RC - Radstock, Norton Radstock Regeneration

Short description: 

Former railway land including railway works buildings became redundant in the 1980's as a consequence of coal mining industry closure.

Strategic town centre land, in a small ex mining community in fragmented land ownership acting as a blockage to growth and progress in the wider town.

Lack of Planning Policy Framework (responsibility of Local Government) to enable comprehensive development growth and investment strategy - seen as a poor place to invest.
Private sector led initiatives were not comprehensive and did not address community need - fierce objection from the community meant the initiatives were put on hold.

The Norton Radstock Regeneration Company (NRR) was established to acquire land from several owners (supported in acqusition from Regional Development Agency ((Government Agency/Quango)) and develop a mixed use town centre heart with wider social and economic regeneration impact.

NRR is a private company with community representation and influence. NRR will use profits soley to benefit regeneration outcomes, i.e. through offering low cost home ownership, affordable workspace, and/or via high environmentally friendly standards.

The constitutional basis of NRR is that the community can share benefits of development, both via actual physical provision and via financial reinvestment rather than have to accommodate development impact.

Start date: 
Implementation date: 
United Kingdom
Completion date: 
Bath and NE Somerset, SW England







Type(s) MILU

Interweaving: use of the same space for different functions.

Intensifying of space for one function.
Layering: use of the third dimension of space, e.g. the underground


RED - the urban fabric and its infrastructure.
GREEN - green spaces and urban rural relations.

BLUE - water-systems and water related issues.


egional Development Agency, Bath and North East Somerset Council

Planning and design:
LDA Design, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Regional Development Agency, NRR itself, Bellway Homes Ltd, SUSTRANS
NRR and Bellway Homes Ltd

Lessons learned

Lack of Planning Policy Framework (Local Government Responsibility) created problems, delays and costs in acquisition and did not address the comprehensive spatial needs of the town.

The soul of Radstock was the coal mining and once lost, creating a new soul and identity is proving difficult. Mining and railways created a unquie urban form - settlements grew around coal mines and railways dissected the town in a unquie way. Creating a new movement and access pattern with 'blocks' for development is necessary - but being led by NRR as a landowner rather than Local Authority. This 'bottom up' complexity means addressing the comprehenisve needs, without stutory powers has proved difficult.

Creating place and 'liveability' via mixed intensive land use is at the heart of what NRR is seeking to achieve. Land economics are such that this supports a case for high density and forces the concept of MILU but to such an extent that high quality space becomes a significant challenge given its Planning context as a Conservation Area noted for its low density and open space!

Radstock was historically about connectivity - the canals, followed by rail routes and subsequently roads. The connectivity is about getting to other cities rather than around the town itself and this is being addressed by NRR. Community influence is at the heart of NRR - they are on the Board! Wider community dialogue is on-going but with some serious opposition in some areas (anti development lobby)