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Paper 12 - 24 September 1999 Meeting

DELIVERING URBAN RENAISSANCE IN SOUTH EAST - 22 SEPTEMBER 1999

Morning:

Lord Rogers

summarised his Task Force's report using slides of the photographs/diagrams in the report

emphasised need for compact cities: higher densities, easy accessibility to facilities

for city read small town upwards

mixed use essential

need cross departmental work; all activities of governments should demonstrate how they contribute to Urban living/renaissance (ie education/transport/health...)

enthusiasm for trams

critical to improve quality of design

growth of out of town shopping disastrous for vitality city/town centres

decline in numbers of children walking to school

local government should take lead in urban renaissance

enthusiasm for Barcelona.

David Lunts (Chief Executive's Prince's Foundation/Member of Urban Task Force)

leadership at every level important: political and technical

need for investment

overall household increases not important; what is more important is what makes them up and their different needs

task force support for planning; but it is slow and not pro-active

need PPG on urban development

involve neighbourhoods in developing plans for their areas

criticism of conventional highway standards

need measures to bring back into use upper floors

Urban Task Force recommended an Urban Renaissance Fund

emphasis on managing the urban environment

recommending urban priority areas

not enough "joined-up" thinking by professionals

Task Force recommending Government to discriminate in favour of cities in public spending allocations

need to encourage home zones where pedestrians take priority over traffic

Anthony Dunnett (Chief Executive, SEEDA/Member of Urban Task Force)

reviewed SEEDA Economic Strategy

number of houses required is a "sterile debate" - issue is how to deal with it

in South East - greatest need for housing; but lowest density of development

need to increase densities

key issues for SEEDA

- identification of brownfield sites
- setting new quality standards
- skills development
- co-ordination of investment and fund raising

Martin Crookston (Director, Llewely-Davies/Member of Urban Task Force)

higher densities can be achieved, with quality

make better use of small sites for higher densities

design-led approach can help

existing highway/planning standards mitigating against higher densities

public/members not come to terms yet with relegating car in design

Marian Franks (Housing Corporation)

Housing Corporation resources have been going down; less and less support for social housing

reviewing future priorities

will only invest when strong support/commitment from l.a.s

Section 106 agreements becoming more of an issue; seeking to encourage good practice on them

will work increasingly with SEEDA

end of morning

Debate:

how to achieve increase densities; need for volume housebuilders to change their ways; need for local authorities to be more flexible: do away with prescriptive standards

how to reduce car parking in schemes; need more investment in public transport

personal choice means that we need to get behavioural change to use of car and accepting higher densities

concerns at design led solutions; quality of schools significant issue in where people live

with falling Housing Corporation resources how are we going to provide social houses

Afternoon:

Councillor June Bridle (Leader, Southampton City Council)

Task Force report good news for cities

City is a hub of region

unjustified neglect of city centres

there are weaknesses in report, eg social aspects

hope report doesn't lead to national prescriptions

some of most deprived wards in South East England in Southampton; hope recommendation of Task Force will help

Southampton published 17 working papers on renaissance of city

Southampton developing a city design strategy; undertaken a city-wide public transport study

offices are being converted to flats

resources rewarded to local authorities by unproductive competition

Judith Armitt (Chief Executive, Medway Council)

substantial number of regeneration opportunities in Medway

river is at heart of regeneration in Medway

strong urban design quality/civic pride/community safety at centre of Medway approach

Urban Task Force report will only work if all government policies take into account

use Planning for Real: involving the community developing proposals

Citizens Inquiry looking into transport (16 person inquiry team)

Lesney Punter (Chief Planning/Transport Officer, Reading)

examples of conversion of offices to flats (market flats)

looking to high density development around station

want support for "borderline" areas - ie inner suburbs where future decay may be expected

David Saunders (GOSE)

some of Urban Task Force recommendations already been taken forward: eg home zones (first in Sittingbourne), Modernising Local Government involving local communities

Urban White Paper to be published in 6-9 months

Government Office hopes to publish report of Public Examination of Regional Strategy "in next few weeks". Report has a lot to say about urban renaissance

commissioning study of how smaller towns in region are going about urban renaissance

Afternoon debate:

need to involve people more, but needs to be quality consultation/dialogue (too much "bad" consultation). Consultation is resource intensive

where are we going on parking standards? Issue is dealt with in Panel Report of Public Examination of Regional Strategy

Last update: 12/10/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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