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Four firms to work with Cambridgeshire villagers as Public Practice bears fruit

Cambridgeshire 3
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Four practices have been selected to work with villages in Cambridgeshire to shape design standards in the area

South Cambridgeshire District Council announced that London-based firms Citizens Design Bureau, DK_CM, Emily Greeves Architects and Urban Silence would help eight communities draw up Village Design Statements.

These will eventually be adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents, giving them a significant weight in the development consent process.

The council said the final documents would outline expectations for rural design and be ‘concise, forward-looking and visually led’. Communities will be able to use the statements to express what is important to them about the character of their village, it added.

The project is being delivered by the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service, a partnership between the district council and Cambridge City Council.

Special projects officer Hana Loftus – placed with the shared planning service by social enterprise Public Practice – is leading the village design statements initiative.

Eighteen communities initially expressed an interest in the process and the following eight were selected to take part: Caldecote; Fulbourn; Gamlingay; Histon and Impington; Over; Papworth Everard; Sawston; and Swavesey. These are each represented by a volunteer project champion and a community steering group including at least one parish council member.

South Cambridgeshire District Council lead cabinet member for planning Tumi Hawkins said: ‘This is a fantastic way for residents to have a big say on future development near where they live. Having this guidance prepared by communities will mean all sides have a clear understanding of what we expect to see built, right at the start of the planning process.

’I’m looking forward to seeing new designs emerge that truly enhance communities. This is a great example of planners and communities working together.’

DK_CM is working with Spacemakers and Europa; Emily Greeves Architects is working with Freddie Phillipson.

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