Regeneration is a priority across Wales right now, whether that’s in a commercial, industrial, or residential setting. We have worked on many schemes over the last few years, revitalising residential areas, brownfield sites, and town centres. Chris Gentle, an urban designer and divisional director, details the things he considers in any project.
When designing places to live, our focus is on creating attractive, safe neighbourhoods with a sense of community. One way to achieve this is to integrate owner-occupied and rented homes. Our scheme at Old Town Dock in Newport is made up of 149 zero-carbon shared-ownership and social rent homes, all built to Development Quality Requirements. Everyone should have access to high-quality housing.
Ecology and biodiversity are always considered in our designs, and we work with our landscape team and other partners to ensure there is suitable space for wildlife, as well as sustainable drainage systems. For example, when redeveloping the former National Shipyard No. 1 in Chepstow, we worked closely with ecologists to create wildlife corridors. Energy efficiency is a priority, as well as promoting sustainable travel methods by including electric vehicle charging points in our schemes.
Regeneration is not just about creating attractive places to live, but ensuring that money is put back into the local economy. In Ebbw Vale, a new range of business units will provide employment opportunities and space for local companies to grow. Formerly an area with a thriving mining and steelworks industry, the town now suffers from high unemployment, so it is important that any development boosts the economy.
It’s important to draw inspiration from local character, materials, and details, so any new development feels rooted in the environment. As part of our ongoing work in Caldicot, we delivered a shopfront design guide to support a grant-funded improvement scheme. This allows us to make real physical improvements to local businesses, benefitting traders and customers.