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Design

We are having a debate in the office regarding the extent to which planning can seek to influence the design of development – specifically that which is not visible from the public realm. Whilst some officers consider that good design should be secured in all cases, others consider that if a development is not publically-visible it is not appropriate for planning to seek to influence design and appearance, on the basis that the profession is concerned with controlling the public realm. The view is also held that if a non-publically visible development were to be refused on grounds of poor design the decision would not be supported by the Planning Inspectorate and the Council could risk an award of costs. This being on the basis that harm could not be demonstated. As you will appreciate, in order to secure consistency in decision making it is important that officers are clear on the parameters in which they are expected to operate. I would be pleased to receive any comments in due course and thank you for your time.
Posted on 22/10/2012 by Bradly Heffer

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As you know the Government attaches great importance to the design of the built environment. Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, is indivisible from good planning, and should contribute positively to making places better for people be that in the public or private realm. I feel it is important to plan positively for the achievement of high quality and inclusive design for all development, including individual buildings, public and private spaces and wider area development schemes. Your local plan should have robust and comprehensive policies that set out the quality of development that will be expected for the area. Such policies should be based on stated objectives for the future of the area and an understanding and evaluation of its defining characteristics. New developments should function well and add to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development and establish a strong sense of place, using streetscapes and buildings to create attractive and comfortable places to live, work and visit. They should optimise the potential of the site to accommodate development, create and sustain an appropriate mix of uses (including incorporation of green and other public space as part of developments) and support local facilities. They should also respond to local character and history, and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation. Nothwithstanding that, the devlopment should be visually attractive as a result of good architecture and appropriate landscaping.

Posted on 30/07/2014 13:15:12 by Tony Carter
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