Acting on behalf of twelve parish councils, the team from Feria Urbanism drafted a joint response to the Maidstone Borough Council strategic plan, putting forward an alternative series of actions and ideas, using a neighbourhood-based approach. This work was recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and it featured on the cover of the institute’s best practice guidance note on neighbourhood planning.
As a result of this work with the joint parishes, we were appointed by Harrietsham Parish Council to develop a neighbourhood plan. Central to this process was an intensive three-day design forum based at the village hall. During these 72 hours, we worked with a wide range of stakeholders to develop new ideas for housing growth, rural services and countryside protection. Following extensive public consultation on the ideas generated at the design forum, we have completed a full neighbourhood plan for the community.
Our approach to neighbourhood planning puts urban design and place-making principles at the heart of the process. Widely seen as a successful approach, we have since been working with other communities in Kent – including Staplehurst, Loose and Faversham – to develop exciting, design-led Neighbourhood Plans. We are now working on neighbourhood planning projects in Bristol.
Our team strongly believes that a design-led approach to neighbourhood planning can produce widespread community support for the proposals and ideas. This sector of work is a growth area for our studio and we are keen to continue developing our expertise in this field.