The One City Plan, Chester
Sir Donald Insall’s pioneering study of Chester in 1968 led to the City appointing the first conservation officer in the UK. Since then, successive councils have commissioned dozens of studies to build upon the findings of this report. In 2011 there was a concerted effort to consolidate these fragmented planning strategies into one coherent vision.
We were invited to contribute to the One City Plan by reflecting on whether the conservative, even historicist, attitude to planning in Chester had become so strong as to hamper new development. We set out the mix of qualities that define Chester, such as zoning of uses, height and volume, development pattern, palette of materials, etc. Our ‘Manifesto for Contemporary Design’ drew on consultation with the planning team and others at Cheshire West and Chester Council to understand the pressures and precedents that inform their daily decision-making. The Manifesto also reflects on the need for good design nationwide, for example as set out in the NPPF.
The adopted Plan is now being put into action. Our recent award-winning PORTICO Project on the City Walls and the Cathedral at Heights visitor experience saw us overcome the particular development constraints posed by this walled Cathedral city.
Cheshire West and Chester