PPS 7: Quality Residential Environments
Policy QD 1
Justification and Amplification
4.1 The Department wishes to secure a high quality of design, layout and landscaping in all new housing developments to ensure more attractive and sustainable residential environments for present and future generations. This emphasis on quality and sustainability means that these matters are considered as important as the suitability of the site in deciding whether to grant planning permission.
4.2 The task of designing new places with a sense of quality and sustainability, and with local distinctiveness, requires considerable skill. There is no single or universal version of quality design. What is right in one place might be quite unsuitable in another.
4.3 Quality design comes from achieving a balanced response to all the factors influencing a scheme. It will require housing layouts with individuality and which respond to a local context by making the most of a site’s characteristics and its landscape or townscape setting. Quality design also entails variety and contrast within developments, in layout, in boundaries and planting, and in adapting the buildings and spaces around them, to enhance local distinctiveness. It requires a greater attention to detail and consideration of other matters which contribute to a sense of place, such as the creation of landmarks and the use of public art. Quality design addresses the needs of residents, in particular those of children and the elderly. It encourages pedestrian and cycle movements, makes provision for increased use of public transport, promotes biodiversity and encourages wildlife, integrates open space and, where necessary, accommodates local neighbourhood facilities.
4.4 Quality design will help allow residents to develop a sense of ownership for new housing areas. In larger developments this can be a particular problem, and these should be divided into smaller neighbourhoods, each with its own character and easy access to necessary amenities and other uses.
4.5 The quality of a development resides not only on the design of its parts, but also the totality of what is created – its overall character. It is important therefore that new residential development is based on a clear design concept. Ideally this should be based on a network of spaces rather than a hierarchy of roads. This will help ensure the creation of surroundings with an attractive human scale and a distinctive overall sense of place.
This section contains the following sub-categories.
- Site Context
- Site Characteristics
- Layout Considerations
- Local Neighbourhood Facilities
- Form, Materials and Detailing
- Landscape Design
- Public Open Space
- Private Open Space
- Security from Crime