Positive planning for the future of our towns and cities has to be much more than a two dimensional process. Whether through Neighbourhood Planning in the English context or as part of emerging Place Planning in Wales, the process needs to capture the current social and economic dynamism and distinctiveness of the community in question.
At the People and Places Partnership we pride ourselves on getting under the skin of places. We do this by assessing key indicators but also importantly by engaging with key stakeholders so that they are part of the process. We have used this approach in assisting with numerous Neighbourhood Plans in England and are now excited to be extending the techniques to help shape a pilot Place Plan for Abergele in North Wales.
Literally and metaphorically, Abergele is a town at a cross-roads. There is an opportunity for falling footfall in the town to be boosted by residents from planned new homes. It is a town that needs to re-invent its social and economic role within the wider landscape of North Wales. Abergele can have a positive future through progressive planning that focuses on creating the conditions which benefit and enhance the local community and environment.
The Abergele Place Plan (APP) will be a community led Plan. Its preparation and delivery will be based on what the community of Abergele want to see improved, promoted and enhanced. The Plan will seek to deliver key local projects by setting out a holistic local strategy complemented by positive new development.
Alongside physical improvements to historic shop fronts and public spaces, the Place Plan will build on the existing understanding of what the community of Abergele want to see, from improved planting to an enhanced library, introduction of youth activities and an improved Pentre Mawr Park.
As the People and Places Partnership we will be working with planners from Conwy Council to extend our normal town centre benchmarking technique in a way that captures an understanding of the wider social and economic role of the town centre. We will do this in a way that takes full account of town centre users’ (and non-users) views and actively involves and supports the development of the town’s evolving and enthusiastic business forum.
Watch this space for updates on progress with the pilot Abergele Place Plan.
Read the Top Tips on Creating a Vision and Masterplan prepared by our partner Chris Jones Regeneration Ltd.
Learn about the potential Town Centre Investment Zones to deliver town vision and masterplans.