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It Takes a Village: Planning, Placemaking and House Building in the ‘Age of Localism’ Katherine Brookfield PhD Research Student, University of Southampton.

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Presentation on theme: "It Takes a Village: Planning, Placemaking and House Building in the ‘Age of Localism’ Katherine Brookfield PhD Research Student, University of Southampton."— Presentation transcript:

1 It Takes a Village: Planning, Placemaking and House Building in the ‘Age of Localism’ Katherine Brookfield PhD Research Student, University of Southampton PhD: ‘An investigation into the relationship between planning policy and the quality of life of tenant and resident association members’ Housing Studies Association Conference 2012: How is the Housing System Coping? University of York, York, 18 th – 20 th April 2012

2 Neighbourhood planning Localism Act 2011 Parish Councils, community or business groups Prepare Neighbourhood Development Plans or Orders for ‘neighbourhood areas’ Plan – land use strategy Order – permits development that accords with it Gains 50%+ vote in local referendum, and Conforms to local, national and EU policy Becomes part of the statutory development plan

3 Tenants & Residents Associations (TARAS) and neighbourhood planning TARAS participating in neighbourhood planning in several communities e.g. Wirral, Enfield, Southampton Prompted interest: what type of plans might TARAS create? TARAS defined as: Voluntary, non-party political, place-based Comprise residents (home owners & renters) Protect / promote perceived ‘interests’ of group’s area Profess to be multi-issue groups

4 Method Explore TARAS’ environmental preferences Focus groups with 11 TARAS in Southampton Committee members = focus group participants Preferred and less preferred environmental designs & features Age: 1 to 30+ years old Size: 30 to 1,400 households ‘Extent’ of participation: 15% to 100% of households in area Population of area covered: 300 to 8,000 persons Area’s affluence: 95% homes in Council Tax Band A to 99% in Bands D - I Area’s spatial context: City centre flats to outlying suburbs

5 Where might TARA-led neighbourhood plans emerge? Lessons from Southampton…

6 TARAS in Southampton Number & (No. per 1,000 residents) by ward 120 TARAS 84 TARAS with contact details 0.36 groups per 1,000 residents Skills, resources, experience unevenly distributed across groups Bassett – only ward TARAS creating a neighbourhood plan Bassett’s TARAS – affluent, educated, home owners, background in planning

7 Where might TARA-led neighbourhood plans emerge? Affluent, homeowner areas In groups comprising educated people, professionals / retired professionals With a background / skills in planning Plus, given public sector spending cuts, groups that require minimal support from local authority planning departments

8 What might a TARA-led neighbourhood plan look like? What ‘type’ of places might such plans encourage? Insights from an analysis of TARAS’ environmental preferences…

9 Residential enclaves within walking distance of services and facilities “we would like various facilities but we’d like them handy but not on our doorstep” Peter, Group J “well I always say wouldn’t it be nice to walk to work 10 minutes away, that’s what everybody wants isn’t it” Dave, Group A “It is nice to be able to walk…all the local things are within walking distance which I think is good” Karen, Group D

10 Concentrate services and facilities in local centres “I mean whoever lays those places out, and Marshwell is another one, whoever lays those places out like that must be off their head, but its just an agglomeration of houses and non-descript little side roads…there is no real focal point, at Blueacre what have they got? A Sainsbury’s, a library, a bit of a square, but it’s an austere looking place if you know what I mean” James, Group A

11 Researcher: So you said you wouldn’t want to live in a city centre, why’s that? Barry: Noise pollution Alma: Yeah just the buzz of it Barry: Traffic John: Rat race Alma: Yeah the buzz of it with nothing, continuous wouldn’t it be, in my opinion, continuous buzz and nothing to look at Peaceful environments

12 Social composition “there was a time when the Barrow area was one of the most desirable areas in Southampton to live now its like a student ghetto and the residents of the Barrow are very sorry they live there currently and that’s just because of the influx of young people” Paul, Group G “the problem is concentrations…if they [ Houses in Multiple Occupation ] were spread through the community more evenly it would mean, if we talk about University students for example, they would be more inclined to be part of the community instead of being, what they are now, instead of the community” Clive, Group D

13 “And the question is what if anything should we place near housing but I think the thing you want to place most but which you can’t manufacture or plan for is the community spirit and getting that going is a really hard thing” Andy, Group F “I can’t stand it here, never did like it, its extremely convenient…but there’s no community life” Social interaction Bob, Group K

14 Green space “Yeah we do, I do like open spaces you know, you can go to Milton Keynes, its just a concrete jungle no green areas or space at all, its, no, I do like open space as long as its kept up clean and tidy that’s fine” Mary, Group B “I think every housing group, they need an open space, the residents need somewhere where they can go, where they are away from the houses” John, Group E

15 “Its making people sick, I heard somebody saying that the National Health Service had just made people sicker well in actual fact it’s living conditions that have made people sicker because everyone’s living on top of each other and they feel pressured and stressed and it causes digestive problems, IBS [Irritable Bowel Syndrome], it causes mental health issues, which is why we’ve got such a high incidence of people having mental health problems” Sally, Group A Spacious, low density environments

16 Design of development “we want unification we don’t want new stuff to stick out like a sore thumb, we want it to be in keeping with the rest of the place” Sally, Group A “recycling is vital and I think that now wherever you live or build has to have recycling built in as a major component of that and (pause) carbon footprints and reducing it with things like solar panels and stuff like that which should be built into all new buildings to reduce the energy requirements of a town” Barry, Group E

17 Retain the ‘status quo’ in established residential areas “there are certain things I mean something like workplaces, offices well I’d tear my hair out I’d give my house away if they started building anything like that round here because its not, its not what this area would appreciate” Peter, Group J “if its an existing residential area such as this then I think its wrong to even try and shoehorn in any new facilities you just don’t add it in after in an established area but fine to plan it from the outset” Laura, Group G

18 The ‘type’ of places promoted & form of house building encouraged Low density development – houses with gardens Conditions placed on use / occupation of dwellings Onsite green space provision at most residential schemes Local services & facilities required where none are in walking distance Housing directed to existing local centres Development directed away from established residential areas Development to reflect surrounding building styles Sustainability concerns to inform building and scheme design

19 Potential issues and tensions Addresses the needs of a narrow demographic House price affordability Increased pressure on land supply House builders generally prefer not to provide onsite services and facilities Viability questions around developing at low densities Viability of multiple local centres

20 Thank You

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