The importance of design considerations for Councillors

Urban design is an important aspect of the planning process and it is now widely accepted that that basic urban design skills should be far more widely disseminated throughout the planning system, including among elected Members. 

TRA offers an in-house workshop entitled Design Considerations and the Principles of Urban Design specifically aimed at Councillors who are looking to begin the process of developing these basic skills.  From the pre-application stage to the final determination of an application at Planning Committee, the importance of sound design-based decision making is emphasised.

The workshop is suitable for participants of any level of ability and no previous experience of urban design is required.

Specific aspects covered include:

  • What is the point of urban design?
  • Qualities of public space; permeability, vitality, variety, legibility
  • Planning guidance and best practice
  • Use of planning briefs and design statements
  • Landscape and public open space considerations
  • Modern buildings in historic context

The workshop was recently delivered at East Staffordshire Borough Council for a mixture of both Members and Planning Officers, by TRA Presenter, Tim Crawshaw.

Feedback from participants was very encouraging:

  • I had no expectations, however, I found the content and delivery were very good.  I found having a mix of Members and Planning Officers made the workshop more informative and meaningful.
  • A big subject to tackle but dealt with in an informative way.
  • Very enjoyable and very interesting, especially the site visit.
  • Interesting examples of bad planning design and ways to improve. An enthusiastic presentation with good examples and ideas for delivering better design.
  • Exceeded my expectations as I did not expect it to be so interactive or out on location.
  • An overview of urban planning and design issues, a good introduction. Good examples used for poor development, evolving into better design.

This workshop can be delivered as a full-day or half-day (3 hour) programme and can accommodate up to a maximum of 25 participants; numbers are limited to encourage interaction and participation.

If you think that your Councillors would benefit from an in-house training session on design principles, then please do not hesitate to contact Angela Holmes to receive a no-obligation quotation.