15 - 09 - 2023
BPTW’s landmark design code for Chatham Centre is featured as a best practice example for Design coding in practice in the recent joint Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and Design Council publication, “Design Code Pathfinder Programme: Conversations and Insights”, alongside eight others.
One of 25 locations selected for DLUHC’s Pathfinder Programme, the Chatham Centre Design Code establishes the detailed parameters needed to deliver high-quality and beautiful places and acts as an exemplar for other local authorities. Once adopted, it will create greater certainty in the planning system and enable the community to determine how their neighbourhood looks, anticipating the delivery of the area’s vision for beauty, more greenery and greater focus on local heritage.
BPTW’s design code for Chatham Centre is presented in the Design Coding in Practice section. It establishes a positive example of area-specific coding in line with National Model Design Code guidance and local planning policy. The document describes how BPTW specifically created detailed area types for the town centre and five broad area types for use across Medway. Inspired by street characteristics, a unique, place-specific vision sits at the heart of each area type and addresses movement, public space and nature, built form and land use.
The Design Council’s Pathfinder Insight complements the National Model Design Code guidance and advises local authorities and designers on creating a place-specific, enforceable code informed by local character and strong community engagement. The document includes directions for setting objectives, articulating a vision, incorporating local characteristics and identifying area types, complemented by project examples and interviews.