forty year project underway
01 May 2014
Work is now underway on the detailed design of a forty year residential project.
Emulating natural development patterns and traditional town planning principles, a new residential community is being created by Moray Estates at Tornagrain in Inverness-shire. The new Highland town will gradually evolve from steading, to hamlet, to village, to town and eventually become home to 12,500 residents. The town is amongst the largest new developments in the UK and has been recognised by the Scottish Government as an exemplar for design and environmental consideration under the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative.
Masterplan proposals for the new town of 4,960 homes (25% affordable), shops, schools, employment and social infrastructure stemmed from community planning workshops. Stakeholders, Government agencies and 600 local residents came together to develop proposals for a compact and diverse development, built for pedestrians rather than cars with an emphasis on the importance of the wider public realm. The scheme is centred on a traditional High Street framed by squares at either end. All residents will live within 5 minutes’ walk from their neighbourhood centre and 10 minutes’ walk from the town centre.
fabrik was commissioned as part of a team to revisit and hone the vision and this masterplan. We reviewed guidance derived from the outline Design and Access Statement, redefining the approach and will be tying the first matters pursuant application tighter into the landscape from which it will emerge. This will set the precedent and give the Planning Authority the surety that what has been promised will be delivered.
The Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co Masterplan proved robust and provided the broad framework to support the more detailed layers of proposals. fabrik worked with the Client to understand their wider estate and how existing resources can be utilised to develop truly vernacular and ‘home grown’ design proposals. The aspiration is to use worn cobbles within elements of the streetscape, granite erratics within the parks and aggregates won from the estate quarries. It is anticipated that skilled members of the estates team will lay the dykes, and the forest manager will grow trees for use in later development phases. These solutions reinforce the character of the proposed development in keeping with the wider landscape character of the area, and promote local employment opportunities whilst reducing environmental burdens and procurement costs.
In September 2012 The Highland Council’s Planning, Environment & Development Committee granted permission for 4,960 homes and other facilities, subject to agreement over planning gain and planning conditions. These were agreed and permission was granted in September 2013. Design of infrastructure construction details has now started as part of the 40 year plan to complete the new town.
The Tornagrain landscape team is led by Principal Director Andrew Smith, working with Design Director Mike Martyn, Technical Director Liz Simes and Project Landscape Architect Tom Hurlstone.
Background masterplan image by Duany Plater-Zyberk. All images courtesy of Moray Estates