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Design Charrette for St Albans Civic Centre Opportunity Sites Masterplan

St Albans Design Charrette


"Design Charrette for St Albans Civic Centre Opportunity Sites Masterplan", entered by Look! St Albans; ImaginePlaces Ltd; and St Albans City Centre Opportunity Site (CCOS) Development Partnership

This is a collaborative design and planning project between community, public and private sector interests.  At the heart of this project is a well prepared and independently facilitated and reported on Design Charrette process for the Civic Centre Opportunity Sites Masterplan. 

The organisations involved gathered over 160 people around a three-part Design Charrette.  This effectively jumpstarted a detailed masterplanning process for three hectares of land located in the busy city centre of St Albans and bridged a gap between a Planning Brief (SPD) and individual detailed planning applications.

Its outputs are strengthened in meaning and weight through:

  • a Memorandum of Understanding with the Local Planning Authority, 
  • a Letter of Recommendations written by the community host, and

  • Independent facilitators, focused on enabling discourse and learning about good placemaking within delivery constraints and through rapid-prototyping.

Key outcomes to date:

  • Two 3D masterplan concepts emerged that are widely understood and supported which address key opportunities and constraints.
  • The emerging masterplans provide a clear steer for landowners for next steps and deepened working relationships between them, local residents and other local stakeholders;
  • A shared place vision for all stakeholders to refer to when planning applications are submitted and assessed.