Placemaking is at the heart of planning
Neath Port Talbot Council has become a signatory of the Placemaking Charter Wales.
The charter was developed by the Welsh Government and the Design Commission for Wales along with the Placemaking Wales Partnership – a multi-disciplinary group representing professions and organisations working in the built and natural environment.
Signatories pledge to involve the local community in the development of proposals, to choose sustainable locations for new development and to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport.
The Placemaking Charter Wales sets out six principles:
The local community is involved in the development of proposals. The needs, aspirations, health and well-being of all people are considered at the outset. Proposals are shaped to help to meet these needs as well as creating, integrating, protecting and/or enhancing a sense of community and to promote equality.
Places should grow and develop in a way that uses land efficiently, supports and enhances existing places and is well connected. The location of housing, employment and leisure and other facilities are planned to help reduce the need to travel.
The positive, distinctive qualities of existing places are valued and respected. The unique features and opportunities of a location including heritage, culture, language, built and natural physical attributes are identified and responded to.
Walking, cycling and public transport are prioritised to provide a choice of transport modes and avoid dependence on private vehicles. Well designed and safe active travel routes connect to the wider active travel network and public transport stations and stops are positively integrated.
Places have a range of purposes which provide opportunities for community development, local business growth and access to jobs, services and facilities via walking, cycling or public transport. Development density and a mix of uses and tenures helps to support a diverse community and vibrant public realm.
Streets and public spaces are well defined, welcoming, safe and inclusive, with a distinct identity. They are designed to be robust and adaptable, with landscape, green infrastructure and sustainable drainage well integrated. They are well connected to existing places and promote opportunities for social interaction and a range of activities for all people.
Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown which came with it have shown just how important the places we live are to our quality of life.
"As we look to the near future and renewing and regenerating the places where we live and work, we should now concentrate on applying good placemaking principles so we can build sustainable places which have benefits for health and wellbeing.”