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27 March 2019

Suffolk County Council


Tools of Proactive Planning

This 2nd masterclass focused on a continued dialogue from the first masterclass, that considered what it means to practice ‘proactive planning’, to develop a detailed understanding of the relevant tools, such as policy documents, codes and guides, council-led initiatives, design commissions and briefs, land assembly powers, participatory exercises, design charrettes, and masterplans. The considerations for, and value of, each tool was explored by those involved both in using, preparing and commissioning these tools.

Event programme

Event agenda

Roger Estop slides

Roger Estop slides 2

Amy Burbridge slides

19 Local Authority staff, 3 Architects and 2 Developers attended this event.

Sogand Babol


Sogand is an architect and urban researcher with a specific interest in research-based practice, strategic design, participation, and the city. At Design South East, Sogand is leading the delivery of design advice in for garden villages in St. Alban’s, Brentwood.

She has five years’ experience in architectural practice, where she produced an area manual and vision for London’s Waterloo West, and a development brief for Cambridge Road Estate in Kingston.

Sogand is demonstrably committed to the public; for a self-initiated project in Nepal, she won an RIBA North West London Society of Architects award for quality design combined with social engagement, entrepreneurship and activism. She trained at the

University of Westminster, London Metropolitan University and the University of Sheffield.

Garry Hall


Garry Hall is an award-winning urban designer with extensive experience in both the private and public sectors, working on a range of projects from health care premises through to major housing developments and exhibition centres.

Garry has developed a number of design guides, including the Tuxford Place Analysis and the Horncastle Urban Structure Study.

He also an experienced master planner, working on urban extensions across the country and is an expert in urban structure and Space Syntax Analysis.

Our guest speakers for this session included:

Amy Burbidge

Amy is the Design Manager at the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning and Delivery Unit which is a shared service across the 4 Local Planning Authorities in the area and works to ensure that spatial planning is done across boundaries and with a common-purpose. Amy provides advice to the partner authorities in the JPDU area on urban design in terms of policy, major strategic sites applications, and training and supporting the planning teams across the area.


North Northamptonshire is delivering a nationally important scale of development, to increase its population by a quarter between 2011-2031. Most of the growth in North Northants is concentrated on six large developments, each in excess of 2500 dwellings, and with a combined capacity of 25,000 homes, as well as within a new Garden Village . These schemes are among the largest residential developments anywhere in the Country.


Amy is experienced in working from the large scale strategic masterplans and design codes to the detailed reserved matters and public realm schemes using tools like Building for Life, and in looking for positive outcomes on schemes to ensure that quality places can be delivered. She has experience of design and planning policy and developing an evidence base to support policy using urban design techniques to examine the urban structure of 11 towns across the North Northamptonshire area. She is currently drafting a Placeshaping SPD setting out clear objectives for new development and linked to the health and wellbeing outcomes that such development should support. Amy is a panellist for the Cambridgeshire Quality Panel & East Midland’s Design Review Panel (OPUN) as well as being a member of the Trees Design Action Group.


She has been with the NNJPDU for 10 years, in a post originally created with CABE and Arts Council England. Amy previously worked for the London Borough of Harrow as Design & Conservation Manager, and is an archaeologist by training, with a degree in buildings archaeology and historic building conservation, later completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Design. She is a full member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and a member of the Urban Design Group.

Amy's presentation

Roger's presentation

Roger Estop

Dhruv is a chartered architect, chartered town planner and fellow of the higher education academy. As Head of Research at Metropolitan Workshop he is responsible for capturing, disseminating and promoting practice innovation to enhance the practice’s creative endeavour. He is currently undertaking ESRC-funded doctoral research into the interprofessional perspectives and practices of architects and planners working to deliver residential design quality at Newcastle University. As a Visiting Lecturer at Newcastle University, he contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching across architecture, planning and urban design programmes, specialising in the promotion of housing design quality within developing organisations, and design-led, participatory approaches for effective collaboration between practitioners and communities.


Before commencing full-time research, Dhruv was Head of Design, Home Group, where he was responsible for championing better residential design quality across a national housing and regeneration programme through the commissioning of leading architects and designers, effective design management, design review and community engagement. He is a member of the influential RIBA Housing Group, the RTPI Accreditation and Partnership Board, an examiner to the Architects Registration Board, an RTPI APC Asses-sor and an alumnus of Future of London’s London Leadership Programme.

Roger Estop 2018.jpeg
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