Boom in design review prompts new guidance

The number of design review panels has more than doubled in the last five years, so that now almost every local authority has access to high quality independent design advice. Over 80 panels are up and running across England.

New guidance has been launched, Design review: principles and practice, to promote consistently high standards for all panels.

The guidance has been developed by CABE, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Landscape Institute.

[SOURCE: CABE]

Need for green farming schemes in England

Natural England has published a report titled “Agri-environment schemes in England 2009: A review of results and effectiveness”, the report draws on research from the entire 22-year history of the schemes and analyses the impact they have made on England’s farmed environment.

Poul Christensen, Acting Chairman of Natural England, said: “This report provides conclusive proof that agri-environment schemes have again and again demonstrated their value as a fundamental part of the farmed landscape. They have successfully combined the twin goals of caring for the environment and maintaining food production. As well as sustaining our wildlife and heritage, they help combat climate change, educate our children, and deliver local investment and jobs.

To view the full report and summary please visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/aesiereport.aspx

SOURCE: Natural England

Aecom’s Derbyshire urban village submitted for planning

Building Design reports

The application for the £300 million scheme on the outskirts of Chesterfield has gone in to Chesterfield Borough Council and is the largest ever submitted in the town.

Proposals include 1,550 house and apartments along with 2,200 sq m of retail and leisure space along with 30,350 sq m of office accommodation.

Read more at the SOURCE: Building Design – Edaw & Aecom’s Derbyshire urban village
IMAGE SOURCE: Building Design

New Oxford Circus opens in London

Europe’s busiest diagonal crossing was unveiled today by London Mayor Boris Johnson following a £5million makeover which has seen Oxford Circus get the X factor.

For the first time ever shoppers will be able to cross the busy intersection diagonally in an ‘X’ as well as straight ahead – meaning the junction will be able to handle double the number of pedestrians and ease overcrowding.

Taking a lead from Tokyo’s famous Shibuya crossing, renowned for allowing large numbers to cross with ease, Oxford Circus, the gateway to London’s premier shopping destination, has had its barriers and street clutter ripped out and remodelled, giving the 200million shoppers and workers that visit annually around 70 per cent more freedom to move around.

SOURCE: Youtube – Tgear2009 (footage from BBC)

Scotland’s flowers under threat

BBC NEWS reports

One in four species of wild flower in Scotland is under threat according to the campaign group Plantlife Scotland.
Among those flowers most at risk are the corn marigold, heath cudweed, and the lesser butterfly orchid.
The group said the most significant declines are taking place in uplands and farmlands.

Read more at the [SOURCE: BBC NEWS - Under threat: Scotland's flowers]

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