Planning Creativity: Participatory Heritage and Decision Making

Planning Creativity is a AHRC ‘follow- on-funding’ project that develops the impact and research of our initial project Decommissioning the Twentieth Century. It deploys co-creative participatory practice, heritage planning expertise and crowd-sourced heritage to research how community-based, participatory forms of planning might be better integrated with those reliant on maths-driven landscape change modelling. Whilst such modelling has many benefits, we must not lose sight of the complexity, granularity and often contradictory character of the different values different people might ascribe to the same place. Planning Creativity will point to a way to solving some of these issues about how community perspectives are represented within planning models that can seem distant from local and individual needs.

chatterley whitfield down the chimney
Chatterley Whitfield down the chimney

Like many others, our Planning Creativity schedule was hit by fallout from the Covid pandemic, this meant that we will now run to October 2022. We will:

Learn from heritage planners, by carrying out a knowledge exchange placement with Historic England’s industrial strategy unit.

Create a crowd-sourced heritage tool, eventually incorporating a 3D model, to which stakeholders in the site and our partners, Chatterley Whitfield Friends will be able to add their own memories, documents or images to specific structures in the model. The model will both radically increase the visibility and accessibility of the site (which is very difficult to access), and enable decision-makers to understand the significance of the site in a detailed and data-rich way.

Produce pieces of co-creative art – site-based pamphlets at West Burton and Fawley power stations, and a spectacular on-site light projection at Chatterley Whitfield, working with local co-creative artists Urban Wilderness

Build a ‘Communities of Decommissioning’ network, brought together at an end of project event. While we will begin with our three existing sites, we aim to establish a legacy of shared expertise amongst communities associated with those sites at risk of future decommissioning, so that advice can be shared about engaging with specific processes, planning expectations, and how they can work proactively to champion the voices and perspectives of local stakeholders in the decommissioning process

Fawley with planning notice
Fawley with planning notice
Principal Investigator Ben Anderson introduces the project in this short video
Project Website:
Project Parters:
Link to the project page on the UKRI Gateway to Research