Urban Watchdog Gives Thumbs Up To Wandsworth's Planning Blueprint

Council guide for next 15 years earns praise from architecture & urban design group Cabe

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Experts from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) have praised the key element of the council’s Local Development Framework (LDF) for its clarity, structure and ability to communicate.

The LDF's core strategy lays out the key policies and priorities that will guide development in the borough over the next 15 years. It identifies the main characteristics of the borough and sets out the approaches needed to ensure existing neighbourhoods and town centres are protected.

It details where new housing, retail space, leisure facilities, employment opportunities, transport improvements and other investment would be best provided over the next decade and a half.

The core strategy, which has already been approved by a Government planning inspector, is "well structured and uses plain English and maps throughout to clearly communicate the strategy," according to Cabe.

The watchdog adds: "The document expresses spatial themes as a series of simple maps to tell the story of the area and ensure that everyone can understand what the vision for Wandsworth is and how it can be achieved.   By clearly communicating the strategy Wandsworth can encourage understanding, engagement and contributions from developers and communities alike.

"The maps alone clearly explain the strategic priorities for each area and give a sense of what each place will be like in 15 years time. Wandsworth’s use of maps is successful as they succinctly communicate a large amount of information and make a spatial vision clear and accessible."

Executive member for strategic planning Cllr Ravi Govindia said: "Having already had our core strategy approved by the Government's inspector, we are delighted to have now received this glowing endorsement from Cabe.

"We set out to make the strategy as clear and as straightforward as possible so that people could easily understand it. We have a definite vision for the future of the borough and our job is to communicate that vision as best we can so that people can contribute to it and make sure their voices are heard and their opinions and suggestions taken on-board.

"We all share a responsibility in making sure that Wandsworth retains its reputation as a great place to live, work, play and do business and this strategy will help us achieve that."

The core strategy is expected to be formally adopted by councillors later this month. It will then be subject to full public consultation.


October 12, 2010