Northamptonshire Borough Council approached TransForm Places to help them develop a study to define character areas in the town centre and the to use this work to develop a tall buildings strategy. The finished work was to become adopted council policy, forming part of the LDF and setting the design framework for future policy initiatives.
We started by working with the council policy team, assessing the state of their current evidence base and seeing which bits of this could help with any future documents. We then began defining our terms, setting the framework for a project brief that could be sent out to tender. The approach we adopted differed from those in the past in that we decided not to try and cover the whole town centre. Rather, we used ‘street segments’ that were special and memorable and defined these as places for special policy intervention; other areas were adequately covered by existing policies and could be left out.
The use of street segments naturally gave rise to framework for the setting and locations for potential tall buildings, and the next discussion was to define a tall building the context of Northampton town centre. Once this work was completed, we worked with the policy team to develop a brief for consultants. We also developed a scoring matrix that allowed the team to assess tender submissions. Shortlisted consultants were then interviewed by the policy team to TransForm Places in attendance. The finished document can be found here.