Intro to Urban Design – Training Event
Following last evening’s Planning Committee meeting you will no doubt be unsurprised to learn of my disappointment regarding the outcome of the Application by Tesco to redevelop the Crown Centre. It was obvious that my comments previously distributed to you all by e-mail fell on deaf ears, with only the one exception.
I would like to clarify that my comments regarding the juxtaposition of the development next to Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas did not infer that the development should be a pastiche of former styles; far from it; I am an advocate of contemporary design and abhor buildings which have no integrity. My point here was that the new should be of commensurate quality and intrigue.
I am to be publicly quoted with my belief that the Approval of the Application in its current form is nothing short of a travesty. Certain members were blinkered by the belief that ‘better’ meant more expensive, yet I remain convinced that an equivalent ‘better’ design for such a large sector of our Town Centre was easily achievable and quite possibly at a lesser cost to the developer; certainly at lesser cost to the urban fabric and integrity of the Town.
By coincidence I received an e-mail yesterday from MADE, the Midlands Architecture and Built Environment Centre, giving details of a one day intensive course by way of introduction to Urban Design “…aimed at all those whose work involves decisions about the built environment including development control officers, transport planners, planning committee members, architects and house builders.” As I seem to have fundamentally failed to convince you myself of the importance of matters such as these in the Decisions that you as a Committee endorse, it may be of interest to some or all of you in order to further your necessary understanding of such issues. Whilst I would ask you to note that the course will involve some walking, I would invite you to attend if at all possible. I am unsure if funding exists or not to enable you to take part in such continuing development by way of expenses or grant, but were you minded to attend and the cost were of issue to you, my Practice would gladly sponsor your involvement.
I look forward to hearing from you…
Alun R Nicholas RIBA