Last week my master plan for Manchester’s first low carbon community was awarded Outline Planning Permission by Manchester City Council.
The master plan is a great example of how to ‘re-stitch’ a Radburn plan back into a more recognisable community. Re-linking roads, removing cul-de-sacs and reconfiguring blocks to ensure that there is clearly defined, defensible space, which is clear and unambiguous. In other words making sure there are proper fronts and backs. The success of West Gorton was the realisation that we had to manipulate space within an infrastructure that was only 40 years old at best. In fact this is the lesson of most regeneration led master plans – Don’t move the roads…unless you really have to.
Like most other Radburn plans the neighbourhood is awash with green space, which is mostly underused, poorly maintained forgotten about or un-safe. These spaces do become development plots as long you can provide better open space elsewhere. This was changed at West Gorton by removing areas of lower density to create a new village green. All the new houses are designed to meet Manchester’s DFA 2 Design Standards.