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...amid calls for kitemark to be awarded for village design

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Prince Charles has called for a kitemark for welldesigned urban villages to be awarded by his foundation. The reward for best practice in urban village design would replace the 'urban village' label promoted by the Urban Villages Forum during the 1980s. Jon Bootland, director of regeneration and policy at the foundation, said the Prince was keen to see the idea implemented - an sign that HRH is stepping up his involvement in architecture.

The move was praised by Baron Isherwood, North West Development Agency's director of regeneration, who said the agency would be launching its own awards system to celebrate good design at the local level.

Isherwood said he hoped to collaborate with the Prince's Foundation over the NWDA's awards, which will be launched at the end of March.

Robert Cowan, director of the Urban Design Group, welcomed the influence the prince could bring to good village design. But he said there was a need to rethink the original 'urban villages' concept with its overcomplicated criteria.

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