Aerial view of a city designed by Leonard Design, featuring various residential, commercial, and office buildings. Multiple streets and roads intersect with cars visible. Train tracks and a station are on the right, and a small canal runs through the bottom left of the image. Parks and trees add green spaces.
The Island Quarter Masterplan, Nottingham

Leonard Design the master storytellers……

The evolution of any urban vision is a building process that is founded upon understanding and analysis of the existing place alongside interrogation of the brief to formulate a robust starting position. Only then can the project evolve, layering up the different aspects of the master plan through developing the project narrative. Storytelling and effective communication are an essential part of the process.

Large master plan and urban vision projects have been at the heart of Leonard Design’s work since it began. Well-considered masterplans are crucial for shaping the future of cities and towns, to ensure they evolve in a sustainable and cohesive manner. Master plans should provide a clear yet flexible, aspirational yet realistic framework for future regeneration and growth.

The success of any masterplan is dependent upon the creation of vibrant spaces and the right mix of uses that will attract people and businesses alike. Part of this process is clearly understanding the place we are working in. Stakeholders are more responsive to proposals that demonstrate and build upon the existing identity and sense of place of a town or city.

At Leonard Design, we place great importance on understanding the needs and aspirations of the community, the local authority, and other key stakeholders at the earliest stages of the project. A fully collaborative approach, working alongside the local authority and other key stakeholders creates a sense of ownership and support for any new master plan.

For a fully collaborative approach it is essential to have a multi-disciplinary team in place from concept stage. By bringing together experts from various fields such as architecture, urban design, planning, heritage, transport, and sustainability, we can ensure a comprehensive and well-rounded approach to masterplan development.

A watercolor-style rendering of an urban scene featuring modern mid-rise buildings with a mix of brick, glass, and curved architectural elements. People are walking on the streets, and a variety of shops, including one labeled "SIGNAGE," line the ground floors, showcasing thoughtful architecture.
Eagle Quarter, Derby

Recently our clients at Eurofund came to us with a clear vision for the redevelopment of two major sites in Derby – The Eagle Quarter at Derbion and Bradshaw Way retail park. The vision was to develop a viable urban vision that will set a framework for the development of a new high density residential quarter as part of Derby’s future evolution.

Each member of the team, brought unique insights and expertise that allowed the different aspects of the project to be addressed, from preserving heritage assets to optimising transportation networks and integrating sustainable design principles. This holistic approach not only enhanced the quality of the final masterplan but also facilitated the identification of potential challenges and opportunities early in the process.

By proactively addressing scale, density, and heritage considerations early in the planning process, Leonard Design were able to mitigate potential objections from regulatory authorities and stakeholders, ultimately expediting the approval process. This allowed the projects to progress more smoothly and efficiently, to a clear vision for the Eagle Quarter and Bradshaw Way retail park sites.

Leonard Design’s experience in working with developers, occupiers, and commercial agents, allow the identification of opportunities and the development of strategies to optimise the viability of a masterplan whilst still achieving a strong design solution. This balanced, strategic approach to project development helps minimise risks and uncertainties, making the masterplans more attractive to investors, developers, and other project partners.

Leonard Design recently completed a detailed planning application in Poole, Dorset. The client’s aspirations were to deliver a high density residential led with an active ground floor. There were initial challenges associated with the flood defence strategy that significantly added to the project costs and affected the scheme’s viability.

A scenic waterfront view showcases modern multi-story buildings featuring a variety of architectural styles, masterplanned by Leonard Design. The buildings line a promenade with trees and outdoor seating areas. Boats are docked in the calm water under a partly cloudy sky.
West Quay, Poole

Working closely with both the statutory authorities, client and design team, Leonard Design were able to derive a more open, pedestrian friendly ground plane with an inclusive sense of community; whilst meeting the flood defence requirements; coupled with a high-quality building massing and façade design strategy that met the planning requirements. This revised strategy was delivered through careful step-by-step consultation with the local community and planning authority.

A modern apartment complex with red and beige brick exteriors under a partly cloudy sky, masterplanned by Leonard Design. People walk along the nearby sidewalk, and several cars are on the adjacent street. Surrounding buildings feature a mix of contemporary and traditional architectural styles.
West Quay, Poole

Leonard Design’s approach is to address head on the issue of scale and density, working to take advantage of the opportunities this brings to maximise user experience and development potential. Overlaid onto this is a thorough understanding of optimisation of building layouts, construction methodologies and sustainability design principles.

Planning applications for developments of scale and density should always involve extensive consultation and engagement with stakeholders, including residents, community groups, and local authorities. However, it is how effective the storytelling is conveying the vision and benefits to stakeholders and decision makers that ultimately determines the successful outcome.

A lively urban plaza filled with diverse people. Families, couples, and individuals walk, chat, and relax around benches and greenery. Modern buildings and storefronts line the space, showcasing Leonard Design's masterplanning prowess. A central tree provides shade in this vibrant community atmosphere.
Derbion Masterplan, Derby

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