbourhood Plan a high quality plan has been produced that is in accordance with national and local planning policy.

Louise Kirkup, Director, Kirkwells said:

“Working alongside Chaddesley Corbett to help them put together this draft of their neighbourhood plan has been a rewarding experience. We have been able to take the ides of the steering group and theme groups and help turn them in to, what we think, will be very effective planning policies to guide future development in the parish.”

To find out more about the Chaddesley Corbett Neighbourhood Plan click here.

If your steering group need help putting their ideas in to the correct “planning language”, language that means they will do what you want when faced with development proposals call Louise on 01282 872570. Or email requesting a copy of our Neighbourhood Planning brochure.

Kirkwells are one of the leading chartered town planning consultancies supporting communities in the preparation of neighbourhood plans.

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Kirkwells has been procured by Daventry District Council to provide neighbourhood planning services

This framework for accessing neighbourhood planning services from Kirkwells allows town and parish councils, and other qualifying bodies (i.e. Forum) to access this service without  the need for separate procurements. It also provides neighbourhoods with access to a known set of consultancy services at known costs.

Louise Kirkup, Kirkwells Director on announcing Kirkwells selection said:

This type of agreement will save the towns and villages in Daventry who use Kirkwells’ neighbourhood planning services considerable time and money. Unfortunately, procurement seems to be one of the “hidden extras” that is not factored in when groups are thinking of preparing neighbourhood plan. A “hidden extra” that can take many months. With the Daventry Framework we can get start on work with towns and parishes almost immediately.”

The award criterion was based on Kirkwells’ planning policy experience and cost.

If you are a town or parish council, or a neighbourhood group and would like to know more call Michael or Louise on 01282 872570. Or request a leaflet.

Local planning authority, and wondering how this could work for you? Call Michael on 01282 872570.

 

 

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Lawns Farm, Branston, Sustainable Urban Extension?

Lawns Farm, Branston, Sustainable Urban Extension?

Branston Parish Council have appointed Kirkwells town planning consultancy to help them prepare their neighbourhood plan in one of the Government’s frontrunner neighbourhood planning areas.

Branston are one of eleven neighbourhood planning frontrunners in East Staffordshire.

In announcing the appointment Branston Parish Council Chairman Mike Ackroyd said:

“We as a parish council are on a very steep learning curve with and from our first meeting with Kirkwells they have given us the confidence to help us prepare our plan. They are very keen to help and guide us and nothing is too much trouble, we are looking forward to working closely with them.”

Kirkwells’ Policy Director, Louise Kirkup said:

“Neighbourhood planning is one of our specialities. So here at Kirkwells we are really looking forward to supporting Branston Parish Council, local residents and businesses to prepare their neighbourhood plan.”

To find out Kirkwells can help you with your neighbourhood plan call 01282 872570 or click here.

 

 

©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley www.kirkwells.co.uk
Research • Planning Policy • Site Search • Site Appraisal • Planning Applications •  Appeals • Sustainable Development • Urban Design • Masterplanning • Heritage Statements • Bids for Funding • Neighbourhood Planning • Community Right to Build • Community Engagement • Training

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The successful launch of the Stretton Neighbourhood Plan has just taken place. And if you view the photos what a success this was.

People through the door, numerous comments, new information, and dialogue opened, things to check, and potential new volunteers.

Stretton Neighbourhood Plan Launch People Talking at The Exhibition

So how did we and Stretton parish council do it? Below are ten key things used in Stretton to make engagement and consultation on the neighbourhood plan a success.

  1. Good Organisation – it may sound obvious, but this is a must. Decide in advance what you are doing, who is doing it, what materials you need, and how you will make a record of what was said and discussed.
  2. Willing, enthusiastic and well-briefed volunteers– it is your plan so make sure that you have well-briefed, enthusiastic volunteers. People who know the area, who can immediately build a rapport with local people, but, importantly can explain more about neighbourhood planning.
  3. Time and place– this may seem obvious but think hard about where you hold events (how big are they, how do people get there, are there other things going on etc.); and the timing of your event – when is the best time to get people to come to you and not all the other things they will want and have to do.
  4. Have something to say – again it may sound obvious, but make sure you have something to say, and the right materials to get this across. People expect to see something, and you want them to start to think and talk about the future of their area. For this you need words, pictures, drawings and maps to engage in debate.
  5. Publicise – your event. Press releases, local papers like this sort of thing, send them a photo, use existing leaflets (e.g. church newsletters), schools, the more things you do the more likelihood you have of people turning out.
  6. Controversy  – is there another issue making news in the area? Causing controversy or making people ask questions – don’t be afraid of tackling such issues if it stirring up feeling it is important and is the type of thing people feel strongly about in terms of where they live. In Stretton cutting of trees on one of the parishes open spaces, and new plans to plant street trees were causing disquiet locally. So the parish council got hold of the information and got ready to answer people’s questions so they could tell people what was going on. Key point, if you do this – make sure you are well briefed and can answer questions, or tell people where to go for more information.Stretton Launch
  7. Dialogue – how many consultations do you know of, especially held by councils and developers, that leave you feeling frustrated, patronised and powerless? Most? Well, with neighbourhood planning you are in charge – your ambition should be to “do unto others as you would as you would have them do to you”. To do this find ways of entering in to a dialogue, ways of ensuring people can influence your plan: ways in which people can ask questions and receive feedback; ways in which they can be involved in making decisions. Never think just preparing fancy graphics and maps and just asking “what do you think?”, “do you support this?” is a replacement for real debate and dialogue – this is the hallmark of poor consultation, going through the motions and ticking boxes.
  8. Invite other organisations and people – your neighbourhood plan needs partners – invite the council, the highway authority, key local decision makers, developers, and landowners. In preparing your plan you need to engage these people.
  9. Keep good records – as you prepare your plan you will have to prepare a Consultation Statement. For this you must keep good records: details of your publicity materials; who attended what event; what people said; and what you intend to do about it.
  10. Tea and biscuits – people are taking the trouble to come out to see you and your plan. At least offer them a brew and a biscuit. And what better way to get people to stop and talk. And if the budget stretches to it, and the time and place is right, go further and offer food. There is nothing like food to bring people together and get them talking.

Simple? Obvious? In many ways yes, but just think how many big organisations get these things wrong? Consulting on fancy drawings and proposals that are already set in stone and cannot be changed. Don’t make the same mistake.

Do you need to engage people on your neighbourhood plan? Need the help of award winning experts? Call Louise on 01282 872570, or email, to discuss how we can help you engage your local community on the development of their neighbourhood plan.

 

 

©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley www.kirkwells.co.uk
Research • Planning Policy • Site Search • Site Appraisal • Planning Applications •  Appeals • Sustainable Development • Urban Design • Masterplanning • Heritage Statements • Bids for Funding • Neighbourhood Planning • Community Right to Build • Community Engagement • Training

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Kirkwells have been appointed by Stretton Parish Council to help support their neighbourhood plan preparation.

Stretton are one of the Government’s neighbourhood planning frontrunners.

Currently awaiting publication of their designation notice Stretton had previously been one of a number of parishes in East Staffordshire who had attended one of Kirkwells’ neighbourhood planning training sessions.

In announcing the appointment Stretton Parish Council Chairman David Eynon said:

“We are very pleased to have the support of Kirkwells at this important time. Working closely with the Parish Council their experience and professional approach will ensure Stretton’s NDP will deliver for the residents of Stretton and also help us to build a positive working relationship with Staffordshire County Council.”

Kirkwells’ Policy Director, Louise Kirkup said:

“Neighbourhood planning is one of our specialities. So here at Kirkwells we are really looking forward to supporting Stretton Parish Council, local residents and businesses to prepare their neighbourhood plan.”

To find out more about how Kirkwells can help support your neighbourhood plan click here, or call Louise on:

01282 872570

 

©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley www.kirkwells.co.uk
Research • Planning Policy • Site Search • Site Appraisal • Planning Applications •  Appeals • Sustainable Development • Urban Design • Masterplanning • Heritage Statements • Bids for Funding • Neighbourhood Planning • Community Right to Build • Community Engagement • Training

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New Homes, Grey Street, Daneshouse

New Homes, Grey Street, Daneshouse

Burnley councillors are to consider proposals for the compulsory purchase and demolition of a number of properties in the Daneshouse area. Kirkwells have been providing the council with advice on planning and compulsory purchase.

Property to be demolished on Abel Street

Property to be demolished on Abel Street

The move will allow further redevelopment of the area and make way for new homes to be built in their place as part of the borough-wide housing regeneration plan.

The properties being considered are on land broadly to the east of Abel Street and north of Hurtley Street.

A planning application by the council’s development partner Gleeson Homes to redevelop this site with 133 homes was approved at the end of May, and the report going to this month’s Executive will enable this work to proceed.

The planned housing will be varied in terms of size and type. As well as improving the overall neighbourhood, the report states that the redevelopment will help create a more balanced housing market in the area.

Councillor Howard Baker, the Executive member responsible for housing and the environment, said:

‘these proposals show that we are committed to making good on the promises that the Council has made to local communities’.

Do you need help with compulsory purchase, or a difficult planning policy issue, call 01282 872570 to find out how we can help you.

 

©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley www.kirkwells.co.uk
Research • Planning Policy • Site Search • Site Appraisal • Planning Applications •  Appeals • Sustainable Development • Urban Design • Masterplanning • Heritage Statements • Bids for Funding • Neighbourhood Planning • Community Right to Build • Community Engagement • Training

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Cliviger Wind Farm

Cliviger Wind Farm (Senor Pep!)

The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development. Sustainable means ensuring better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future generations. Development means growth.

Are looking to grow your business in a sustainable way?

Do you have a development proposal and need expert advice on sustainability issues?

Call 01282 872570 to find out how we can help you.

At Kirkwells we only do well planned, high quality sustainable development. The type of development we all want—development that creates great places. Whether that means redeveloping a difficult brownfield site, or protecting beautiful countryside.

To help you make make your development sustainable we offer a range of services:

  • Sustainable development advice to support your planning application
  • Sustainability Appraisal
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Policy Development
  • Habitat Regulations Assessment
  • Low cost training for your officers, staff and councillors.

To find out more about our sustainable development services call David Hortin on 01282 872 570, or download our leaflet.

 

©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley www.kirkwells.co.uk
Research • Planning Policy • Site Search • Site Appraisal • Planning Applications •  Appeals • Sustainable Development • Urban Design • Masterplanning • Heritage Statements • Bids for Funding • Neighbourhood Planning • Community Right to Build • Community Engagement • Training

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The Kirkwells Team has direct experience of producing a wide range of planning documents to complement and expand on existing Local Plan Policies.  To find out more read on, or call 01282 872570

Our work includes:

  • design guides;
  • development briefs;
  • regeneration strategies and other supplementary planning documents; and  
  • the production of Heritage Appraisals. 

Heritage Appraisals are documents which explore how the historic evolution of areas has shaped their present day character and distinctive qualities.

 

Heritage Appraisal Character Areas

Heritage Appraisal Character Areas

The Heritage Appraisals were undertaken to ensure that future regeneration proposals for each area are informed by a sound understanding of the heritage importance of the area and have proper regard for their historic character and local distinctiveness.

The Appraisals showed how seemingly normal, mundane or everyday historic elements can contribute significantly to the overall quality and character of places or have an interest in their own .

The Heritage Appraisals produced provided an assessment of:

 

  • historical development and associations;
  • pattern of street layouts and historic transport routes;
  • activity and vitality of land uses;
  • building materials styles and architectural detailing;
  • quality and relationship of buildings;
  • prominent landmarks, vistas and panoramas;
  • setting and topography; and
  • trees parks and open spaces.

The assessment also detailed where elements made a positive or negative contribution to the townscape of the area.  The Appraisals also identified opportunities to retain, strengthen and hance local character and identity. 

 

Grids and loops and lollipops

Grids and loops and lollipops

Further to producing the Heritage Appraisals, the Kirkwells Team were also core to the production of Design Guides for the areas covered by the Heritage Appraisals.  The guides were adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents.

There were nine design objectives which underpinned each guide, which established key design and planning principles for new development in a local context informed by the Heritage Appraisals and built on the increasing emphasis on design and quality in urban regenerations.

For further information on heritage and urban design contact Claire on 01282 872570.

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The Kirkwells Team has direct experience of managing, producing and engaging local communities and businesses on neighbourhood plans.

To find out more read on, or call 01282 872570

In inner Burnley a number of neighbourhood plans were produced to support the work of Elevate, the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder, and Burnley Borough Council.

Engaging the community on future plans for the neighbourhood

Engaging the community on future plans for the neighbourhood

Working in four neighbourhoods plans were produced within a wider framework of neighbourhood engagement. Michael Wellock, from Kirkwells, had overall managerial responsibility for the housing market renewal programme and neighbourhood management in inner Burnley; Kirkwells helped develop planning policy and physical interventions such as the Tay Street Trail; Claire Parker led the Council’s work on development briefs and design guidance.

This culminated in the winning of a Royal Town Planning Institute National Award for community engagement in 2007. Our experience of engagement on the Area Action Plans (AAPs) included:

  • The Planning Factory – a public event held at Burnley Football Club for residents and community groups to explain the AAP process in a fun and meaningful way;
  • Printing and distribution of 8-12 page summary documents and Proposals Maps to all households and businesses across the AAP areas;
  • Provision of free summary documents in community centres, public libraries, and other council buildings and access to the documents on the internet;
  • Numerous drop-in sessions held across the area, resourced and supported by Council officers, interpreters in areas with a high proportion of Asian heritage residents, other partners such as housing associations, and North West Planning Aid volunteers, to explain proposals verbally to residents;

    Pop-up leaflet!

    Pop-up leaflet!

  • Work with young people to design a “pop up” leaflet to promote a new texting facility to promote consultation with younger groups for consultation on Issues and Options;
  • A presentation and discussion at the Disability Forum, and use of signing, large print and translation services to support people with different needs and from different backgrounds to get involved in the AAP process;
  • Sessions with members of the Council to explain proposals and policies at all stages of the AAP, including presentation of the Proposals Maps;
  • Provision of free urban design training for residents over 6 sessions.  This was designed to provide residents with the skills and confidence to comment on development proposals coming forward for their area, and to improve dialogue between local communities and developers and the local authority;

    They liked the urban design training so much they baked Louise a cake!

    They liked the urban design training so much they baked Louise a cake!

  • A series of visits for residents to see other regeneration projects, to talk to other residents in other neighbourhoods, who had gone through major change in their neighbourhoods;
  • Working with architects Civic and artist Kevin Carter to engage residents in the first instance, and to raise awareness of the forthcoming AAP process through a series of night time projections onto buildings within the neighbourhoods, with images designed by local young people;
  • Development of a series of “quick win” environmental improvement projects with residents to ensure a range of short term physical improvements in times of great uncertainty and long term change.  These included:
  • Using art - night time projections

    Using art – night time projections

    The Tay Street Trail – an arts-led environmental improvement project to provide a physical link between a Sure Start Centre, a Day Nursery and a Community Health Centre, and with representatives of all 3 organisations supporting the project; and

  • The Green Routes and Gateways project in SW Burnley, developed in partnership with community artists Action Factory and young people providing a series of arts led physical enhancements to promote walking and cycling across the SW Burnley and Trinity AAP area. They worked with NW Planning Aid throughout to provide residents with an additional layer of advice and support from outside the Borough Council.

To find out how we can help with your neighbourhood plan download our leaflet or call Mick on 01282 872570. and don’t forget our regular update on neighbourhood planning – Neighbourhood Planning News.

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Sandygate forms the historic core of the Weavers Triangle.  The Weavers Triangle is the heart of the Canalside Conservation Area in Burnley and includes an impressive sequence of mills, weaving sheds and canal related features.

The Kirkwells team produced a Development Guide for the area in 2010, to coincide with the launch of the official OJEU notice for the procurement of a developer partner for the area.

In order to assist in the interpretation and implementation for future development and in recognition that proposals for the area are likely to come forward through a number of separate planning applications, the Sandygate area was divided into 10 smaller sites within the development guide.

Sandygate Development Brief Sites

Sandygate Development Brief Sites

Within each area the Design Guide identified the existing character and uses within that specific area.  This section also identified future uses that were viewed as appropriate for that section of the overall area.

The Guide sets out key components of good urban design in order to fulfil the regeneration objectives for the area.  The objectives include:

  • Creating a sense of place with a strong sense of identity;
  • Integrating contemporary high quality and innovative design into the historic context;
  • Addressing the relative isolation of the site;
  • Reducing the negative impact of vehicle movement;
  • Creating a functional, robust and appealing Public Realm; and
  • Positively addressing the canal and topography.
Slaters Terrace, Weavers Triangle

Slaters Terrace, Weavers Triangle

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