Proposals for an Urban Room in Hereford have been floated by the Society following the suggestions in the Farrell Review of April 2014 and discussed with Councillors and Officers.
There appears to be general agreement that one might be a good idea; in fact, several Council officers have being using the words “urban room”! Two years on and encouraged by the Sandys’ Lecture, again by Farrell, HCS is continuing to push for a location.
Sir Terry Farrell eloquently described the process of developing our built environment. New places are invariably the inspired ideas of landowners looking to make a profit. (Often watered down and amended by the constraints, and sometimes prejudices, imposed by planning officers). Many are not what the community might want or require. Development is driven by market forces, necessary in a capitalist country, but the inhabitants of our PLACE should surely have some input.
This is the role of the Urban Room, a PLACE where proposals are discussed, ideas generated and plans hatched. A large model helps to give context and to highlight possible linkages. Individual planning applications can be shown too and with links to the excellent Planning Department website input can be encouraged. HCS envisages major developments on large scale boards with information provided by the Council, but the management of the room would be by a separate and independent organisation to ensure neutrality. This could inspire and be the place for Council consultations, properly conducted and reported back upon.
HCS is wanting to find a suitable place, possibly in one of the Council’s buildings for just such a room.
Summer 2016 sees some progress with out aim of establishing an Urban Room. What is most encouraging is that Council Officers are now using the term "Urban Room".
Essentially Hereford Civic Society wants to see:
a CITY ROOM displaying the history and development of our City and plans for the future.
a place where plans are discussed - where we look forward to create a positive environment
inspire a design review panel to consider all major developments throughout the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership area