Tuesday, 19 March 2019 00:00

Council’s ambitious vision for Great Yarmouth borough recognised as part of national programme

Written by  Davd Wiles
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Council’s ambitious vision for Great Yarmouth borough recognised as part of national programme

Great Yarmouth has been named as one of just five ‘Future Places’ in England to participate in a new national programme recognising and supporting local councils with ambitious and innovative visions for shaping their areas’ futures. 

The borough council made a successful submission to the Future Place programme, setting out its overarching vision for the area and how it is currently working closely with partners on a range of exciting work to support communities through place-leadership.

The initiative is run by the Royal Institute of British Architects, Chartered Institute of Housing, Local Government Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute, which considered 43 expressions of interest from around 90 local authorities. Homes England has also joined as a partner.

The five chosen ‘Future Places’ were selected as exemplars of high-quality place-making in England, based on their overall visions, ambition and innovative approaches. All five are determined to deliver meaningful change which will enhance people’s lives, improve community well-being and create sustainable environments.

Great Yarmouth will now take part in a programme to further support its vision for the areas, with advice and guidance provided from each of the Future Place project partners. Homes England  will offer all Future Places their expertise and professional skills, as well as a single point of contact at Homes England to support their vision.

The positive news was announced recently on the Government’s stand at real estate exhibition MIPIM, in Cannes, France.

Sheila Oxtoby, the council’s chief executive, said: “Our focus is delivering for communities through place-shaping, with the council playing a leadership role with our partners in helping to address the often inter-related challenges, while maximising opportunities for the borough.

“This is exciting national recognition for our approach, our ambitious vision, our partnership working and our varied work programme to support success in the borough. This is very much a team success, a tribute to the commitment of officers and partners, and the ambition and direction of members.”

Cllr Graham Plant and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, the political group leaders, said: “Working with partners to support communities is central to the council’s ethos, and this is reflected in our proactive work in a range of areas, including supporting inclusive growth and investment, improving infrastructure, housing standards and delivery, and enhancing the town centre and seafronts.

“We look forward to the council participating in this national programme, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the council teams and partners involved.”

Tom Walker, Deputy Chief Executive of Homes England, said: “The Future Place programme provides an excellent opportunity to work with exemplar councils to understand not only the needs of each place, but how best to break down the barriers and get more homes built where they are needed most. I welcome this collaboration and look forward to the agency getting involved.”

RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire, offered his congratulations: “Local Authorities play a vital role in creating happy, healthy and sustainable communities, and I am proud to be part of this initiative which encourages engagement with communities and collaborative approaches to planning and designing the best possible environments. The commitment these authorities have shown, despite financial and political barriers, is highly commendable. I look forward to working with all five over the next phase of the programme, learning lessons as they develop their visions, and celebrating their success.”

Chartered Institute of Housing President, Jim Strang, said: “Local authorities play an absolutely vital role in helping to create thriving communities that are great places to live and work, and crucially in providing genuinely affordable housing. Congratulations to all of our Futures Places – we look forward to supporting them and following their progress with interest.”

LGA housing spokesman, Cllr Martin Tett, said:  “Councils play a critical role in setting the vision and shaping the delivery of high-quality places where people want to live, work and enjoy their time. The five selected Future Places are demonstrating commitment through local leadership and collaboration to deliver meaningful change for their places. We are proud to be a partner of the programme which will showcase and provide expert advice to support high-quality place-making.”

Ian Tant, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said: “It is important that we celebrate planners’ creativity and vision in place-making, as well as the innovative and practical ways that many councils are using to foster the strategic collaborations essential to creating successful places. The five chosen Future Places show that strong, experienced local planning leadership makes all the difference to delivering places that thrive and work for people. That’s why we’re supporting this programme to further boost leadership development.”

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