Winchester City Council is focused on the changes that are required to the Local Plan to ensure delivery of high-quality places. Design South East was commissioned to facilitate three workshops for local stakeholders to inform the review of the Local Plan and to consider Winchester more holistically in terms of how the new Local Plan deals with design issues, as well as to consider the town and the wider district from a more spatial perspective.
The first workshop (Policy) focused on Local Plan design policy, bringing together an invited audience of representatives from both the public and private sectors to discuss and agree the effectiveness of the current Local Plan design policies and other documents, to identify any gaps and consider how these could potentially be filled through new policies or revisions to existing policies.
The second workshop (Winchester Town) concentrated on more spatial matters and was an open invitation for local communities from the town to identify areas of brownfield/under used/disused space in Winchester where there might potentially be the opportunity for development.
The third workshop (Market Towns and Rural Villages) gave an open invitation to communities from the surrounding market towns and rural villages to have their say and to bring their local knowledge to bear on how there could be positive change through development to improve outcomes for existing as well as new residents. The context for discussions was the extent to which existing Village Design Statements are delivering high-quality developments and whether any changes to policy may be required, such as the production of village design codes.
We produced a set of illustrated reports that summarised the findings of the workshops and captured the feedback from mapping exercises, revealing commonalities that helped to identify broad Areas of Opportunity. The information gathered from the three workshops will be included in the Local Plan and consulted on as part of Reg 18 plan. This will set a clear direction relating to areas where opportunities exist to accommodate change and deliver high-quality development and places.
“The Local Plans team at Winchester City Council appointed Design South East to assist with facilitating three Local Plan design workshops. We were extremely pleased with the outcomes from all three events which were aided by the forward planning and the really constructive conversations we had with them about the content and delivery of the sessions prior to them taking place.
Design South East members played active roles in facilitating the workshops, and took all of the written material produced from two of the events and turned these into extremely clear and useful reports that we are intending to use in developing design policies for our draft Regulation 18 Local Plan. The results from workshops exceeded our expectations. We would not hesitate in asking for their assistance again“.
Strategic Planning Manager, Winchester City Council