Guest blog: Troy Planning + Design’s Senior Planner, Luke Smith, considers the implications of the revised NPPF on the provision of rural housing

Since 2012, planners and developers have been guided by Paragraph 55 of the NPPF in assessing the provision of isolated homes in rural areas. The first NPPF amounted to a considerable ideological shift from the previous Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) notes and Planning Policy Statements (PPS), particularly in defining a clear set of criteria under which rural housing could be justified. Although broader in scope, Paragraph 55 quickly became synonymous with rural dwellings of an exceptional quality or innovative design. Although limited in the number…




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Public space and the fate of the high street … by Davon Bree

{{unknown}}A recent trip to Fareham, Hampshire, had me thinking about how public spaces and shop fronts engage. It was my first visit to Fareham and I have to say I was quite impressed with the variety and number of shops on the high street – far better than I’d expected. It was quiet (which in all honesty was nice as I’m not one for crowds who were probably at the beach!).  Noticing how quiet it was both on the traffic-free high street and inside the…




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A Green Future:  Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment – a summary

Here we are in high summer and nearly 6 months have passed since the government launched this highly significant plan.  A bit later than intended, but here is a brief summary of the key bits likely to be of most relevance to the landscape industry.   The plan contains a mix of confirmed policies and longer-term aims, but the overarching aim is: ‘To help the natural world regain and retain good health … deliver cleaner air and water in our cities and rural landscapes, protect…




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Integrated urban design and some joined-up thinking at Houghton Regis: by guest author David Edwards

Urban design is a strange discipline. A sweeping statement, I know – and certainly one that does not come close to justifying its complexity or significance. Definitions vary greatly, often focusing on a particular scale, activity or specialism. Paradoxically, the most accurate descriptions are perhaps those that are more general, such as; ‘the art of creating and shaping cities and towns’ (urbandesign.org) or, ‘the design of towns and cities, streets and spaces… it is the collaborative and multi-disciplinary process of shaping the physical setting for…




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Vilnius calling (by Martin)

I’ve just returned from a few days visiting our colleagues at terra firma LT. I don’t quite know what I was expecting Lithuania to be like, but what I found was something of a surprise. I always enjoy cities that are easily walkable. Everything in Vilnius is close, and getting around on foot is an obvious choice. (Although there are some trick pedestrian crossings that tell you it’s safe to cross, when in-fact the traffic can still come through!) It doesn’t take long to get…




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Tranquillity – by Isla Denton-Thompson

Yesterday the sun shone for a moment and I popped out at lunchtime to a town park near our office to enjoy some vitamin D, the absence of a computer screen, a bit of peace and quiet and enjoy the views to the surrounding National Park. This got me pondering about the concept of tranquillity. Last year the Landscape Institute (LI) produced a technical note on tranquillity: ‘Tranquillity – An overview’. The Note stresses that there are clear links between landscape and tranquillity and thus…




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All shades of green by Keith Baker

  A Facebook post about a former house-mate of mine who now teaches at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (http://www.stockholmresilience.org) got me thinking about their area of interest, namely the complex challenges facing humanity and their belief that;  In our globalized society, there are virtually no ecosystems that are not shaped by humans and no humans without the need for ecosystems and the services they provide. Protecting and enhancing ecosystems and their biodiversity is one of the key roles of our profession and at terra firma…




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How do you start to design elements of a Stone and Bronze Age landscape? – By Alice

As a practice we often get involved in a wide range of interesting projects that can sometimes be quite a challenge and take a turn in the most unexpected direction. Over the past year we have been closely involved with the directors and staff at Butser Ancient Farm helping them to develop new ideas to improve the visitors’ experience based on academic research, the testing of archaeological theories and encouraging school children and the public to engage and take away with them new practical skills,…




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Northward bound

A recent work visit has taken me to Scotland, where twice a year I visit the National Air Traffic Control Centre at Prestwick to see how the landscape management at one of the longest running projects in the terra firma portfolio is progressing nearly 13 years after completion. http://www.terrafirmaconsultancy.com/portfolio/nats-air-traffic-control/ Once a year I visit my older sister in Dundee on the back of this visit, which is always a long awaited and much enjoyed long weekend. The journey from NATS starts with a train ride across…




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End of year blog from Lionel, Dec 2017

Final week before Christmas and we are fully ensconced in our new offices across the other side of Petersfield on the Business Park. Bit of a culture change from being in rather more characterful offices in the town centre but in many ways more convenient for the necessities of parking and access along with the room for expansion and a serious investment in new furniture, technology and streamlined systems. So we are in, would welcome visits from clients and colleagues (pre-arranged please!) and have had…




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