Moray Estate’s vision is the creation of a traditional town, very like market towns so enduring and popular all over Scotland.
We have come to understand that these things do not happen by chance, rather that they are a consequence, of how a community is planned, what amenities are provided and how that is all ‘stitched’ together in the town plan.
Having looked at many successful communities we appreciate the benefits of compact, walkable streets designed for people and character not, primarily, the car. We would like to see a place develop where the social and health benefits of a community, in the widest sense, are allowed to flourish.
The Town Plan
Developing an understanding of what might make a good plan is one thing, creating it quite another. The appointment of Andrés Duany and the community based Charrette process were the triggers for the creation of the plan we’re implementing today.
A Charrette is a series of intensive interactive design workshops held over a number of days where the public, designers and consultants work together to create a detailed vision for a development. Held in Inverness between 5th and 14th September 2006, the Tornagrain charrette brought together around 600 members of the community, statutory consultees and a globally assembled project team. The process was lead by renowned traditional town planner Andrés Duany of Duany, Plater-Zyberk (DPZ) and was a culmination of a great deal of preparatory work and analysis of issues, ecology, landscape, archaeology, transport, engineering and economics.
The process produced a town plan which was refined over subsequent months, but not materially changed, and was the plan which Moray Estates received planning permission for in 2012. The town of 5,000 homes, 3 primary schools, a secondary school, shops, employment space, parks and other services covers a 620 acre site and is expected to take 50 years to complete. Tornagrain will have a town centre focussed on a High Street with squares at either end together with surrounding neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood has a centre, including primary school, within 5 minutes walk of the residents of that area. All the towns residents are within 10 minutes walk of the town centre. Encouraging walking and cycling to local services and shops is not only beneficial to health but encourages social interaction and the establishment of a community.
The implementation of such a significant project required careful consideration of where to commence and how that work would be rolled out to ensure residents of Tornagrain were not impacted on by the continued growth of the community. The site for phase one was chosen based around a neighbourhood centre and has been developed as a village, which can be expanded before commencement of the town centre, when the town reaches sufficient scale.