Major regeneration planned for Deptford in south east London will involve 53 sites alongside the tidal creek.
The current planning process has little opportunity for people to talk about maintaining and enhancing the existing community. In Deptford, for example, there were numerous building projects coming forward, but no forum for people to talk about how to make a unified place, rather than a series of discrete developments.
With a grant from the London Development Agency and support from landowners and developers, a team of 24 people were brought together for a five-day, intensive collaborative planning exercise facilitated by BRE, to come up with a development plan. The week was structured around a series of public meetings and workshops to ask local residents, workers, stakeholders and businesses how they use the area and what they think about it.
Using this information the team drew up a plan for that would tie the sites together, provide developments with a mix of uses, and include ways of getting round the area. Throughout the process experts were on hand to check the feasibility of proposals and ensure that what emerged was deliverable. The plan of what should be done and how it will work included a sustainability strategy. ‘If you want, for example, to include a local heat and power network,' says James Fisher, ‘this is the stage at which you need to plan for that'.