who are we

We work as a collective with a number of professional associates and organisations.


Leeds Action to Create Homes leading sustainable renovation with skills training on retrofitting.


This work by Studio UrbanArea LLP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Copyright 2020.


Studio UrbanArea LLP are a partnership with support from a number of local and national associate consultants.

michael crilly

Michael Crilly BSc (Hons), DipTP, MAUD, PhD is a town planner and urban designer with over twenty five years work experience in strategic planning, community engagement, urban regeneration and sustainable development. Graduating top of his class at Queen's University, Belfast; where he completed a degree in Environmental Planning and a Post Graduate Planning Diploma; he moved to the south of England to work on a range of structure planning, countryside management and environmental projects. While there he completed a part-time MA in Urban Design at the Polytechnic of Central London and returned to Belfast just in time to vote for the Good Friday Agreement. He worked on a number of sustainability and urban design projects for the private and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland before being awarded a doctoral student sponsorship from Norman Foster and Partners, based at Cranfield University, to undertake action-research into sustainable cities.

After completing his doctorate, he worked for Newcastle City Council; as the Head of the Urban Design Section; on a range of inner city regeneration projects with a focus on sustainable housing, neighbourhood planning, social exclusion and community involvement. He also developed and managed several European research partnership programmes.

Between 2005 - 2007 he was on secondment as a Regional Programme Manager for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment in the Tees Valley, working as a design advisor with the Urban Regeneration Company and the local authorities on a series of strategic regeneration projects and sites. He is a Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor and a Design Council Cabe Built Environment Expert.

He is a coffee snob and likes doing sketchy little drawings.

Delton Jackson BA (Hons), MAUD is an urban designer with a background in fine art and several years experience working for two of England’s most dynamic core cities (Newcastle & Leeds). He has a passionate interest in community and design-led regeneration, and is a strong advocate of local and regional identity.

Originally from the United States, Delton is well traveled in Europe, North America and Asia, and has lived and worked in the UK for twenty years. Delton is an active member of the Council for European Urbanism since the signing of the Stockholm Charter in 2003, being a founding member and Chair of the CEU-UK (CEU’s National Chapter for the United Kingdom) and current deputy chair of the CEU.

Delton is an Enabler for Architecture + Design Scotland, a Renaissance Advocate for Yorkshire Forward and continues to work part-time as a Senior Urban Design Officer with Selby Council. He has expertise in design guidance and training, consultation and advice, supported by extensive experience in community based urban regeneration (capacity building, benchmarking and signposting, action learning and international knowledge transfer), networking / influencing; advocacy and campaigning; 'Planning for Real', community involvement; and partnership working.

He is not and never has been a CIA agent. Just so you know.

Tim Watts BA (Hons), DipTP, MAUD, MRTPI is a planner and urban designer with over twenty years experience of creating visions and transformational frameworks for places and spaces of all scales.Since graduating with a planning degree from Manchester University / University of Amsterdam, Tim has worked in the public sector and private practice. A stint working as a regeneration specialist for a local authority, at which time he gained an MA in Urban Design from Newcastle University, was followed by a period working for leading Oxford based urban design practice Roger Evans Associates. During his time with REA Tim worked on a broad range of masterplanning and urban design schemes including an urban design strategy for the Foleshill Road, Coventry, urban design framework for Chatham town centre, residential masterplan for a large former council estate in Nottingham and a waterfront masterplan for Penryn, Cornwall.

Tim’s time with REA was followed by a period working as a freelance consultant during which time he worked on a characterisation project in Cheltenham and public realm strategy for Walsall town centre. Tim took up the position of Urban Design manager at One North East [the Regional Development Agency for the North East of England] in 2003 and has been involved in a number of high profile masterplan and design code schemes including Durham City Vision, Central Park, Darlington, Middlehaven, Middlesbrough, and South Shields Riverside.

He is currently active in the public sector for Auckland City Council and sometimes hard to reach. He has an unhealthy interest in VW Camper Vans.

We specialise in low / zero carbon design strategies and concepts that are particularly suited to custom and self-build projects. We are also creative around communtiy scale development to support co-housing and community land trust developments.

et andy

Andy Stephenson BSc (Hons), LLM is originally a Building Services Engineer who moved into the field of Sustainability in the 90’s. He attended Durham University as a mature student and graduated with a 1st in Environmental management, since then he has completed a Masters in Law and is currently writing up his thesis for a PhD which he does promise he will finish, eventually. Upon graduating from his BSc he worked as an Environmental manager in the Pharmaceutical Industry before moving onto senior positions in the Energy Savings Trust, Chester-le-Street District Council and finally Durham County Council.

He is driven by the need to reduce reliance and demand on our natural resources with Fuel Poverty a big driver and is always looking at new ways to tackle this problem and looks at the whole rather than the individual. Prevention is better than a cure. He is a qualified Sap's assessor amongst many other skills and uses this in looking at reducing energy demand in new and existing dwellings. Until recently he was National Chair of the Carbon Action Network, a body that works very closely with Government on Domestic energy issues which include recent work on the Green Deal. He has also been called as an expert witness to the Governments Energy and Climate Change select committee.

He loves cycling and used to go to Keilder Forest regularly, but that was a while ago.

martin hulse

Martin Hulse BSc (Hons) is a project manager and Prince 2 Practitioner with a background in estate management, now working in regeneration with a specialism in design, sustainability and the implementation of public art. At One NorthEast, the regional development agency, Martin worked across the region to ensure that aspects of quality were integrated into physical projects. A key objective was to enhance the sustainability credentials of projects being funded through Single Programme. He offers a high level of expertise in the delivery of physical projects such as procurement, architecture, urban design, inclusive design, energy performance and other areas within the sustainability agenda, and while at the Agency provided guidance and assistance to project managers, Regional Partners and developers. He is a BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor.

Martin is a former Director of the Cockburn Association [The Edinburgh Civic Trust], and has a proven track--record of high--level advocacy work, campaigning for improvements to the amenity of Edinburgh on issues of heritage, environment, transport, architecture and urban design. He has experience of working with the North of England Civic Trust and is currently the Director of the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust.

These posts, on opposite sides of the regeneration sector, have equipped Martin with a unique three dimensional perspective, interdisciplinary skills and excellent communication abilities which he sometimes applies as Director of Public Art Consultancy, Grit & Pearl, where he leads on sustainable design, design guidance and community advocacy. Projects have included the delivery of public art in Kielder to a total budget of £370,000, management of a £250,000 fighting fund for public art in Sunderland, the delivery of public art officer services in South Shields and the project management of 2 commissions in West Cumbria.

He has recently lost his passport. If you know where it is can you let him know please?