Town transformation takes inspiration from village life

Town transformation takes inspiration from village life

18th June 2015


A UTOPIC vision of a green and pleasant land will be submitted to planners next month as the transformation of a town takes inspiration from traditional village life.

Niven Architects have drawn up a ten year plan for West Park Garden Village on behalf of developer Bussey and Armstrong for the west end of Darlington.

Darlington Borough Council will consider a master plan that has been inspired by the work of philanthropic visionaries such as the Cadbury brothers’ Bournville, Joseph Rowntree’s Haxby and the Lever Brothers’ Port Sunlight.

The next phase of the West Park development will include:

• 1,200 houses ranging from starter to executive homes
• nursery, junior and secondary schools
• food retail stores and offices
• a medical centre
• sculpture parks and art installations
• wildlife areas including linear parks, playing fields, walks, cycle paths, and wetland areas.

Garden cities and villages grew in the 19th and 20th centuries as an antidote to large-scale urbanisation.

The hallmark is low-density housing, tree-lined avenues, generous green areas for private and communal use and easy access to transportation.

Work is expected to start at West Park Village Garden in 2016 and last around ten years developing a site totalling 200 acres, a quarter of which is owned by the council, to produce a community with the emphasis on sustainability to meet local housing need.

Houses will comprise a mix of two, three and four bedroom homes ranging from terraced to semi and detached properties.

Roads, streets and footpaths will be designed to encourage low vehicle speeds, creating safe functional spaces. Easy to follow layouts will promote the use of pedestrian and cycle routes, providing access to local community facilities.

Niven Architects director Simon Crowe said: “The emphasis will be on low density housing in a well planned green area to provide a village where everything residents need will be on their doorsteps.

“The economic benefits to Darlington will be huge in terms of the construction phase and also for many years to come by attracting thousands of residents to the area and boosting prosperity across the borough.”

He said Bussey and Armstrong boss Tony Cooper had already helped make the West Park area one of the most vibrant districts in Darlington.

“The village master plan will continue the transformation of the West Park and Cockerton areas linking the principles of the Garden City Movement with the very latest in contemporary design” said Mr Crowe. “It will be a place to live, work and enjoy.”

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