The District contains many established, attractive areas which are highly valued by residents and which are worthy of protection from damaging and insensitive new development. While there may be capacity to accommodate new development in many parts of the District, it should only occur where proposals are of a scale, density and design that would not cause damage to the qualities, character and amenity of the areas in which they are situated. Such development should also provide attractive high quality buildings and public realm that positively contributes to the area in which it is located, in accordance with good urban design principles. Where appropriate, the use of modern architecture and design will be embraced and innovation supported.
There will be a strong expectation that design issues will be dealt with at pre-application stage. Some major proposals will be referred to a Design Review Panel where there are significant design implications.
Design and access statements are required with most types of planning application. They should demonstrate how the Council’s key design principles, set out in Strategic Policy 15 and DM Policies 2, 36 and 37 and those in Neighbourhood Plans have been taken into account and reflected in project design. The findings of any public involvement in exhibitions or design workshops should be summarised with an explanation showing where they have influenced the design.
DM Policy 36: Achieving High Quality Design
All new development must:
Context and Identity
a. Be well designed, respect and enhance the character of the area paying particular attention to context and identity of its location, scale, massing, rhythm, layout and use of materials appropriate to the locality. The development itself must be compatible with neighbouring buildings and spaces and be inclusive in its design for all users.
b. Be of an appropriate density (typically between 30 - 50 net dwellings per hectare) that combines the efficient use of land with high quality design that respects character and context. Higher density development will be encouraged in accessible locations, such as around transport hubs or town centres, where this is appropriate.
c. Incorporate focal points and destinations to create a sense of place and make it easy for anyone to find their way around.
d. Ensure that open spaces are designed to be high quality, multi-functional, robust and adaptable over time so that they remain fit for purpose and must be managed and maintained for continual use.
e. Ensure that public spaces are faced by buildings, and are designed to be safe, secure, inclusive and attractive for all to use.
f. Incorporate trees and other planting within public spaces to promote health and well-being and provide shading.
g. Ensure that existing features, including trees, natural habitats, boundary treatments and historic street furniture, that positively contribute to the quality and character of an area, are retained, enhanced and protected where appropriate.
h. Take a coordinated approach to the design and siting of street furniture, boundary treatments, lighting, signage and public art to meet the needs of all users.
i. Ensure that new advertisements do not detract from the character and appearance of the surrounding area and do not have an adverse effect on public safety.
Homes and Buildings
j. Ensure that the siting, layout and design of vehicle and cycle parking (including detached garage blocks) is sensitively integrated into the development; maintains an attractive and coherent street scene; does not prejudice the wider functionality of public and private space; and creates an effective functional link and relationship with the buildings and areas they serve.
k. Make appropriate provision for service areas, refuse storage (including waste and recycling bins), and collection areas in accordance with the nature of the development. Such areas and access to them should be appropriately sited and designed to ensure they can:
- Perform their role effectively without prejudicing or being prejudiced by other functions and users;
- Maintain an attractive and coherent street scene and protect visual amenity; and
- Avoid creating risk to human health or an environmental nuisance
l. Be adaptable to their users’ changing needs and evolving technologies.
m. Be robust, easy to use and look after, and enable their users to establish a sense of ownership.
Development proposals must provide evidence to demonstrate how they have responded positively to the design policies in the Local Plan and associated guidance, including national and local design guidance, relevant Neighbourhood Plans, Village Design Statements and site specific development briefs.
Where significant design implications are identified on major proposals these will be referred to a Design Review Panel.