Planning Portal

DCAN 8: Housing in Existing Urban Areas
Strategic Design Principles

Location and urban structure

3.7 An analysis of a site’s location within the existing urban structure is the starting point in developing proposals for a site. This will involve considering the site’s relationship to landscape and open space networks, to surrounding built form, movement patterns and other land uses.
3.8 Accessibility on foot to local shopping, leisure, education, and employment opportunities as well as to the public transport network will be important in considering the appropriate form of development, particularly in relation to development density and car parking provision.

Urban form

3.9 A strong block structure is necessary in order to clearly define spaces, streets and routes and to provide connections with surrounding neighbourhoods, centres and established movement corridors.
3.10 Detailed consideration needs to be given to the appropriate density of development and the configuration of built form in terms of the shape, height and grain of the building patterns, the use of materials, street and building lines, set backs and the space between buildings.

Land use and community

3.11 Where practicable, opportunities should be taken to introduce a range of services and facilities into a development and to provide different types of housing to meet varying needs, including families, single people, the elderly and people of differing economic status.
3.12 This requires an assessment of the opportunities to include a mix of uses taking account of a site’s location, surrounding uses and activities, market demands and the demographic characteristics of the population.


3.13 Proposals should consider a much wider area than the site itself, and should have regard for sustainable movement patterns. Roads should be planned and designed to contribute to the overall quality of the development.
3.14 An analysis is needed of the opportunities for access and circulation to and through the site and for establishing direct and safe pedestrian connections to surrounding facilities and the public transport network. This should involve a consideration of the ways to improve pedestrian and cycling movement within the site, as both are important in contributing to reduced car dependency, and in achieving a more sustainable form of development.
3.15 Accessibility and a choice of routes are vital characteristics in promoting walking and cycling on larger sites.
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