Place Standard: Housing in Shetland

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“It was enormously valuable to gain so many insights into public opinion and to pick up a number of detailed concerns that will undoubtedly prove helpful in the next stage of design.” Design team comments on the Place Standard consultation.

What did we do?

A&DS helped Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Islands Council prepare for the development of Shetland’s largest housing site at Staneyhill, Lerwick. The housing site will serve the majority of the future needs of the Shetland mainland population.

A&DS provided support on design development for the housing and advised on application of the Place Standard tool through our Design Forum service. Working with the local authority, design team and developer, the focus is on strengthening placemaking qualities and response to local needs through the Place Standard work.

This has been a test case for application of the Place Standard to assess a development proposal. The Place Standard was used by the consultant team to involve residents living in the adjoining community [see diagram below] during the design process. Consultation took the form of individual surveys and group workshops. Whilst the first step was to assess the quality of the local environment “as existing” and to identify local needs the next step will be to re-assess the situation “as proposed” taking into account the housing and layout intended.

Shetland housing diagram 25 11
 Outcomes Include:

  • The Place Standard work evidenced the community brief for the site, including the role of the routes across the site for residents and children walking to and from school and the local sports complex.
  • The Design Forum workshops have provided a strong focus for dialogue on place and placemaking.
  • This twin approach has lead to growing confidence in the proposals for both the community and statutory stakeholders.

How can this help me?

  • The Place Standard is a useful tool at the briefing stage of capital investment, to evidence community and stakeholder needs, establish clear objectives and design criteria that can inform design development in masterplanning
  • A&DS Design Forum can provide support for developers and designers when aligning community needs with placemaking policy and procurement constraints.
  • A&DS is providing advice to Pathfinder organisations piloting Place Standard application in a range of sectors. For more information contact

Place Standard: Arbroath

Working with Place Standard partners A&DS led a workshop at an Angus Managers Forum event.

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