One of 25 locations selected for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Pathfinder Programme, the Chatham Centre Design Code establishes the detailed parameters needed to deliver high-quality and beautiful places in Chatham, contributing to the area’s vision for city status.
BPTW led a multi-disciplinary design team comprising Create Streets, Urban Movement, HTA Landscape and Lyall Bills & Young Architects
Medway Council appointed BPTW to lead a multidisciplinary design team of community engagement specialists, landscape architects, and architectural and transport consultants to create the Chatham Centre Design Code.
BPTW followed the three-stage National Model Design Code process to define a unique vision for the town centre, alongside Chatham-specific area types and detailed design coding. Each stage benefited from a highly collaborative engagement process with officers, members, stakeholders and the community using wide and deep consultation methods. Once Medway Council adopts the design code as an SPD, it will create greater certainty in the planning system by facilitating development and enabling the community to determine what their neighbourhood looks like.
The design code studied sustainability at a macro scale to encourage a modal shift towards long-term sustainable development on sites that contribute to the wider context. Sustainable factors promoted by the design code include public transport and active travel, the introduction of SUDs and surface water management, and improved tree canopy cover to reduce heat impact and create beautiful streets.
Selected for DLUHC’s Pathfinder Programme, the design code acts as an example for other local authorities and has been featured in a promotional film by the Design Council as an example of design coding best practices.