Self-build and custom-build opportunities at Beeston Park, Broadland


In association with BuildStore, we’re invite people to register their interest in potential custom-build and self-build opportunities in a new community to be developed at Beeston Park, Broadland, northeast of Norwich.

Set within easy reach of the world-famous Norfolk Broads and stunning North Norfolk coastline, Beeston Park will be a new community functioning both as a resolved place in its own right – with local schools, shops and workplaces and green spaces alongside housing – and as an integrated extension to Norwich, the buzzing medieval city centre of which is less than three miles away.

Beeston Park has been conceived to set new standards for sustainable development in the UK, combining the principles that have underpinned successful settlements for centuries – including proper streets, ‘walkable’ centres and a mix of housing types – with contemporary sustainable design including very low carbon energy infrastructure and measures to conserve water. By the time it is complete in around 20 years time, Beeston Park will provide around 3,500 homes and 1,000 jobs, plus two new schools and a major new country park. Broadland District Council resolved to grant outline planning permission in September 2013. You can read more about the plans at

As Town Developer, Beyond Green Developments is currently looking at how best to enable the delivery of Beeston Park, which is expected to start on site in summer 2015 and start releasing building plots from the autumn. Fulfilling a promise made at outline planning, we’ll bringing at least 90 plots forward over the life of the project for custom-built or self-built homes. But that’s only a handful each year, and we think the real potential for custom- build and self-build is potentially much greater. Big enough, even, that it could become the pre- eminent way of building homes in this exciting new community – making for a unique place that we build together with the people who will live there, and is truly the work of many hands.

We want to gauge the real level of interest accurately so that we can plan the optimum number and type of opportunities into the earliest phase of the development, and give potential custom- builders and self-builders as much input as possible into the detailed planning to take place over the next year. So we’re asking anyone who might be interested in building or commissioning their own home at Beeston Park to register and take our short survey before Friday 8th August.

We’ll invite anyone who expresses an interest to an open event in Broadland this autumn to meet the team behind the Beeston Park project, visit the site, hear more about specific opportunities, and register your interest more specifically.

Remarkable Cities Masterclass, 28th – 30th August 2014


Download the brochure


Press Release: Call for applications for the first Remarkable Cities Masterclass


The first Remarkable Cities Masterclass will take place at Pembroke College, Cambridge from the 28th – 30th August 2014.  An intensive 3-day learning programme for emerging leaders in government, business, city management, the third sector and the built environment, it will provide an insight into leading edge thinking on the key issues facing those trying to create the remarkable cities of the 21st century.

The master class is aimed at those creating urban change and will explore the opportunities and practical actions possible to overcome the major challenges cities face. It will ask how should we build, invest and manage our cities to make them better places to live and work  - and offers participants a unique opportunity to question, learn, debate and create  – in the stunning environment of one of the oldest colleges in Cambridge.

Delegates will experience three great days of exploration, inspiration and action with talks, workshops and visits to projects (by bike of course) with contributions from a range of disciplines and international speakers fresh to the UK. Confirmed speakers include: Klaus Bondam, the director of the Danish Cycling Federation and the former Mayor of Technology and the Environment in Copenhagen; Michael Manolson the ex director of Greenpeace Canada and the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives and now a leading business strategist; plus urban designers Schulze + Grassov who were previously senior team leaders at Gehl Architects.

Sarah Gaventa, Design Director and Curator of Remarkable Cities says : “Participants will gain an understanding of current best practice in city making to help inform their strategic decisions that will contribute to creating more liveable, sustainable, equitable and prosperous cities – that really are remarkable. “

The course is 3 full days from Thursday 28th August until the evening of Saturday 30th August 2014. The fee is £1,000 plus VAT which includes two nights accommodation at Pembroke College, Cambridge plus meals and all tuition. There are a small number of bursaries available for those who are unable to fund themselves.

For further details and to apply for a place visit Or to discuss further please call or email Gabriel Smales on 020 7549 2184 /

Notes to Editors:

Remarkable Cities is a leadership and strategic city & place-making consultancy created by Beyond Green. Beyond Green has a strong track record in promoting high quality and sustainable places.

Introducing the Remarkable Cities Project and Masterclass

Time Square

Remarkable Cities – a division of Beyond Green – will be celebrating its inaugural programme at Pembroke College (Cambridge) with a lecture and reception at the Whitechapel Gallery this evening. Our programmes aim to help identify, inspire, teach, connect and support the future leaders who will shape the remarkable city communities, places, businesses and infrastructures of the future, jumping a generation to bring new urgency and agency to the unprecedented challenges and opportunities presented by the 21st-century.

The Remarkable Cities Project will build strategic partnerships with cities, outstanding businesses, communities, universities, institutions and professional bodies to identify and recruit the rising stars, supply the teachers and inspirational case studies and help carry the work through into practice. The resulting talent pool will become a compelling force in the rapid transition to remarkable cities.

More details about the project and on how to apply for the 3-day residential Masterclass at Pembroke College can be found here and you can keep up to date with our latest activities by following us on twitter via @RemCities. If you have a specific question feel free to contact Gabriel Smales (Researcher & Curator) by emailing or calling 020 7549 2184.

North Sprowston and Old Catton shortlisted for a RTPI 2014 Planning Excellence Award


North Sprowston and Old Catton (NS&OC), a new community to be developed in Broadland, north-east of Norwich, has been shortlisted for a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) 2014 Planning Excellence Award.

The project, nominated jointly by developers Beyond Green and local planning authority Broadland District Council, has been shortlisted in the category of “exemplary planning to deliver housing” and is up against a shortlist of projects from across the country for the prestigious award.

Broadland Council resolved to grant outline planning permission for the scheme in September 2013 and, following the necessary legal agreements and detailed planning, work is expected to start on site in 2015. Key elements of the project include 3,520 homes, 1,000 jobs, a new high street and square with local shops and services, two primary schools and the dedication of historic Beeston Park as a new country park serving the whole area.

Beyond Green planning director Neil Murphy said, “North Sprowston and Old Catton is intended to be a blueprint for a place that offers a high quality of life with a very small carbon footprint, combining proven features of places people like – such as proper streets, accessible local services and well-built adaptable homes – with the best of contemporary sustainable design. Broadland Council’s cooperation and support is crucial to the project taking shape and we are delighted to have been able to nominate the plan jointly with the Council.”

Cllr Shaun Vincent, Portfolio Holder for Planning at Broadland District Council, said, “Broadland continues to support the right type of development in the right locations and we are convinced that this scheme is an exemplary proposal which will bring many benefits to the area. We are therefore very pleased that it has been recognised as such by the professional body for planning in England.”

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on 23rd June. Details of our proposals for North Sprowston and Old Catton can be found here.

Jonathan Smales speaking at Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club


This evening Jonathan Smales, Executive Chairman of Beyond Green will be speaking at the Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club’s meeting on sustainability.

Jonathan’s  presentation – The Urgent and Remarkable Future: How Shall We Live? – will consider the need for remarkable transformations in how we live as inspired and enabled by where we live. Not only are the challenges remarkable but so too are the opportunities if we grasp them on our increasingly hot, flat and crowded planet. He will examine these issues through the lens of the city and urban places, spaces and infrastructure, with the conclusion that we can live well, affordably and sustainably if we have the right mindset.

Bruce McVean to advise London Health Commission


The London Health Commission is an independent inquiry chaired by Lord Darzi and reporting directly to the Mayor of London. The Commission will examine how London’s health and healthcare can be improved for the benefit of the population.

Bruce McVean has been invited to advise the Commission on the relationship between the built environment and health. Bruce’s expertise in this area includes integrating health into Beyond Green’s development and consultancy projects, helping to draft NICE’s guidance on physical activity and the built environment and, prior to joining Beyond Green, leading CABE’s policy work on health.

The London Health Commission has issued a call for evidence to inform its analysis and recommendations. The deadline for submissions is Monday 10th February – details of how to submit evidence can be found here.

Neil Murphy speaking at Newcastle’s Love Cycling, Go Dutch conference


Neil Murphy, Beyond Green’s Director of Planning, Policy and Economics will be speaking at the Love Cycling, Go Dutch conference in Newcastle on Tuesday 5th November.

The conference will show how Dutch politicians and planners have succeeded in building high cycling levels with public support and consider how this can be achieved in Newcastle and surroundings. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will be hosting the event in collaboration with Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Cycling Campaign and Cycle Nation and the Dutch Cycling Embassy.

Neil’s presentation will consider how new developments can and should provide for cycling (and why they often don’t), and how that provision can act as a catalyst for wider change across the city. He will explain how cycling is integrated into Beyond Green’s proposals for North Sprowston and Old Catton, north of Norwich, and consider how successful recent developments in Newcastle have been at creating conditions that will encourage and enable residents to cycle as part of their daily routine.

Beyond Green and Schulze+Grassov’s joint venture – a fresh approach to public realm design

JV Launch Web Header

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new joint venture between Beyond Green and Schulze+Grassov – with offices in London and Copenhagen – to provide inspiring ideas and processes, trans-disciplinary collaboration and rigorous design for remarkable cities. With deep experience in urbanism and sustainability and an initial focus on the planning and design of urban public realm we aim to provide essential services at all scales.

Cities and city places, spaces and infrastructure need to be made and re-made to meet the urgent, unprecedented and remarkable ecological, economic and social challenges of the 21st Century.

The pressing need to live more sustainably – even as we live well – can be both inspired and enabled by wonderful, humane, city neighbourhoods. But, make no mistake, there must and will be rapid change to these neighbourhoods: improving connectivity, reinforcing centres and high streets, re-configuring streets for people, inherently safe everyday cycling and a new generation of renewably powered electric vehicles. We need abundant and productive green to leaven the essential intensification of urban environments, new smart grids for clean energy and intelligent services. And the urbanism – the quality of the places we live and work in – must become far more liveable.

With these priorities in mind our joint venture offers a new approach to public realm design services that combines the know-how and sensibilities of British, Danish and German city-strategists, sustainability & behavioural experts and designers from Beyond Green and Schulze+Grassov.

The posters below are available to download here and the launch brochure, with details of our service offer, can be downloaded here.

Farrell review: Jonathan Smales on sustainability in the built environment

The Farrell Review

In his contribution to Sir Terry Farrell’s independent Review of Architecture and the Built Environment, Jonathan Smales discusses sustainability in the built environment.

The headlines:

  • Sustainable built environments in cities are better for us and better for the economy; they are radically affordable and will drive remarkable innovation; they should be at the heart of politics and business
  • Cities are the principal human habitat – improving cities and delegating powers to cities is one of the quickest ways to a dynamic low carbon economy
  • Education and training in cities, urbanism and strategic sustainability is woeful and must be improved
  • City streets and suburban transport networks need a bold overhaul for healthy, low carbon movement – it will save £billions and greatly improve the quality of most people’s lives
  • Urgent need to enhance city government borrowing and tax raising powers so that they can invest and innovate for the good of their economies and citizens, but need to work through public/private partnerships
  • Smart grids connected to big regional and national grids in cities not local renewables
  • Carbon taxes are both essential and will improve our global competitiveness
  • City neighbourhoods must be intensified and the suburbs re-purposed with more and higher building (still human scale) mixed-use centres, local energy generation and food production

Read Jonathan’s full submission here.