Learning about planning and building design


Some thoughts from an event organised by the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community and the Federation of Cambridge Residents’ Associations.

I’ve inserted the above summaries of issues raised by participants at a reception the previous evening (11 March 2016) at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. We had an all-day workshop earlier today where we were taken through a detailed process of how to come up with a neighbourhood plan that hopefully will help our city improve the design of new developments – and do something to stop the more speculative developments going up.

Details of this process are at http://www.princes-foundation.org/content/enquiry-design-neighbourhood-planning, and also the toolkit is at https://www.bimby.org.uk/. By the looks of things, one of the residents associations in Newnham will be piloting this process on behalf of the rest of the city. If it succeeds, it’s something that could be adopted by the rest of the city (or communities within it) to improve the design of buildings and planning applications. We did a number of exercises on both days, another one being mapping the city in terms of areas we like, don’t like & think could be improved.

We’ve reached a stage in Cambridge where residents are becoming more active and mobilised as a result of controversial plans with the Greater Cambridge City Deal. It is these that have let to calls from some quarters for more independent election candidates to stand – such as at ‘Experiments with Democracy’ very recently.

It remains to be seen what impact the City Deal has with the local council elections – speaking of which, Democracy Club needs your help mapping every seat up for election. See https://democracyclub.org.uk/everyelection/ for details.




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