Applying the EDG in practice: Active Design Principles

Brooklands Case Study

Development name: Brooklands

Location: Milton Keynes

Size: 160 Hectares

Architect: David Lock Associates

Developed by: Places for people

Accommodation type: 2,500 mixed tenure homes from 2-5 bedrooms

Brooklands is an urban extension to the east of Milton Keynes, led by master developer Places for People in partnership with house builders Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes. When complete Brooklands will house 2,501 new homes with a new population in the region of 6,000 people.

The master plan for Brooklands, prepared by David Lock Associates on behalf of Places for People featured in the original Active Design (2007). At this time the master plan had embedded the Ten Principles of Active Design into the design philosophy and the granting of planning permission for the hybrid application was being considered by Milton Keynes Partnerships. Eight years on in 2015, development is well advanced and the Ten Principles of Active Design are now evident on the ground.

New homes are being constructed within a comprehensive framework of green open spaces, with schools, play and recreation facilities connected by a network of leisure routes that provide multiple opportunities for activity.

Following Outline Planning Permission in 2007, Places for People have led the delivery of the early phases of development and strategic infrastructure including open spaces, play areas, streets and active travel routes (both on street and open spaces). Long-term management of landscape is to be taken on by the Parks Trust, an independent charity that manage many of Milton Keynes parks and green spaces.

With over 500 homes occupied by May 2015 new residents have had opportunities for activity from the outset, and Places for People report the Active Design features have been an important consideration for home buyers, with new residents attracted by the rich landscape setting for homes and the easily accessible walking/cycling routes and schools

Below are a number of the schemes EDG Active Design Principles in action:

Activity for all

New homes are positioned amongst a network of green open spaces providing easy access to opportunities for activity, play, walking, cycling and recreation.

Walkable communities

Community facilities including schools, parks and play areas are all located within walking distance of new homes. Walking and cycling routes are provided on street and through open spaces.

Co-location of community facilities

In addition to play areas in parkland and close to primary schools, the planned Brooklands Square neighbourhood centre co-locates the secondary school with shops, services, nearby sports pitches and community building at Broughton Brook Linear Park (see over page for more details).

Connected walking and cycling routes

Brooklands has a comprehensive network of routes for active travel within the site and links into the wider Milton Keynes network of footpaths and ‘Redways’ (over 270km of safe paths for walking and cycling across the city).

Network of multifunctional open space

Homes and supporting community facilities at Brooklands are framed by a comprehensive network of multifunctional open spaces, including play, sports pitches, drainage, informal landscape (as illustrated above). The open spaces stretch through the site linked by tree-lined streets and spaces providing immediate access to all.

Broughton Brook Linear Park is an example of a multifunctional open space within Brooklands that demonstrates many of the Ten Principles of Active Design. It shows how best practice can be transferred from strategic scale master planning, through to more detailed design of a specific area within a site. This linear park accommodates a range of facilities including sports pitches, a play area, potential for a wheeled sports area whilst also performing a surface water drainage role with balancing ponds. The park is well connected by a series of leisure routes allowing active travel connections with the adjacent residential areas.

Page updated: 25/04/2023

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