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“Gomm Valley will be a place of exceptional and enduring quality, designed to stand the test of time. The plan will evolve from a carefully considered multi-disciplinary professional and public engagement process to ensure it is sensitive to and indeed honours its wonderful setting, is founded in the evidence of the land and bespoke to its unique condition and character. The Gomm Valley project will regenerate the landscape and make important green and community connections even as it builds essential and beautiful homes for people of all types and circumstances in a new and truly sustainable community fit for the 21st-century.”

WYCOMBE DISTRICT COUNCIL, GOMM VALLEY DEVELOPMENT BRIEF

“Rightly, the bar has been set high and development will be expected to be sensitive to, and respectful of, its context. Innovative design solutions will be called for given the challenges presented by the sites, but the core principle of high quality that underpins the Gomm Valley and Ashwells Development Brief must be the goal we strive for to secure the type of development fit for High Wycombe and its prosperity for generations to come.”

WYCOMBE DISTRICT COUNCIL, GOMM VALLEY DEVELOPMENT BRIEF

“Rightly, the bar has been set high and development will be expected to be sensitive to, and respectful of, its context. Innovative design solutions will be called for given the challenges presented by the sites, but the core principle of high quality that underpins the Gomm Valley and Ashwells Development Brief must be the goal we strive for to secure the type of development fit for High Wycombe and its prosperity for generations to come.”

HUMAN + NATURE FOR AVIVA

“As our name suggests, in Human + Nature we seek to design places for people and grow strong communities while being super-sensitive to nature.

Michael and I - the founders of Human + Nature - first met 30 years ago when we were Directors and international trustees of Greenpeace and our passion for and indeed understanding of the natural world runs deep. And here in the Gomm Valley we think there is a unique opportunity – perhaps an imperative - to create an exemplary sustainable development worthy of the name”.

“It’s both a privilege and a huge responsibility to plan and design this project – to make a place here - and we were delighted to be asked in 2017 by Aviva to take it on.”

Jonathan Smales
Founder & Director

MEET THE PEOPLE MAKING GREAT PLACES

A team of carefully selected, experienced professionals has been chosen for this very special project. They are exploring potential layouts for homes, school and shops, formulating proposals for the ecological regeneration of the land and how it might connect better to the wider area. In due course and following public engagement and statutory consultations, we will bring forward a planning application.
PROJECT  TEAM

For the Gomm Valley we have assembled a team of many talents to help us try to reach communities of interest across the town and beyond. This is so that we can plan and design a place that all can be proud of and feel that, in at least some ways, it offers something for them and that they have shaped new homes and a new place, of lasting significance for the town. The communications team is led by Doug Stewart of LemonDrizzle Consultants, supported by Dexter Bushell (Human Nature) and Abena Poku-Awuah (Muon Events). We intend to run upbeat and accessible engagement events which, while they have a professional framing, are welcoming and empowering for local people. We will also try to make them fun! (Famous last words…) .

www.humannature.place

Alex Ely, Director, Mæ

Lead design advisor to the Gomm Valley project, urban designer and architect. Alex Ely and his practice, Mæ, have a key role in shaping a new settlement in Gomm Valley. Mae has a terrific pedigree in residential design and Alex is a notable spokesperson for rigour and quality in this often-neglected field of housing design. Formerly Head of Sustainable Communities at CABE (an advisory body for the UK government now merged with the Design Council), Alex has a wide perspective when it comes to housing design. “As a practitioner, I’ve often been disappointed by the quality of housing that’s been built in this country, frankly, I think it’s not good enough. At Gomm Valley there’s a real opportunity to create special and good quality housing that complements its setting”.

www.mae.co.uk

Ola Kjellander and Stefan Sjӧberg, Directors, K+S Architects

We are delighted to have been able to engage Kjellander and Sjӧberg on this, their first project in the UK. Stefan Sjӧberg and Ola Kjellander hail from Sweden where they run a very successful architecture practice working on all scales from large master plans and complex, mixed-use schemes to one-off homes and spaces. They bring a profound sensitivity to their work with particular experience of human scale development. As card-carrying Scandinavians, sustainability underpins everything they think and do. Their fresh approach greatly enriches the work of our bespoke team.

www.kjellandersjoberg.se

James Hampton and Daniel Rea, Directors, Periscope

James Hampton and Daniel Rea formed Periscope two years ago having both previously worked in eminent architecture and landscape practices. Given the very special setting for new homes in Gomm Valley, we were drawn to a practice that is founded on the principle of architecture and landscape design working hand-in-hand from the outset, underpinned by an understanding of and commitment to high quality public realm. “This is the perfect project for us because it really combines landscape and architecture. One of the key things we do as a practice is try to promote landscape to the same level of ambition as architecture, something that’s not done much in the UK. The landscape is the thing that’s going to make this project; it will humanise it, make the streets places where people want to live and allow the architecture to nestle within the valley without being too dominant.”

www.periscopestudio.co.uk

Ed McCann, Director, Expedition Engineers

Ed is a founder and senior partner of multidisciplinary engineers Expedition, part of The Useful Simple Trust. He leads a team at Gomm Valley responsible for all aspects of engineering: civils, structures, drainage, energy and utilities; Expedition are also responsible for the sustainability strategy and delivery.
“This project is doing something very important; exploring how you do urbanism better on the edges of towns. I find this idea of integration between natural landscape and high quality urbanism really motivating; I’d love to live in a place like this.”

www.expedition.uk.com

John Dales, Director, Urban Movement

John and the team at Urban Movement bring a much needed and refreshing perspective to the world of transport and highways design. All successful settlements hang off the structure and quality of their street network, which acts as a fundamental framework for the design of mixed-use and housing blocks and plots. Accordingly, the specification and design of these streets is of critical importance and Urban Movement are among a handful of practitioners who excel in this space. They will be working closely with transport engineers from Peter Evans Partnership, led by Andrew Kenyon and Helen Stephens, who have long experience of local and strategic highway networks in and around High Wycombe and share our deep commitment to sustainable modes of movement.   At Gomm Valley we intend to plan for a future in which sustainable transport - walking, cycling and electric vehicles of all kinds - has the prominence it deserves and with the help of the local authorities we can create a highly mobile but low impact settlement.

www.urbanmovement.co.uk

Dan Epstein, Consultant Director of Sustainability, Useful Projects

Dan Epstein is one of the leading and most experienced sustainability practitioners in the UK. Following a Masters in Forestry at Oxford, he worked in Nepal on a major re-forestation and engineering schemes funded by the Overseas Development Agency (now DfID). He was head of sustainability for English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency, before taking up the corresponding role at the Olympic Delivery Authority. While at the ODA he worked on all aspects of the Olympic Park, venues, the infrastructure and preparations for Legacy. Dan will be working closely with Judith Sykes, Expedition Engineers, to help ensure that both the vision for and practice of sustainability in the Gomm Valley really sing.

www.usefulprojects.co.uk

OUR CAREFULLY CRAFTED TEAM

Jonathan Smales

Michael Manolson

Dexter Bushell

Alex Ely, Director

Stefan Sjöberg

Ola Kjellander

Sebastian Mardi

James Hampton

Daniel Rea

Emi Bryan

Helen Clark

Simon Fitton

Doug Stewart

Catherine Norris

PARTNERS

Human + Nature for Aviva

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© GOMMVALLEY 2018
GOMM
VALLEY