Old Town New Town

– Heritage Events

Our three Old Town New Town events will introduce you to many aspects of New Town development from urban planning, housing, parks and green infrastructure to wellbeing, community and public arts and culture. They are led by Sabine Coady Schäbitz and Bob Colenutt from the New Town Heritage Research Network.

Event One

The British New Town Story

Thu 16 Sep 18.00 19.30
Delapré Abbey Library, NN4 8AW




Join us for an evening at Delapré Abbey to find out about the evolution and legacy of the post-war British New Towns. This is a great opportunity to further understand the context of the developments which significantly transformed towns like Northampton and Corby. The event is FREE to attend but booking is recommended.
You will be introduced to both the history of the New Town Movement in its national and international context and its contested heritage today. In talks, images and a short historic film, we will explore the original controversy of the New Town idea in Britain, the ultimate political and public acceptance and the physical implementation.
Looking at various aspects of New Town development from urban planning, housing, parks and green infrastructure to wellbeing, community and public arts and culture, we will examine how the New Town communities have fared and what their future might look like. You will have the opportunity to discuss your own perceptions and experiences of British New Towns.
This event is made possible with support from the The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The New Town Heritage Research Network
The event will be led by Sabine Coady Schäbitz and Bob Colenutt from the New Town Heritage Research Network, which provides an ongoing opportunity to get involved and contribute to the continuing sustainability of the New Towns. 

Sabine Coady Schäbitz is Associate Professor for Architecture at Coventry University. Sabine co-led the AHRC New Towns Heritage Research Network project. Her career spans many years in the UK and Germany, as architectural and urban design educator, researcher and practioner. Sabine studied architecture, art history and architectural conservation in Germany and Italy. Her professional engagement and research focus is on cultural heritage, architectural and urban history, with a particular interest in the public understanding of built environment heritage. Sabine is also a long-time resident of Northampton and Trustee at Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust.

Bob Colenutt has a background in urban planning and regeneration working for community groups and in local government and has also taught at Universities. He also had a short spell as a local government councillor. He worked in London at the GLC, LB Newham, LB Barking and Dagenham and LB Haringey, and was also involved as a researcher and community organiser in housing campaigns in the South Bank and in Docklands. In 2004, he became Head of Environmental and Planning services at Northamptonshire County Council, and later worked for the Institute for Urban Affairs at the University of Northampton. He is a founding member of the New Towns Heritage Research Network and is co-editor of ‘Lessons from the British and French New Towns’ published in 2021. He is currently an Assistant Lecturer in planning and housing policy at Oxford Brookes University.

Further Resources
Northampton 1960s
Looking Back: The shaping of Northampton New Town

In 1965, it was announced by Harold Wilson’s Labour Government that Northampton was to be one the new towns offering housing to people living in poor conditions in English cities.

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Fifty years since a plan that transformed Northampton

On February 3 1965, Minister for Housing Richard Crossman announced that Northampton was to be one of a number of new towns offering housing to people living in poor conditions in London. 

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Northampton Market Square
‘Mark 3’ New Town – Designated 14 Feb 1968

Historically a market town, Northampton was designated as a New Town to accommodate London overspill and provide for regional growth.

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‘Mark 1’ New Town – Designated 1 April 1950

Increased demand for iron and steel in the late 1940s led to the expansion of steelworks at Corby as a ‘matter of national importance’. 

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Garden Cities and New Towns

The TCPA New Towns Network brings together local authorities where the UK’s 32 New Towns are located to share experience through peer to peer learning and other activities.

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Early settlement in Corby dates back to the 8th century when a group of Danish invaders, with their leader, Kori, settled there. It thus became known as ‘Kori’s by’ – Kori’s settlement. 

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How the town of Corby dusted off the ashes of post-industrial decay

Northamptonshire town, one of UK’s fastest growing, is twinned with a Chinese megacity – and is doing its best to catch up.

Read Article
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