Architect and town planning consultant Urban Initiatives, which is masterplanning an ODPM housing growth area in Ashford, Kent, is to produce design codes governing the development and regeneration of the town.
The codes, which will be ready in April, will give guidance on building types, roads, green spaces, how to get the right mix of uses, infrastructure and sustainability, including water management.
Kelvin Campbell, director of Urban Initiatives, said: “We have never worked on an existing town at this level of depth before. But it is not about the look of the buildings. We’re talking at a strategic level, such as where to locate a school.”
The town’s population, now 50,000, is set to double over the next 20 years. Under the sustainable communities plan, Ashford is expected to have at least 31,000 new homes by 2031. When the codes are ready they will then be handed over to Ashford council and local partnership Ashford Futures to ensure that the masterplan is carried out properly.
A design code has already been developed for the Barracks site in Ashford, which is being developed by George Wimpey and Westbury Homes. It is one of seven in the UK where coding has been tested by a CABE pilot programme. Campbell said there would be no conflict between the Barracks code and the overall codes for the town. “That code is more focused on buildings. It is like a sub-set of our codes.”
The government has designated three other housing growth areas at Milton Keynes, the Thames Gateway and the London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough corridor.