Planning Portal

DCAN 8: Housing in Existing Urban Areas
Appreciating the Context

4.9 While good design is important, it is only one of several factors which needs to be addressed when considering new development proposals in established residential areas. In line with PPS 7
‘the Department considers that an analysis of context is particularly important for infill housing, backland development or redevelopment schemes in established residential areas.’
4.10 The Planning Service will want to see that the character and surroundings of the site have informed the development proposals. Any proposals for housing development within established residential areas must therefore be based on a sound understanding of the characteristics of the existing residential environment. Planning Service will expect applicants and designers to carry out an appraisal of the local context, which takes into account the character of the surrounding area.
4.11 New development should respect the architectural, streetscape and landscape character of the area, and follow the established character in terms of:
  • the set backs of properties from the street;
  • the treatment of boundaries, both hard and soft;
  • the landscape structure and the presence of trees;
  • the scale of buildings, particularly in terms of height and massing when viewed from the street;
  • the articulation of the roof and building lines; and
  • the architectural detailing and use of materials.
4.12 As referred to in Section 3, these requirements demand a design-led approach tailored to the local context, and the particular circumstances of the individual site and its surroundings. The use of standard house or apartment types will rarely provide an acceptable design solution. A key consideration is the need to respect the privacy of the occupants of residential properties, which are adjacent to the proposed development. A sensitive approach is also required in terms of highway design and the siting of car parking areas.

Conservation Areas and Areas of Townscape Character

4.13 Development plans may include specifi c policies for the control of housing particularly in areas which display a distinctive townscape character. In some established residential areas, additional protection is afforded through designations such as Conservation Areas and Areas of Townscape Character. As stated in Policy QD 1, PPS 7-’Quality Residential Environments’, in the primarily residential parts of these designated areas, proposals involving intensifi cation of site usage or site coverage will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. Listed buildings and their settings also enjoy specific protection in the policies which are contained in PPS 6, ‘Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage’.
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