Community Regeneration Partnership Expertise in Urban Renewal
  • Feb

    RENEW North Staffordshire, Beth Johnson Housing Association & Stoke-on-Trent City Council: Neighbourhood Planning and Management by C~BASE

    In June 2006, C~BASE were commissioned to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for the Wellington Street area and an Environmental Improvement Scheme for the Seymour Street area of Hanley.  This became the first application of the unique C~BASE regeneration model pioneered by CRP with Trinity Architecture and Design Ltd.
    At the heart of the approach were two distinct elements – a Neighbourhood Plan and a costed and agreed Seymour Street Neighbourhood Delivery Plan.  The latter approach featured the use for the first time of an innovative planning tool – the 3D fly-through model.  While fly-through models have been used before, C~BASE had developed a very sophisticated version that linked improvement or redevelopment options with a cost indicator on the same screen.  The specifications for this had already been agreed by the Local Authority.  Employing the fly-through model could enable the local community to make real time decisions on the potential improvements to their houses and their environment within financial parameters set by the funder (in this case Renew North Staffordshire), which had established a budget of £1.5million.  RENEW aimed to secure the future of the area and increase property values in the area.  Traditionally, the type of intervention programmes needed to stabilise areas in a similar condition would have cost at least £5m, so C~BASE’s unique ability to reduce timescales and costs proved invaluable in making change possible.
    C~BASE identified the priorities of the funding partners and provided Delivery Proposals for the Seymour Street area, with many design options identified and drawn up.  C~BASE delivered an Implementation Plan, a Neighbourhood Plan Report, and a Neighbourhood Delivery Plan within 9 months.  This resulted in a series of proposals for physical change to the area which were to be implemented over the following 6 to 8 months.
    The community welcomed the use of the fly-through model for many reasons.  It helped to speed up the process.  They were enabled to look at their street as it is, and consider and prioritise options for how it could be improved within the funding parameters that had been made clear to them.  Realistic and deliverable options were discussed and agreed with both the client and the community, ensuring that potential quick wins were identified.  Some of these were quickly implemented, which made a significant contribution to restoring the reputation of the Council to a community which had felt beleaguered after a long period of uncertainty and uncompleted proposals.
    Reviews of the process identified that “It is vital that RENEW and Stoke-on-Trent City Council build on this positive foundation by ensuring that the necessary work to secure the future of the remainder of the Wellington Street area proceeds quickly.  The C~BASE process lends itself very well to the likely requirements of the remaining sub areas where a mixture of clearance and refurbishment is likely to be proposed… The wider City Waterside area, which now includes Wellington Street, also offers RENEW and Stoke-on-Trent City the opportunity to pilot the development of a long term stewardship model that could have significance for the Market Renewal Area programme as a whole.  Beth Johnson have indicated a willingness to support this process and C~BASE would also be willing to act as project managers.” �
    The regeneration process continues in the areas assisted by C~BASE with a further commitment of £1million to deliver further improvements to the remaining properties in the area.

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