Planning Portal

Draft PPS14 Sustainable Development in the Countryside
Policy CTY 10: Justification & Amplification Design

4.79 The form and proportions of a new building are key elements in the design and strongly influence its visual impact on the landscape. If form and proportion are wrong, then little can be done with any other features to mitigate the impact of a poor design. Where the scale, form or massing of a building would make it dominant or incongruous in the local landscape planning permission will be refused.
4.80 The most successful rural designs are those which use the simple shapes and forms of traditional buildings. Where a return is provided it is normally to the rear with only a porch on the front elevation. The roof is either gable or hipped depending upon the locality and chimneys are positioned along the ridgeline.
4.81 A good relationship of solid wall to openings, such as windows and doors, is extremely important in a rural setting. Windows are traditionally small and vertical in proportion. Secluded elevations screened from public view may provide opportunities for design innovation, provided the overall design and orientation are acceptable.
4.82 Unequal pitched roofs will not be acceptable. Similarly, buildings where the roof is designed to span the length, rather than the width of the structure, will be unacceptable.
4.83 Relative simplicity of design and discretion in the use of materials, texture and colour will greatly enhance the appearance of a building. The use of non-traditional materials such as brick, concrete and random stone-cladding tends to introduce too much diversity of colour and texture. Combinations of materials on walls, the use of feature panels and excessive ornament should be avoided.
4.84 Where appropriate, applications for buildings in the countryside should include details of proposals for site works, retention or reinstatement of boundaries, hedges and walls and details of new landscaping.
4.85 Applicants are encouraged to submit design concept statements as part of their planning application. Detailed guidance on the design and siting of buildings in the countryside, including, site analysis, is provided in the Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland9. Specific guidance for the design of buildings in a number of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is contained in the relevant design guide.
9 It should be noted that Planning Context of the Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland is superseded by this PPS.
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