Residential Design Guide

Ended on the 7th May 2018
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.


How to use this document

Major planning applications and one or more houses in a conservation area are required to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement. The statement should show how applicants or agents have taken onto account the principles of good design in their development proposals.

  • Section 4 of this document 'Design Steps' is based on Local Plan Policies BE1 and BE2 and gives a series of considerations which must be taken into account in any design preparation and should be clearly interpreted in the Layout and Design Statement. This is the section to which applicants and agents should refer as a starting point for their design process.
  • Section 5 provides information on specific design considerations including local distinctiveness, density and scale and design character. These are all vital elements to good design and all design statements must demonstrate that this level of detail has been fully considered. Section 5 also itemises the practical aspects of housing design which must be fully explored beyond the bounds of the information provided in this document to ensure a quality environment is provided.
  • Detailed design issues are covered in a series of design sheets in Section 8. These are arranged to provide stand-alone advice on specific design issues and ensure that whilst detailed design standards are met, the quality of the environment will not be compromised.
  • Section 9 provides a series of photographic examples. Whilst these examples are given to assist in design formulation, they are not prescriptive and should not be used as a template for new developments.
  • Section 10 acts as a check list to ensure that all relevant information has been provided.

The Planning department encourages pre-application discussions prior to the final design of a development being prepared. This can save time at the planning application stage and provides additional guidance on a specific site by site basis.

This residential design guide should be read in conjunction with and be in accordance with national and local documents which provide a sound basis for good design:

  • At a national level, the Design Council merged with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the government's advisor on design in the built environment in 2011. Since then , they have combined to issue design guidance on a variety of aspects of design which can be accessed on the Design Council website
  • The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provides national policy guidance for all new housing. This document sets out the national context for good housing design
  • The district council has produced specific guidance for those working with listed buildings and in conservation areas. In this context reference should always be made to the conservation area statements for a specific area and the document 'Development Guide for Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas' which gives detailed guidance to designers
  • Historic England regularly updates its website with publications relating to both national and regional guidance

This document does not prescribe design codes or address requirements for specific areas of the district. It is a vehicle for outlining the Council's general approach to design and signposts other documents which will lead the developer to a carefully considered proposal.

The Local Plan allocates a large number of new houses for the district and many of the larger developments will have a development brief associated with them. The development briefs have far more detail which are specific to areas of the district and will inform the design for each. Developers of large sites are advised to appraise themselves of the content of these documents and adhere to the advice therein when submitting planning applications.

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top