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Urban Design

Consultation Process and Acknowledgements

Consultation and acknowledgements

The Sheffield Urban Design Compendium has been developed through a sustained process of consultation, which has allowed us to draw from the collective knowledge, expertise and energy of representatives from within the Council and other agencies and institutions in Sheffield.

Public consultation

Public consultation on the draft Urban Design Compendium was carried out throughout September and October 2003. This included a large exhibition that was set up at the Winter Garden, First Point Reception/Howden House and Adsetts Centre/Sheffield Hallam University throughout the period with questionnaires. Leaflets and letters were posted out to approximately 1800 organisations/members of the public, the consultation list made up of the Sheffield One and City Council databases. Two public meetings were also held, one specifically for the development industry and the other targeted at the general public. The Urban Design Compendium was made available electronically on the City Council Web page and in published format at the Local Studies Library. A separate presentation was made to the Sheffield Property and Regeneration Committee at the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

In response to the public consultation a total of 169 questionnaires were received and 15 letters setting down detailed comments. The responses through the questionnaires were generally supportive, with 77% of respondents being satisfied or having no comments, and 23% being dissatisfied. A detailed summary of the comments and letters received and resulting changes made to the Compendium formed part of the Cabinet report.


Projects like this are the result of positive and sustained collaboration. We would like to thank:

  • the Client team, which included Les Sturch, James Arnold and Simon Ogden from Sheffield City Council and Andy Topley from Sheffield One;

  • the Advisory Group which included Joanna Averley (Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment), Jeremy Till (University of Sheffield), Geoff Birkett (Sheffield Hallam University), Alison Fisher (English Heritage), Alan Simpson (Yorkshire Forward) and Guy Rusling (Guy Rusling Commercial Property); and

  • the Stakeholder Group, which included Alan Novitzky (Sheffield Society of Architects), Barry Price (Sheffield Society of Architects), Tim Rippon Cllr, Sylvia Dunkley Cllr, Chris Megson (SCC Development Control), Dinah Hope (SCC Development Control), Dick Skelton (Transport and Road Safety), Steve Turner (Adoption, Highways Management Unit), Chris Galloway (Traffic), Paul Johnson (Highway Design), Ian Jackson (Highway design and Supervision), Nick Hetherington (Highways Maintenance/Streetforce), Ted Thorp (Street lighting), Lyn Mitchell (Landscape Architect), Richard Eyre (City Centre Management), Roger Harper (Conservation Advisory Group), Richard Motley (CIQ Agency).

  • members from the Council who attended presentations and made informed and constructive inputs: Tim Rippon, Sylvia Dunkley, Tessa Hainey, Janice Sidebottom, and Basheer Khan.

Following on from workshops and meetings, smaller groups were met to discuss specific topics. Our thanks to Mick Crofts (City Centre/Premises Management), Nick Hetherington (Streetforce), and Richard Watts (SCC Landscape Architect) for their advice on the public realm and its management and maintenance. Thanks to Dr Chengzhi Peng from Sheffield University who allowed us to view and use the digital 3-D model of the city (1900) developed at the University.

The Architectural History Practice undertook the Characterisation Study in tandem with the Compendium. Excerpts have been drawn from this work to inform the principles and Guidance for each of the quarters. Thanks to James Anderson for keeping us abreast of their process and outcomes.

The ‘Connect Sheffield’ project was running concurrently with the development of the Compendium. Thanks to Andy Gibbons of City ID and his colleague, Mike Rawlinson for their dialogue and encouragement.

Special mention should be made of James Arnold and Harshada Despande from the Urban Design and Conservation team who have worked alongside Gillespies in the production of the Compendium and for co-ordinating the process. The rest of the team are also thanked for their various contributions: Chris Bailey, Craig Broadwith, David James, Derek Mayland, Elizabeth Motley, Anthony Rylands and Jacqueline Yallop. Val de Haney is thanked for producing the quarter area plans.

Finally thanks go to our own team at Gillespies: Emma Appleton, Laura-Jo Proctor, Linda Curr, Helen Knight, Mike Sharpe, James Murray and Tom Burnett. The project was directed by Brian Evans urban design partner Gillespies.

Unless stated all images are copyright of Gillespies.


Accessibility – the ability of people to move round an area and to reach places and facilities, including elderly and disabled people, those with young children and those encumbered with luggage or shopping.

Activity spine – street or streets along which activity is concentrated.

Activity Node – concentration of activity at a particular point.

Adaptability – the capacity of a building or space to be changed so as to respond to changing social, technological and social conditions.

Building Line – the line formed by the frontages of buildings along a street.

Defensible Space – public and semi-public space that is ‘defensible’ in the sense that it is surveyed, demarcated or maintained by somebody.

Density – the floorspace of a building or buildings or some other unit measure in relation to a given area of land.

Design Guide – a document providing guidance on how development can be carried out in accordance with the design policies of a local authority or other organisation often with a view to retaining local distinctiveness.

Design principle – an expression of one of the basic design ideas at the heart of an urban design framework, design guide, development brief or a development.

Desire Line – an imaginary line linking facilities or places which people would find it convenient to travel between easily.

Development brief – a document prepared by a local planning authority, a developer or jointly, providing guidance on hoe a site of significant size or sensitivity should be developed. Also called planning briefs, design briefs or development frameworks.

Enclosure – the use of buildings to create a sense of defined space.

Figure ground – a plan showing the relationship between the built for and publicly accessible space (including streets) by presenting the former in black and the latter as a white background.

Form – the layout (structure and urban grain), density, scale (height and massing), appearance (materials and details) and landscape development.

In-curtilage parking – parking within a buildings site boundary rather than on a public street or space.

Landmark – a building or structure that stands out from its background by virtue of height, size or some other aspect of design.

Legibility – the degree to which a place can be easily understood and traversed.

Local Distinctiveness – the positive features of a place and its communities which contribute to its special character and sense of place.

Massing – combined effect of height, bulk and silhouette of a building or group of buildings.

Movement – people and vehicles going to and passing through buildings, places and spaces.

Natural surveillance – the discouragement of crime by the presence of passers-by or the ability of people to be seen out of surrounding windows (also know as casual surveillance).

Node – a place where activity and routes are concentrated.

Pastiche – an architectural style which intimates a previous style i.e. Georgian, neo-classical

Permeability – the degree to which an area has attractive, convenient and safe routes through.

Public art – permanent or temporary physical works of art visible to the general public, whether part of the building or free standing.

Public realm – the parts of a village, town or city that are available without charge for general public use including streets, squares and parks.

Sustainable development – “Development which meets present needs without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Bruntland Commission, 1987).

Topography - a description or representation of artificial or natural features on or of the ground.

Urban grain – the pattern of the arrangement and size of buildings and their plots in a settlement.

View – what is visible from a particular point.

Vista - an enclosed view, usually along and narrow one.

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