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Plans submitted for £1bn Scottish 'Poundbury'

[First look] Plans have been submitted for a controversial, 4,000 home ‘village’ near Aberdeen masterminded by American New Urbanist Andres Duany

The £1 billion Chapelton of Elsick project, to be built on farmland to the west of Newtonhill, has been worked up to outline planning application stage by London-based Brooks Murray Architects, Edinburgh’s Benjamin Tindall Architects and Covell Matthews.

The design team, which includes Duany’s firm Duany Plater-Zyberg (DPZ), has also submitted detailed plans for the first 800-home phase of the community 10 miles south of Aberdeen.

The 809 ha new town, which has been hailed as Scotland’s ‘largest new settlement for a generation’, will eventually feature seven neighbourhoods and create a total of 9,000 homes.

It is understood Walters and Cohen will design six primary schools, one secondary school and possibly a further education building. The schools however will not be subject to the ‘traditional’ design code and will be contemporary in design. The practice was approached to design these schemes after David Southesk, director of project backer the Elsick Development Company, saw Walters and Cohen’s Wembley Primary school in Harrow from a passing bus.

Southesk said: ‘It has taken a great deal of work and commitment to get to this point. Transparency has been key to the development of the masterplan and will remain so if we receive permission.

‘Chapelton will not only provide a substantial economic boost to the area, but offers an opportunity to create a new style of living that will undoubtedly provide homebuyers with a vibrant community in the north east of Scotland. From an extensive range of homes and schools through to a well planned town centre and green space, this is a chance to deliver a new sustainable community on a highly significant scale.’

Previous story - (AJ 17.06.2011)

Duany reveals plans for £1bn new town near Aberdeen

[First look] American New Urbanist Andres Duany has unveiled the first images of his controversial 4,000 home Chapelton of Elsick ‘village’ near Aberdeen

It has also emerged Walters and Cohen, London-based Brooks Murray Architects, Edinburgh’s Benjamin Tindall Architects and Covell Matthews are working along side Duany’s firm Duany Plater-Zyberg (DPZ) on the £1 billion project on farmland to the west of Newtonhill.

Duany’s appointment as masterplanner for the development raised eyebrows earlier this year, with some critics fearing the ‘settlement’ could resemble the townscape in the film the Truman Show [the 1998 film was shot in Seaside, a town in Florida designed by Duany].

Due to go out to public consultation later this month, the latest designs include primary schools, a secondary school, leisure and community facilities, retail and business facilities as well as a ‘variety of housetypes’.

Lord Southesk, director of Elsick Development Company said: ‘The community has already been involved in every stage of the development of Chapelton. More than 300 people attended a ten-day ‘Charrette’ last September, during which they worked with a world-class design team to develop the masterplan.

‘More than 570 visitors at two exhibtions [have already seen] the developing plans. We collected valuable feedback on our earlier designs at these events, including the need for bungalows and an endorsement of largely traditional housetypes.

‘The masterplan is being developed by Andres Duany, the world renowned pioneer of new urbanism, a movement which aims to build walkable, mixed-use towns with a focus on building communities. With 40 per cent green space, a town centre and excellent transport links we are looking to recreate the lifestyle of traditional Scottish towns.’

In April 2010, Duany sparked protests while carrying out a series of charrettes for the Scottish government after he alleged the country had not built any housing to be proud of since 1945 (AJ 08.04.10).

Readers' comments (7)

  • Im presuming from the drawings above that cars (and people for that matter) will not be inhabiting this village?

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  • Pinch me, somebody..... is this the 19th Century.... or the 21st...?

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  • What's scottish about that?.... there was an article in one of the weekend papers about the Russians buildings 'English' villages for Oligararchs, the Chinese have been doing it for years as well, this could be Shanghai or Moscow. For all TAG's musings about 'local' architecture, they are no more 'local' than Wimpey

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  • Kieran Gaffney

    I like image 3 of the village square and I think it looks pretty Scottish. No doubt huge controversy but good design is good deisgn and style is irrelevant

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  • Christine Murray

    Interesting that Walters and Cohen will be designing contemporary schools in the middle of it, and that these will not be subject to the design code.

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  • Duany is an operator, the ‘charrette’ a vehicle now so obviously manipulated to smooth opposition, stifle innovation and deliver consent that it has become a parody of what it was intended to achieve.

    Scotland with its current aspiration for respect and independence, deserves better than this turgid caricature of Brigadoon and our governance lacks the intellectual clout to insist on better.

    Utterly depressing.

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  • The classic Italian hilltowns - from mediaeval Montepulciano to renaissance Urbino, say - might just have 9000 dwellings. Imagine some of the fine small Scottish burgh of similar size. Think of three key images.

    Then look at the three reproduced here. Notably the third with its church spire (really?) covered 'market'(?) and friendly litter bins...

    Village? Underground rapid-transit system to Aberdeen centre accessed from platform 9 3/4, presumably?

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