PPS 7: Quality Residential Environments
Policy QD 1: Form, Materials and Detailing
4.21 The overall design concept for a new residential environment should seek to provide contrast and interest balanced by unifying elements to provide coherence and identity. As well as greater variety in the spatial form of development this will entail a greater diversity of dwelling form and type to help produce a lively street scene. For example terraced buildings may be used to enclose a space, while elsewhere a taller building may be used to create a landmark feature. Coherence can be created in the detailed design of the different dwelling types by following the best local traditions of form, materials and detailing. Developers will be required to provide details of the boundary treatment of buildings as this can significantly affect the overall quality and character of new housing areas. The Department will expect use of appropriate hedge planting and well designed walls or railings as opposed to the wholesale use of close boarded fencing.
4.22 In assessing schemes in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas and Areas of Townscape Character, the Department will have particular regard to published design guidance.
4.23 Many villages and smaller settlements in Northern Ireland display an essentially rural character, and proposals for housing development in such locations should reflect this in their design, layout and detailing. The overall scale and density of development proposed should also respect the form and character of the settlement.
4.24 While the Department considers it important to ensure that all new development fits in well with its surroundings this will not preclude quality contemporary design using modern materials. Innovative design and layouts can achieve greater energy efficiency through the orientation of buildings to maximise passive solar gain and the use of renewable energy technologies and sustainable construction techniques. Greater consideration should also be given to the use of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) and more environmentally sound methods of disposing of effluent.