Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Design/General Development

12.22 PPS1[1] provides a clear national policy framework for promoting good design as a key element to achieving sustainable development and emphasises the indivisible link between good design and good planning. Paragraph 35 of PPS1 advises that good design should:

  • address the connections between people and places by considering the needs of people to access jobs and key services;
  • be integrated into the existing urban form and the natural and built environments;
  • be an integral part of the process for ensuring successful, safe and inclusive villages, towns and cities;
  • create an environment where everyone can access and benefit from the full range of opportunities available to members of society; and
  • consider the direct and indirect impacts on the natural environment.

12.23 It is self evident that all development in all locations should be designed to the highest standard. This is essential if we are to create functional, attractive places that people want to live in, work in and visit. Well designed buildings and places can contribute to the quality of life, increase economic vitality, achieve high environmental standards, reduce emissions and deliver a high quality public realm.

12.24 This principle is carried throughout the Core Strategy, which sets the objective to develop new homes, infrastructure and all other land uses to the highest possible design standards in order to ensure that places are shaped as sustainable, and are socially, economically and environmentally responsive. Future specific design guidance will come forward as supplementary planning documents or other appropriate planning document.

12.25 Policy EQ2 aims to ensure that development contributes to social, economic and environmental sustainability and makes a positive difference to people's lives to help to provide homes, jobs, and better opportunities for everyone. At the same time, it aims to protect and enhance the natural and historic environment, and conserve the countryside and open spaces that are important to everyone.

12.26 All development will be expected to achieve high quality architectural and urban design standards, and address Building for Life objectives creating places that are attractive, durable and function well. Building for Life is the national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods published in 2008 by the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment (CABE) on behalf of the Building for Life Partnership, which includes amongst others the House Builders Federation. It presents 20 key criteria against which good design can and should be judged. All developments will be expected to achieve high environmental standards and levels of sustainability. All buildings should be designed to be fit for purpose, and adaptable in their use to suit changing occupier needs over time.

12.27 Development proposals also need to demonstrate a commitment to designing out crime through the creation of safe environments (both private and public) that benefit from natural surveillance, well overlooked streets and open spaces, appropriate lighting and other security measures, following the principles highlighted within the Home Office Safer Places guidance. Achieving Secured by Design certification will help to demonstrate how designing out crime has been taken into account.

12.28 The District Council is committed to protecting and enhancing the unique historic environment of the area. All designated assets including Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and archaeological sites together with other heritage assets that contribute positively to the significance of the historic environment need to be protected from demolition or inappropriate development that affects the asset or its setting.

12.29 South Somerset has published Development Management advice guides to give guidance on how design should complement local architectural traditions, how sustainable construction techniques can be incorporated within the context of the existing built heritage and the significance of historic environment conservation. The Council also apply specific guidance from Government and Government sponsored organisations.[2] Conservation Area Appraisals, the Landscape Character Assessment, Historic Environmental Assessment for Yeovil and Town and Village Design Statements provide a more detailed local context for the evaluation and consideration of development proposals and should be taken into account where they have been produced. The Development Management advice will be reviewed and revised during the lifetime of the Local Development Framework and the most up to date material should be referred to.

12.30 To comply with climate change objectives the design of new development will change significantly over the coming years. Sustainable construction principles will affect layout, orientation of buildings, materials and fundamental appearance. It will be a challenge for the development industry and the local planning authority to both respect local context and distinctiveness and embrace new design principles. The Council will look to radical design solutions where appropriate to compliment local distinctiveness and evolve it and recognize that respect for local context does not preclude contrasting modern design that can work with local context to provide a desirable and high quality living environment which can present the evolving historical and architectural story. Further guidance on general design principles has been produced by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the relevant government departments and are relevant guidance on which to draw.

Policy EQ2 Design

Development will be designed to achieve a high quality, which promotes South Somerset’s local distinctiveness and preserves the character and appearance of the district.

Development proposals, extensions and alterations to existing buildings, structures and places are expected to:

  • Address Building for Life objectives and criteria
  • Incorporate sustainable construction principles including appropriate layout and orientation
  • Create quality places
  • Conserve and enhance the heritage assets of the area
  • Complement and consolidate the landscape character of the area
  • Reinforce local distinctiveness and respect local context
  • Create safe environments addressing crime prevention and community safety
  • Have regard to South Somerset District Council’s Development Management Advice

Innovative designs delivering low energy usage and/or wastage will be encouraged. Developers must not risk the integrity of internationally, nationally or locally designated wildlife sites. Development Proposals should protect the residential amenity of neighbouring properties and new dwellings should provide acceptable residential amenity space in accordance with Policy HW1.

1. Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development (2005) [back]
2. [Creating Quality Place, Trees on Development Sites, Landscape Design, Species Guide to Tree and Shrub Planting in South Somerset, Landscape of South Somerset, Thatch in South Somerset, Rainwater Goods for Traditional Buildings, A Guide to use of Lime in Historic Buildings, The Conversion of Barns and other Historic Buildings, The Design of Shopfronts, Signs and Security Measures, The Design of Residential Areas, Residential Extensions, Double Glazing and Window Design, Window Replacement and Repair, Commercial Marketing, Improving Energy Performance in Listed Buildings, Insurance of Listed Buildings, Roofing Including Insulation, Repointing, Damp in Floors and Walls, Plaster Work and Stone from Heritage Matters, Is my Building Listed: Extent of Listing, Buying a Historic Building, Interior Works, Paint and Timber, Lime Types: Context Article, Why use Lime, Research your House History, How to do a COBRA (Conservation Based Research Analysis), How to do Design and Access Statements, Commentary on discharge of Conditions inc Drawn Design Details, Your Listed Building, What is a Conservation Area, A Stitch in Time, Look before you Leap, People Places Homes, Building for Life, English Heritage Guidance] [back]