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22/07/2021

Joe Ayoubkhani: My view on... placemaking in Wales

A year after the launch of the Placemaking Wales Charter, Joe Ayoubkhani asks how planners can promote the Charter’s principles

Although placemaking has been fully embedded into the Welsh planning system since the release of the 10th edition of Planning Policy Wales in 2018, the Placemaking Wales Charter provides a simpler set of principles that can be followed by a wide range of stakeholders.

Everyone engaged with planning and design needs to embrace these principles from the outset; they should help inform discussions with landowners and promotion of sites through Local Development Plans. Site selection, collaboration and deliverability is key.

As a profession, planners are well placed to drive the placemaking agenda. Many will have experience of design guidance being ignored or overlooked – the Charter provides a lever to enable a step change in approach from other professions engaged in design and development.

"A reduction in funding for local authority planning teams has seen a loss of capacity and in-house design specialism"

Proper resources and training need to be directed to those involved in plan preparation and decision-making to broaden the skills base and engage planning officers and planning committee members with the principles of the Charter.

And finally, as an industry, we should celebrate the achievements of previous projects already delivered. The Charter’s principles are not altogether new in themselves and more should be done to shout about the benefits that good planning has provided in helping make successful places.

Joe Ayoubkhani MRTPI is a Planning Associate at Barton Willmore and Junior Vice-Chair, RTPI Cymru.

See the full version of this article on the RTPI blog: bit.ly/planner0721-charter

Image credit | iStock

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