Issue date: 05 March 2004

ISSUE DATE: 05/03/03/04

Are you interested in the quality of the buildings and spaces of Oxfordshire? Do you think that the design quality of new housing in the county could be enhanced? Would you like to participate in a campaign to improve the buildings and spaces in the area of Oxfordshire that you live or work?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you may wish to know about a new initiative that aims to explore ways of improving design quality in the county and sharing best practice amongst the district and county councils. This initiative, which is in its first stage of development, will involve the county and district councils working in partnership. The aim is to explore ways of working that will really make a difference to the quality of life for people in the county by enhancing the design of the buildings and spaces that they use on a daily basis.

All the district councils in the area, namely Cherwell, Oxford City, West Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, South Oxfordshire and the County Council of Oxfordshire have agreed with enthusiasm to work together on this initiative. National government agency the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) is supporting the Partnership members in this exciting project and has appointed a team from the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) to help with the venture.

The Partnership Project is in its early stages and the work being undertaken at the moment is mainly investigative. However the Partnership members value the contribution of the interested members of the public and an opportunity for people to find out more about the project will be available on Saturday 13th March from 10.30am until 12.30pm at the University Examination School in Oxford. At this time the UWE team and CABE representatives will be hosting an open meeting for interested people to hear about the project and express their views.

Sandra Manley, who is leading the UWE team said,

“We have been encouraged by the positive approach that officers and members of all the councils have made to this project. There is a great deal of enthusiasm for partnership working and finding ways of achieving better places and buildings in the County”.

Jonathan Davis from CABE added,

“CABE’s mission is to inspire people to demand more from buildings and spaces. We believe that well designed homes, schools, streets, parks, public buildings and workplaces is the fundamental right of everyone. The Oxfordshire Partnership has great potential to raise design quality in the county and we also hope it may help inspire other local authorities to take a similar innovative approach. “

For further information

Sandra Manley, University of the West of England, Bristol, Telephone 0117 3283205
Dominique Owen, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Telephone 020 7960 2470 or visit the Oxfordshire Design partnership website http://environment@uwe.ac.uk/OxDP


Notes to Editors

CABE champions the creation of great buildings and public spaces. It is a non-departmental public body set up by the Government in 1999. Through public campaigns and support to professionals, CABE encourages the development of well-designed homes, streets, parks, offices, schools, hospitals and other public buildings www.cabe.org.uk

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