Experts needed to join OPUN’s Design Support service
OPUN, the Leicester-based Architecture Centre for the East Midlands, is looking for new members to join its Design Support Service. This is a great opportunity for leading experts working in the built environment industry to help improve the quality of buildings and spaces across the region and enhance their own professional credentials.
OPUN’s Design Support Service is well-established and is aimed at local authorities, developers, consultants and communities as well as any other groups or individuals seeking design and planning advice. It operates at two levels, providing affordable, expert, independent and confidential support via:
- a Design Review Panel which helps to bring high profile development proposals effectively through the planning application process
- a Design Enabling Service that empowers local communities and authorities to develop and take joint ownership of neighbourhood plans
Chris Twomey, Chair of the Design Review Panel and Managing Director of Derby-based Latham Architects explained: “OPUN offers an informed and impartial view to make sure that development proposals for building and public spaces are sustainable, user friendly, attractive and fit for purpose.
“Being involved at the planning and design stage of a project means there’s a greater opportunity for us to make sure any possible issues can be addressed before construction work begins. This is important because it speeds up delivery and ensures value for money. It also enables us to encourage community engagement early on so that the wider social and economic benefits to an area can be maximised.”
OPUN is looking to appoint a range of professionals – such as landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers and surveyors – to work across both the Panel and Enabling Service. Candidates with experience in historic conservation, community engagement and sustainable developments, as well as those with a regeneration or commercial background, are also encouraged to apply.
Dharmista Patel, OPUN’s Head of Design Support Services said: “OPUN gets involved in developments covering the whole building spectrum – from residential schemes and supermarkets to academies and infrastructure projects. So we’re keen to hear from experts across the whole of the East Midlands who have experience and knowledge of the region and these types of schemes.
She added: “It’s an exciting time to join OPUN and play an active role in planning new buildings and places of the future. We’re looking to establish an innovative web-based design review service to make our offer more accessible, so there are some exciting initiatives just around the corner that our panel members can get involved in.”
Full details of how to apply are available on www.opun.org.uk . The application deadline is Friday 9th September 2011. Candidates will be chosen via an open selection process and those who are successful will be paid for their support.
For more information on this press release, please contact Clare Farley at Eden PR on 0115 958 8850 or email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
Examples of schemes benefiting from OPUN’s Design Support Service
Derbyshire: Eco Centre – now up and running, this is Derbyshire County Council’s flagship new adult community education centre, providing courses on heritage, sustainable building skills, rural crafts, the arts, environment and renewable energy.
Leicestershire: Proposed residential area scheme on a greenfield site near to the western edge of Castle Donington.
Lincolnshire: Plans for a new Baptist church on a greenfield site on the edge of a Lincolnshire village called Burgh le Marsh.
Northamptonshire: Development of new healthcare facilities at Rushden Hospital.
Nottinghamshire: Sneinton Market Square – a project involving the creation of a high quality public space to provide a market area and space for events and performances which is currently under development.
OPUN was set up in 2002 to create better quality neighbourhoods, buildings and public spaces across the East Midlands. OPUN is part of the Architecture Centre Network and is hosted by Leicester De Montfort University. As part of it’s Design Support Service, OPUN runs one of eight Design Review Panels affiliated to Design Council, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).
It also works with built environment and regeneration professionals, officers and elected members of local authorities, via a design best practice training, networking, conference and arts development programme.
To find out more about OPUN, its staff and services, visit www.opun.org.uk ; follow us on Twitter @opuntweets ; find us on LinkedIn by searching on OPUN .
About OPUN’s Design Support Services
OPUN’s Design Support Review Panel:
- assesses around 50 development proposals each year
- meets across the East Midlands on a regular basis; meetings include:
- site visits to help panel members understand and appreciate the site context
- a presentation by the design team followed by a discussion where the Panel provides their comments and advice
- £750 for large scale development schemes requiring Panel input, £300 for smaller scale schemes needing a desktop (or ‘virtual’) review. Costs for the online review service (called Stickyworld) will be published once launched.*
OPUN’s Design Support Enabling Service – this meets across the East Midlands on an ad hoc / needs only basis. Cost is a fee of £375 per day.*
* Costs are given as a guide and can vary depending on the level of design support needed and the nature and complexity of a scheme.