Countesswells is a new community to the west of Aberdeen which has been planned as a new place, encompassing around 3000 homes and 10 hectares of employment land. Since 2011, OPEN has been instrumental in all aspects of the design and delivery of Countesswells, from early masterplanning and LVIA work which allowed the adoption of Supplementary Guidance into Local Plan Policy and securing Planning Permission in Principle to the landscape design of enabling infrastructure, detail design of major parkland spaces and architectural design of initial housing phases.
The Countesswells Masterplan transforms what is essentially a relatively inert and mundane tract of low-grade agricultural land with limited biodiversity into a new settlement which uses new landscape spaces and a high quality and biodiverse environment to structure the new place and connect to woodland resources around the site. The aim of the project has been to establish a community with a sense of place and to properly create this it needs more than just houses; the plan encompasses schools, shops, employment areas, open usable and programmed areas with opportunities designed for meeting and holding events. Good quality greenspace, like that which is planned for Countesswells, has massive recognised benefits to the health and wellbeing of the community through environmental, social, and economic influences. These benefits were at the forefront of the design and implementation programme when Countesswells was planned.
Countesswells has been recognised through the following awards and nominations:
- 2018 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (Place category)
- 2018 RICS Awards Scotland: Residential project of the year
- 2018 Homes for Scotland Awards: Large Private Development of the Year
- 2018 Planning Awards Finalist in 4 categories: Award for Plan-Making, Award for Planning for Increased Housing Delivery, Award for Design Excellence, Award for Best Housing Scheme (500 homes or more)
- 2018 The Saltire Society Housing Design Awards: Highly Commended in Innovation in Housing Category
- 2020 Scottish Home Awards 2020. Winner Green Infrastructure Development of the Year
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