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New Design Guide for one of Birmingham’s greenest suburbs launches

A new design guide has been launched to conserve and enhance one of Birmingham’s ‘greenest’ suburbs, named amongst the best places to live in the UK.

Bournville Village Trust (BVT) consulted over 7,000* residents before reshaping its Bournville Estate Design Guide, which was first published 36 years ago.

The comprehensive Guide offers advice on everything from making alterations to listed buildings and Bournville’s conservation area to gardens and building materials.

Available to read at here, the new Guide places a much greater emphasis on protecting the environment and encouraging bio-diversity, two areas residents said were important to them.

The sensitive installation of solar technologies and car charging points is encouraged as is wildlife planting, creating microclimates and preserving gardens, hedges and trees.

Three distinct zones, based on architectural character, age and historic significance, make up the new Guide for the Bournville estate, included in the Sunday Times’ 2021 list of the best places to live in the UK.

This will offer some households greater flexibility in making alterations to their properties, with guidance for property alterations varying depending on the zone.

Tracey Rowe, Head of Estates and Stewardship at Bournville Village Trust, said: “Bournville has changed significantly since the first houses were built by our founder George Cadbury in 1893. The Estate has post war housing from 1945, a solar village, regenerated former Council housing and a state-of-the-art health village.

“Because of this it is vital we have a Design Guide that reflects these distinct areas but also places a shared importance on protecting the environment and encouraging bio-diversity.

“We listened to the views of local people, who are hugely passionate about the design and quality of their community, to create this Guide and I would like to thank all those who took part in the consultation.”

Bournville Village Trust worked with specialist architects and designers Building Design Partnership (BDP) and Birmingham City Council’s Planning and Conservation staff to create the new Guide.

BDP’s team of urban designers, architects, planners and conservationists have won awards for their approach to producing Design Guides in other communities in England.

Fiona Sibley, Planning Director at BDP, said: “Bournville is such a unique place and the attractiveness of its neighbourhoods is a testament to the way they have been managed for more than a century.

“We were delighted to assist the Trust in developing a Design Guide that will ensure Bournville’s legacy remains strong, and it continues to be a place people are proud to live.”

To mark the launch of the new Guide, Bournville Village Trust will be handing out free sunflower seeds to residents on 6th July at Selly Manor Museum, 13th July at Shenley Court Hall and 22nd July at Weoley Hill Village Hall all from 3.30pm-6pm and answering questions on the new Guide as well as any questions on current and future property alterations applications.

The Bournville Estate Design Guide applies to all properties within the Bournville Estate and the Estate includes parts of Bournville, Shenley and Weoley. This means households must consult Bournville Village Trust and gain approval before making any external changes to their property.

Founded 128 years ago by chocolate maker and social reformer George Cadbury, Bournville’s homes and open spaces became a blueprint for many of Britain’s model villages.  Many have credited Bournville with laying the foundations for the development of garden cities and introducing the benefits of open space into modern town planning.

Bournville Village Trust, founded in 1900, is a community-based housing association and registered charity. Its mission is to create and sustain communities where people can thrive.

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