BBP Regeneration led a multidisciplinary team including LDA Design and Campbell Reith to prepare a Delivery Framework for the development of the Southern Expansion Quarter in Ashford – a major brownfield opportunity area adjacent to the town centre. The site is in multiple ownerships with a range of physical and viability issues.
The brief required a realistic and evidence based approach which sought to maximise the area’s development and economic potential, and to maximise the beneficial impact to the town. It required a coherent vision that challenged existing thinking but was focussed on securing development and capitalising on previous public sector infrastructure investment.
The first phase of the assignment involved detailed analysis of the key parameters affecting development in the SEQ. This included a site by site assessment as well as analysis of the surrounding area. We considered physical, legal, policy, socio economic and market conditions. Area-wide analysis of the SEQ was also undertaken to examine connectivity, movement and infrastructure opportunities and constraints. Local partners, including land owners, officers and elected members, were consulted to understand their aspirations for the SEQ, and the views of property agents were collated to provide a detailed understanding of local market conditions.
This information was brought together as a series of developemnt options which were consulted upon. Site-specific development appraisals were prepared to test the commercial viability of the options and were amalgamated into an area-wide development model. A key element of our work was to challenge existing thinking, and to guide policy makers on the market and financial conditions as well as the drivers for change.
A preferred option for the SEQ was selected based on stakeholder dialogue and the ability to meet the urban design and sustainability objectives for the area. Our approach was then to identify specific and deliverable intervention reccommendations to stimulate a market led solution.
Two reports were prepared for the client: a high level summary brochure to be used to publicise the vision and opportuntes presented by the Southern Expansion Quarter, and a more detailed private report for the client setting out in detail specific issues, viability challenges, landowner prespectives and a detailed intervention strategy to be used to inform public policy.
BBP received extremely positive feedback for the quality of work and the visionary approach taken. Ashford Borough Council offered to act as a future referee for this type of work being highly satisfied with the outcome.