Local multidisciplinary architects Watson Batty have been appointed to help the members of Aireborough Forum draw up a ‘placemaking’ masterplan to map out the development of Aireborough to 2028. The masterplan will eventually be examined by a Government Planning Inspector to ensure compliance with regulations and strategic Leeds plans; then it will be voted on in a local referendum.
The first stage of the projects will be to draw together and map out evidence of local issues, desires, and ideas, in order to create a vision plan by the Spring of 2015. The funding for the work will come from neighbourhood planning grants; the initial grant of £7,000 was obtained by the Forum in the summer.
Five organizations were approached via recommendation, to potentially help with the masterplan and three were shortlisted. Of these, Watson Batty, stood out because of their detailed local knowledge of development in the area, their innovation, their range of disciplines and corporate social responsibility. Aireborough Forum Chair, Jennifer Kirkby said “Watson Batty, had actually thought of initiating a masterplan for the area themselves, but knew it would not have ‘teeth’, now the Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum has provided the ‘teeth’ through our designation and engagement with local people”. “As we go through the planning process, we are also likely to need specialists in planning legislation, but for our current aims we felt Watson Batty fulfilled the brief very well.”
Leading the project for Watson Batty will be Richard Merrills and Scott Lunn who won the design competition for Watson Batty’s building.
Pictured above are from left to right, Richard Merrills, Liz Kirkpatrick, Scott Lunn, Lynda Kitching and Jennifer Kirkby.