Applying the EDG in practice: Health and Wellbeing

Lightmoor Village Case Study

Development name: Lightmoor Village

Location: Telford, Shropshire

Size: 71.8 hectares

Developer: Keepmoat homes

Accommodation type: a mix of owned, social rent and shared ownership homes

Lightmoor is a beautiful modern garden village in Telford, Shropshire. It is being developed by housing association Bournville Village Trust in a joint venture with the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA).

Outline planning permission for the village, a mix of owned, social rent and shared ownership homes pepper-potted across the development, was granted in 2003. Since then, a further 200 properties have been added to the masterplan, taking the total number to 1,000 once housebuilding is complete.

The village is being developed in phases, with each tendered using the HCA’s Delivery Partner Panel. Housebuilders are selected by the Trust and the HCA based on quality and cost criteria. The land does not transfer to developers and they must construct to an approved scheme and programme. The approved scheme will be underpinned by a set of design codes.

As of 2017, over half the planned 1,000 homes had been completed with another 200 on site. All the shop units have been taken, there is a flourishing school and community centre and three popular parks. An orchard, where a tree is planted for every new baby born, is also full.

While Lightmoor has its own unique sense of place, its management has been influenced by the stewardship of Bournville in Birmingham. Created by philanthropist George Cadbury, Bournville has been credited with laying the foundations for the growth of garden cities. It has also been recognised for introducing the benefits of open space into modern town planning and its ability to successfully sustain a flourishing community.

In Lightmoor, the Trust, just as it has in Bournville, provides a stewardship service to foster a sustainable village. Key elements of this service include:

  • High-quality management and maintenance of well thought-out, good-quality communal areas / open spaces. Not only has the Trust found this encourages residents to look after their own gardens, but it helps promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Provision of meaningful opportunities for people to have a say about the management of the village. This includes forums that scrutinise the management of key services and facilities. The Trust has found it is vital this process happens early on in the development of a village. Residents are also involved on the Lightmoor Village Estate Management Committee which reports directly to the Trust’s Board. This enables residents to have an influence over key decisions affecting their community.
  • Provision of a community centre with activities for everybody and play areas for families to connect with each other in an informal way. The Trust has found it is vital to empower residents to organise their own activities to develop a flourishing community.
  • Introduction of firm rules, with legal covenants, which explain what residents can and can’t change about their homes. These rules protect the integrity of Lightmoor in terms of appearance and amenities.
  • A tenure blind approach to create a mixed community. Affordable homes for rent make up 25 per cent of the total and are pepper-potted across the development.
  • Provision of a community infrastructure and services including a school, nursery, extra care project, a GP surgery and a small number of retail units.

Lightmoor has not been without challenges. The recession and the discovery of great crested newts have both held up development work. In addition, people’s changing lifestyles habits and external factors have meant that the Trust has had to adapt its design guide to allow for some flexibility.

While Lightmoor was never intended to replicate Bournville in style, the principles that have led to it being regarded as one of the nicest places to live are evident throughout.

Lightmoor Village is an excellent example of how the EDG's principles for health and wellbeing have been successfully delivered through a new development. Lightmoor Village's healthy principles are described below:

  • Improved quality of housing through quality design.
  • Increased provision of affordable and diverse housing as required for the local area
  • Increased provision of affordable housing for groups with specific needs, including the ageing population.
  • Provision of community infrastructure services including local healthcare services.
  • A mix of housing types are provided rather than developing in silos, to ensure social cohesion and help to address loneliness.
  • Housing is designed in such a way that it promotes integration of the community.

Page updated: 19/02/2019

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