Agenda item

Design for Gravesham - update


The Assistant Director (Strategic Regeneration) introduced Glyn Tully and Renzo Campisi from Levitt Bernstein, who presented the Committee with an update on the Design for Gravesham.  The presentation can be viewed via the following link (Public Pack)Design For Gravesham Update - Supplementary Agenda Supplement for Strategic Environment Cabinet Committee, 14/02/2023 19:30


The presentation outlined the process that would be undertaken to provide Gravesham with a design code for quality and sustainable regeneration for future development and regeneration.  Members were advised that the framework created in the finished document could follow the Council’s principles of Place, People and Progress:


  • Place - Enhancing the borough’s heritage, landscape and character, valuing the unique character of each area of the borough.
  • People – Engaging with the community and stakeholders by holding workshop events to listen to local stories and testimonials. 
  • Progress – Providing sustainable and quality design principles for new developers and a framework for community and place led regeneration.


The Committee were advised of the step by step process to completion and informed the project was currently at stage one, initial engagement.  Members were updated that an online survey would be launched very soon plus there would be local engagement events planned in March.


The Committee were invited to ask questions and to make comment:


  • Clarity was sought regarding timescales for the process of completion of the design code.  Members were informed that the stage one preliminary engagement process was hoped to be completed by 17th March 2023 before the pre-election period.  It was expected that a draft of the design code be available in September 2023, with a six-week consultation period to follow (as the ambition is for the design code to be adopted as a planning document).  It was hoped that the adoption of the new design code would be towards the end of November/early December 2023 (subject to internal governance approval process).


  • The Assistant Director (Strategic Regeneration) informed Members that he had conducted Ward walks with Members and had met with community groups and was keen to continue to do so.


The Chair advised Members that the Government had asked all local authorities to develop a design code that would stand the test of time and set a standard for future developers.   This code would give guidance of what the Planning Authority were looking for in a development.  The design would be created with the voices of the community in mind, in setting the framework.


  • The Committee queried how transport would be considered as part of the design code.  Members were advised that transport was key and consideration would be given to the changing modes of transport and so there would need to be flexibility within the document.  There would also need to be an understanding of active travel routes along with the impact of the future Lower Thames Crossing.  Members were notified that a PTAL (Public Transport Accessibility Levels) study could be a method used to develop a parking strategy.


  • Levitt Bernstein advised that feedback from Ward walks had already proved very useful and had been fed into the work undertaken so far.  Research through public engagement would continue and would be ongoing throughout the development of the document.  The document would be of use to both planning officers and the residents, being easily accessible and simple in understanding the Council’s expectations.


  • The Assistant Director (Strategic Regeneration) informed the Committee that the design code could influence future developments once adopted.  Developments that had already received planning permission would not be impacted by the new framework and would need to be acknowledged as part of the development of the code.


  • Members asked if industry could be incorporated within the code, enabling the Council to encourage high quality industry and commerce in the borough.


The Chair thanked Levitt Bernstein for taking the time to present the plans for Design for Gravesham to the Committee and advised that The Assistant Director (Strategic Regeneration) would share with Members any example codes Levitt Bernstein provide. 


The Committee noted the presentation.


Supporting documents: