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November 2023

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Published on 17 November 2023

Citizens Panel work recognised

Citizens Panel site visit
Citizens Panel site visit

The outstanding work of a citizens panel of Newton Abbot residents has received national recognition for its central role in the design of two proposed neighbourhoods included in Teignbridge’s current local plan addendum consultation.   

The Houghton Barton and Bradmore design code has been showcased by the Design Council as a national exemplar in terms of community engagement and vision.   

The code was the product of five fortnightly workshops where local residents were invited by the council to share their aspirations for the proposed Houghton Barton and Bradmore developments, focusing on design elements such as building and street design, green spaces, community facilities, low carbon and sustainability.    

Following each workshop, the panel’s aspirations were shared with technical experts and developers who ran with the ideas, finding ways they could be implemented.  

To ensure the ideas of young people were represented, the council also ran a series of short online surveys to capture their views and partnered with local schools to gain feedback from under 18s through questionnaires and drawing activities.  

Specialist master planning and neighbourhood design consultants, LDA Design, analysed the results of the workshops, surveys and under 18s’ activities and created the neighbourhood design code which was seen and approved by the citizens’ panel before it was presented to councillors for inclusion in the local plan addendum consultation.  

Members of the citizens’ panel expressed how positive they felt when seeing the design code, with one resident saying it “really captures the aspirational vision of the citizens’ panel”, and another stating “I’ve never done anything in local politics before. My faith in people locally and faith in the council is hugely up.”  

This project, along with the Teignbridge district design code, was part of a national design code pilot funded by Government and supported by the Design Council, which aims to develop best practice in delivering ‘more beautiful and sustainable buildings and places’. Executive Member for Planning Cllr Gary Taylor thanked everyone who had participated. “It’s heart-warming to see design being pushed up the agenda in the Local Plan, which will make our area even more beautiful in years to come.”  

The final draft of the design code can be viewed here: houghton-barton-and-bradmore-final-design-code_compressed-1.pdf (   

Local people can give their views in the local plan addendum consultation which runs till 22 December.