Community facilities

It’s more than just homes

Whilst there is a national preoccupation on housing numbers, what makes new communities special are the wider facilities that come forward with the homes. Play spaces, community buildings, cafés, shops and pop up uses alongside great schools and landscape provide an essential element of the locality where people live and work.

The Master Developer Approach:

1

Throughout planning, identify all community facilities within the locality, what is accessible, what is working and what is missing.

2

Design community facility broad locations in from the outset but don’t fix until the Key Phase when the grain and feel of the locality become known.

3

Ask local people, initially those that live around the site and then those that live on it, what they want.

4

Bring forward early community facilities in parallel with homes and support local businesses to grow with the community.

5

Create flexible community space and support its use.

6

Celebrate community, learn lessons, refine and repeat.

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Flexibility is better than prophecy

We know that shopping patterns are changing and retail is evolving, people are spending more time around their homes and the distinction between home and work is blurring. The pandemic has only accelerated those changes. What worked for local and district centres in the past is not the template for the future. When considering the design and layout of community spaces we need to focus on local, support emerging businesses and create places that can adapt and be flexible in their use. Crucially we need to consider a day in the life of someone living and working in this new community and respond to their emerging needs through ongoing engagement.

Our cafe’s best selling hot drinks / meals:

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It feels like it’s been here forever

You know that things are working when the immediate reaction to a new community is not how new it is but how established it feels. Of the developments we have taken through from inception, none of the homes are more than six years old, yet within those same communities, there are a wide range of facilities, meanwhile uses and spaces supporting active and vibrant communities. Local businesses are thriving, kids are outdoors playing and the residents are proud of where they call home.

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