Team Look! are delighted that County Councillor Sandy Walkington has very kindly approved our grant application for £500 from his locality budget to help us continue with our work. We don’t have membership fees & are reliant on grants & donations. If you would like to donate please see here https://www.lookstalbans.org/
Team Look! are delighted that County Councillor Chris White has very kindly approved our grant application for £500 from his locality budget to help us continue with our work. We don’t have membership fees & are reliant on grants & donations. If you would like to donate please see here https://www.lookstalbans.org/
In 2017 Look! St Albans Chair Vanessa Gregory was invited to write an article as one of a group of contributors for The Urban Design Groups http://www.udg.org.uk/ journal. As part of her introduction to the contributors Dr Noël James describes Vanessa’s article as follows, “Here in the UK, Vanessa Gregory gives us an inspiring look into what she describes affectionately as ‘muscular localism:’ how the devolution of planning has enabled an involved and engaged community to develop design codes. She shows how a community can be fully and professionally involved within the design process and that this is not just to mitigate a skills gap, but as an integral part of any design process.”
The journal is now available on the Urban Design Groups website here http://www.udg.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/UD144_magazine.pdf Team Look! would like to thank Urban Design Group for asking Vanessa to contribute and suggest the collection of articles are well worth a read and are very much food for thought!
Calling on the community, who care about how St Albans looks, to take part in St Albans first ‘Community Design Review’ (CDR) to be held on Thursday 10th January 2019
Team Look! are delighted to be able to actively encourage you to take part in a Community Design Review (CDR) for the Civic Centre Opportunity Site South site on Thursday 10th January 2019 as a Panel Member starting at 6.30pm to 9.30pm, at the council offices, Civic Centre in St Peter’s Street, St Albans, AL1 3JE. A personal letter of invitation from the council can be found below.
This is not an event hosted by Look!.
However Look! St Albans actively promotes meaningful community engagement and consider this independently chaired Community Design Review to be just that. Members of Team Look! will be taking part as individuals and we encourage you to do the same.
Again, this is not a Look! St Albans event which are open to all, places are limited to 40, so don’t hesitate book here and today! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-design-review-civic-centre-opportunity-site-south-planning-application-revisited-tickets-53258349156 * Should you experience any problem booking, or have any questions please contact Richard Shwe Deputy Chief Executive (Commercial & Development) Richard.Shwe@stalbans.gov.uk entitled Community Design Review
Please do read the letter of invitation from the council to find out more about what being a Community Design Review panel member entails. However do not be put off thinking others are better informed than you.
The council are looking for people ‘with a passion for good design in our City to spend an evening reviewing our work’.
YOU helped create our design codes. YOU helped design Oak Tree Gardens. YOU took part in the CCOS Masterplan Design Charrette https://www.lookstalbans.org/uploads/2/7/7/4/27749191/ip_156_low_res__nov_2016_ccos_design_charrette_design_concepts_report_28th_nov_2016__.pdf
The city centre is our collective front room, we have an opportunity to leave a lasting proud legacy for future generations. We live, work and entertain in our city centre, we know it best!
When it became apparent during the summer that the council, as now landowners of the majority of the site, wished to make enhancements to the plans already approved for the CCOS south site Team Look! suggested a Community Design Review. We are delighted they have taken forward that suggestion.
This we felt would be in keeping with the commitment ‘The Partnership’ made at the time of the CCOS Masterplan Design Charrette held in September 2016 ‘As landowners, we genuinely welcome this long-awaited opportunity to design, explore and test with you masterplan scenarios that will help us shape and coordinate a series of well designed, inspired and credible planning applications. We envisage bringing the individual planning applications back for further work on design detail beyond this masterplan work we are likely to be able to cover during this charrette.’ Full vision statement here. https://www.lookstalbans.org/uploads/2/7/7/4/27749191/development_partnerships_vision_statement_working_draft_v1.4.pdf
Team Look! have been assured that the architects working on the plans for CCOS South are referencing both our community co-authored design codes http://www.weebly.com/uploads/2/7/7/4/27749191/look_st_albans_final_design_workshop_report_jan_2013.pdf and the outcome of the Civic Centre Opportunity Site Masterplanning design charrette http://www.lookstalbans.org/1/post/2016/10/-the-outcome-from-the-recent-design-charrette-for-the-civic-centre-opportunity-site-is-published.html
*Eventbrite, is an independent website (platform) for hosting or joining local events. People can create an event and sell tickets through it, or give them away for free, and/or invite specific people, or share the event amongst friends. You can also search for events to join based on location, topic, or whether you have to pay or not.
Look! St Albans were delighted that Paul Barrett came and gave us a wonderful presentation on the building of Oak Tree Gardens. The scheme was the outcome of Look! St Albans first design charrette, hosted on behalf of St Albans District Council as Trustees of the former Museum site in Hatfield Road. http://www.lookstalbans.org/1/post/2016/07/-look-st-albans-success-in-planning-and-placemaking-awards.html
Look! have been following the building works with extreme interest and thanks to Paul and his team have been able to look around the site on a number of occasions during construction to see our concept plan grow into reality. http://www.hertsad.co.uk/property/watch-our-video-tour-of-st-albans-new-oak-tree-gardens-development-1-5635764
In the presentation below you can see what can be achieved working with the community from concept to construction.
The new homes are currently for sale through Rumball Sedgwick please see the brochure here https://alto-live.s3.amazonaws.com/k6wZRsuRerxHNc3R7l_348bhZN4/6izE9DUoeS3XJkc99hoKndsTlS8/Brochure//Warkfa03PUKSMc6vvVvuMQ.pdf
Look! St Albans in need of a Treasurer, anyone in the district good with numbers and willing to give it a go?
Recently our excellent volunteer Treasurer Chris Debenham had to step down to deal with some health issues. Such is his commitment he is remaining part of Team Look! but needs to take more of a back seat.
This is how Chris describes his role.
‘The Treasurer is one of four officers of Look! St Albans (LSA), and a key member of its Representatives' Group. Given LSA's current level of financial activity, the role is not onerous, involving only a few cash book entries and preparation of even fewer cheques during the course of a typical financial year. The Treasurer is one of four cheque signatories and the main point of contact for the bank. Online banking facilities are available. At year end a Summary of Receipts and Payments, a Balance Sheet and a Budget are prepared in advance of the AGM.
Otherwise, any involvement is general to the business of LSA. There are usually 4-6 meetings per year, depending on the level of activity, some by way of informal get-togethers.
Home based with meetings taking place mainly in the evening.’
Ability to talk to potential sponsors, help with grant application forms would be beneficial to the group.
Vanessa (Chair of Look!) said “Team Look! is a small and friendly bunch of people, we are totally aware of time pressures on people willing to volunteer. However we are full of enthusiasm involved in exciting ground breaking work in collaborative planning. If you are good with numbers and can spare up to about four hours a month do consider joining the team. You would be more than welcome”
Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair’s report to our AGM, speaker and social evening on Monday 25th June 2018 Look St Albans IS the Community, it is nothing without you!
Look St Albans IS the Community, it is nothing without you!
What has Look! St Albans achieved in this last year:
The community’s work and that of our partners up in lights at both a national awards ceremony in London and regionally.
Shortlisted both nationally and regionally by the Royal Town Planning Institute Planning in Excellence 2017.
Had our work recognised locally by being shortlisted at the St Albans Chamber Community Business Awards. (One judge told me at the interview she had been ‘blown away’ by what we had achieved, unfortunately though we did not meet all of the judging criteria).
Seen the outcome of our first design charrette actually being built and
had to opportunity to have several site visits to see the progress. We will hear more on this later.
Teamed up with our new local music festival Meraki Festival in 2017 as one of a handful of community partners. Excellent publicity especially reaching the younger generation.
Had an article published in Urban Design, a second professional journal to want to hear about our work.
Have presented at three professional conferences, for planners, urban designers, councillors, architects and other planning professionals, including last week at a Royal Town Planning Institute conference. Back in the day I hear these conferences were seen by some as ‘jollies’, usually filled with speakers trying to sell you something. Well not anymore, when the delegate fees range from £75 to £144 and accrue CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points they want pertinent and informative presentations. I have to say through the delegates reaction, comments and questions asked, they really have found what we have achieved together remarkable and inspiring.
Hosted a field trip by University of Hertfordshire Master of Science students in Sustainable Planning and Environmental Management together with their tutors to hear about our two design charrettes and walk around both sites.
Teamed up with BRE for Sustainable St Albans week
Forthcoming planed event
Host our first Placemaking event planned for the early autumn. I am delighted to announce Dr Susan Parham, Head of Urbanism and Planning at The University of Hertfordshire will be our first speaker. Her work is known locally in Hertfordshire but also nationally and internationally.
Our reputation through what we have done together could not be higher. On the somewhat rare occasions I get out locally for some downtime I am really amazed how many people of influence in different areas of life in St Albans know us and admire what we are doing. They have heard about us through word of mouth or have seen something about us in the local press or indeed have taken part in one or more of our events.
Therefore if you know of people locally who don’t know about us, our design codes co created by the community and endorsed by the community, we are all ambassadors of Look! engage with them, tell them what we collectively do and how we do it. Offer them a warm welcome.
I must admit though I do grit my teeth, and you may have had said to you, ‘keep up the good work’, because many believe I and probably others are paid by Look! St Albans because Look! just cannot be just a community group because of what we are doing, how we go about it and have achieved thus far.
I do carefully explain Team Look! are all unpaid volunteers, a number work full time with families and yet still find the time to keep Look! running.
However with our growing reputation and now beginning seriously to fulfil our remit of learning and sharing, together with our readiness to host design charrettes, the workload on a few shoulders has become unsustainable. Hence our recent posting on our website ‘Love St Albans? can you give commit up to four hours of your time a month to join Team Look!’.
Thankfully within a couple of hours of Tweeting this request Efa (who is taking the minutes tonight) means they will be available sooner than before. As many hands make lighter work.
As you heard earlier Chris has stepped down as Treasurer due to health issues which required his full attention. Thankfully he is remaining on The Reps Group as I greatly value his knowledge and understand of the workings of Look! his wit and encouragement. In fact I would like to thank the entire Reps Group for their support and encouragement shown to me in the last year.
Turning to funds to keep our work going, we are entirely reliant on grants and donations, as we don’t have any membership fees. We do not have any grants from the council as this would compromise our independence as we continue to work with them. We are always most grateful to County Councillors grants from their locality budgets and most recently to former county councillor Charlotte Hogg.
We are helping locally and nationally to put local design and placemaking on the map.
Locality now offer those who are producing a neighbourhood plan £8,000 extra funding if they include design codes for new homes in their neighbourhood.
Only last week Policy Exchange issued their new paper called ‘Building More, Building Beautiful’ https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Building-More-Building-Beautiful.pdf in it they have found out what we already know. “People don’t want excitement or drama from their design of their home. They want a sense of community, comfort and togetherness. The phrase fittingness has been used in previous research and perfectly sums up the desires of most people. They don’t want identikit soulless developments for alienating expansive glass towers. They want homes that fit in with those already there they want a sense of belonging and happiness to radiate from their properties and they want to feel proud of their home.”
When I am asked to speak about Look! St Albans I always start by saying I am not the story I am the messenger. Which is the truth, without you, the community in the district and beyond who care about our city a few members on a Reps Group would be meaningless. Look St Albans IS the Community, it is nothing without you!
As a taster ahead of Look! St Albans AGM on 25th June 2018 at The Octagon Room St Peter’s Church, St Peters Street, St Albans starting at 7pm. Where we will hear a presentation on the transformation of the Old Museums into Oak Tree Gardens by Paul Barrett Project Manager from Morgan Sindall (Construction Team) here is a taster of what you will hear!
Recently the project featured in Construction Manager and with their consent we share with our supporters the article as featured and Look! St Albans honourable mention.
Come along on the evening to hear more and ask questions!
Following the very enjoyable Field Trip of the University of Hertfordshire Master of Science students in January this year, when the students and a few members of Team Look! were delighted to hear also from Janet Bruce Chair of FoodSmiles St Albans, https://www.lookstalbans.org/1/post/2018/04/look-st-albans-welcomes-university-of-hertfordshire-master-of-science-students-in-sustainable-planning-and-environmental-management-to-a-field-trip-in-st-albans.html we are delighted to announce Susheel Rao of FoodSmiles St Albans will be joining us at our AGM.
Vanessa said “I am delighted that Susheel will be able to share with many more of our supporters at this event than in January the wonderful news of the community gardens in the heart of our city the ‘Incredible Edible’ team have brought and the ethos behind them. The synergy between their work and the ‘landscape led’ design concepts that flowed for our city centre design charrette is remarkable.” http://www.foodsmilesstalbans.org.uk/p/blog-page_3.html
Our AGM, speaker’s and social evening will take place on Monday 25th June at The Octagon Room St Peter’s Church, St Peters Street, St Albans starting at 7pm finishing at 9:30pm after wine and nibbles.
Do come and join us! All are welcome.
The primary functions of the Representatives’ Group is to individually and collectively promote the Ethos, Purpose and Aims of Look! St Albans as found in our constitution. Essentially they deal with the day to day running of the group.
Welcome to the official Look! St Albans News/Events page. This page will be regularly updated in relation with upcoming developments etc.