Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland (Summary)
Finding the Right Site
Getting the site right is probably the most important decision to be made. Your designer will play an important part here in identifying areas suitable for development and advising on the likely impact of the development.
Existing buildings are often an excellent starting point. With their developed sites and traditional design they fit into the landscape. Renovation of an existing dwelling or another building could provide a satisfactory design solution. Where additional accommodation is required, it can be provided by extensions. Sometimes existing buildings can be retained as out-buildings with the new dwelling integrated into the group. Even when the original building has fallen derelict or been demolished, a well defined site with mature boundaries can be capable of absorbing and integrating the proposed dwelling.
'Natural sites' with existing trees, hedgerows, buildings, slopes or other natural features provide a backdrop to development.
The setting of a building affects its appearance and visual impact. One of the least satisfactory aspects of much recent development in the countryside has been the use of road frontage sites, often separated out of larger fields. Here buildings dominate the view and incongruous suburban gardens are introduced into the landscape. Such development changes the character of the countryside and when repeated leads to ribbon development, and a loss of rural amenity.
In many cases the obvious solution is to develop further back from the road enabling the building and its garden to be surrounded and absorbed by the rural landscape. Planting can be used to separate a site from the countryside and from the road frontage.
- Planning Policy/Technical Requirements
- Vantage points
- Access position and standards
- Impact of development