Central Lincolnshire Local Plan Review - Proposed Submission Local Plan

Proposed Submission Local Plan

9 Design and Amenity

9.0. Delivering Good Design

9.0.1 To design successful places, all development should meet the aspiration for quality and sustainability in their design and layout. In short, good design is inseparable from good planning and should be at the heart of every development.

9.0.2 High quality sustainable design is design that is of a notable standard, which, by its nature, features and usability, will sustain over the longer term as it is fit for purpose, is adaptable to changing needs, and enables occupiers / users to live more sustainably.

9.0.3 A fundamental part of achieving high quality sustainable design, and ultimately high quality sustainable places, is the need to develop a thorough understanding of the local character and the qualities which contribute to local distinctiveness.

9.0.4 Central Lincolnshire is made up of many locally distinctive places including high streets, market squares, industrial estates, urban neighbourhoods, rural villages, historic environments and landscapes, which, in combination with a variety of natural forms and features, contribute to the rich and varied character. The scale of Central Lincolnshire means that villages vary greatly from one another, as do larger settlements due to the differing roles and periods of growth experienced in our settlements.  The Central Lincolnshire Local Plan is a strategic document and so is not the appropriate mechanism to undertake a detailed assessment of the character and heritage of every settlement, instead the Local Plan should provide a framework for applicants, decision makers and communities to undertake such assessments and deliver the right responses for the local context. 

9.0.5 All development must make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the environment within which it is located, having regard to its local context, without harming the amenity experienced by neighbours.

9.0.6 The Government promotes good design through the publication of its National Design Guide and National Model Design Code in January 2021 which are aimed at ensuring that the requirement for good design is embedded in planning policy and ultimately is delivered through the development being built and the places being created. The National Design Guide sets out the characteristics of well-designed places under ten themes:

  • Movement
  • Identity
  • Context
  • Built form
  • Nature
  • Resources
  • Uses
  • Public spaces
  • Homes and buildings
  • Lifespan

9.0.7 Policy S53 provides a clear set of standards and considerations under these ten themes that need to be deliberated when designing and making decisions on all schemes across Central Lincolnshire and it provides a framework for the development of local design guides or codes by communities, parish councils, applicants or individual District Councils in the future.

9.0.8 Good design is not only about the way a building looks, but it is also about the way a place functions, how it makes users feel, how it lasts and how it adapts. Policy S53 pulls together design specific requirements for all schemes but other policies throughout this plan, including, but not limited to, Policy S6, (Design Principles for Efficient Buildings) S7 and S8 (Reducing Energy Consumption), S20 (Resilient and Adaptable Buildings), Policy S54 (Health and Wellbeing) and Policy S57 (The Historic Environment) also set out requirements which are intrinsically linked to good design.

9.0.9 Developers will be expected to demonstrate how their proposal is good design, telling the story behind the scheme and explaining how the policy matters below have been addressed within their development proposals in supporting evidence such as in the Design and Access Statement submitted with their planning application. Development should be bespoke and respond positively to and be informed by local context and vernacular but without stifling innovation and new technologies which sympathetically complement or contrast with the local architectural style. ‘Standard’ house types or the repetition of layouts, development densities, and the use of construction materials mimicking schemes elsewhere (whether within or outside Central Lincolnshire) will seldom be acceptable. 

9.0.10 To provide assessment and support to ensure high standards of design are achieved, the Central Lincolnshire authorities may use the design review services offered by Design:Midlands, the regional Design Review Panel as necessary, and, when appropriate, refer major projects for national design review by the Design Council.

Policy S53: Design and Amenity

All development, including extensions and alterations to existing buildings, must achieve high quality sustainable design that contributes positively to local character, landscape and townscape, and supports diversity, equality and access for all.

Good design will be at the centre of every development proposal and this will be required to be demonstrated through evidence supporting planning applications to a degree proportionate to the proposal.  Design Codes may be produced for parts of Central Lincolnshire or in support of specific developments.  The approach taken in these Design Codes should be informed by the National Model Design Code and where these codes have been adopted, developments will be expected to adhere to the Code.

Proposals for new buildings should incorporate the Design Principles for Efficient Buildings in Policy S6 at the centre of design.

All development proposals will be assessed against, and will be expected to meet the following relevant design and amenity criteria. All development proposals will:

1.     Context

  1. Be based on a sound understanding of the context, integrating into the surroundings and responding to local history, culture and heritage;
  2. Relate well to the site, its local and wider context and existing characteristics including the retention of existing natural and historic features wherever possible and including appropriate landscape and boundary treatments to ensure that the development can be satisfactorily assimilated into the surrounding area;
  3. Protect any important local views into, out of or through the site;

2.     Identity

  1. Contribute positively to the sense of place, reflecting and enhancing existing character and distinctiveness;
  2. Reflect or improve on the original architectural style of the local surroundings, or embrace opportunities for innovative design and new technologies which sympathetically complement or contrast with the local architectural style;
  3. Use appropriate, high quality materials which reinforce or enhance local distinctiveness;
  4. Not result in the visual or physical coalescence with any neighbouring settlement nor ribbon development;

3.     Built Form

  1. Make effective and efficient use of land that contribute to the achievement of compact, walkable neighbourhoods;
  2. Be appropriate for its context and its future use in terms of its building types, street layout, development block type and size, siting, height, scale, massing, form, rhythm, plot widths, gaps between buildings, and the ratio of developed to undeveloped space both within a plot and within a scheme;
  3. Achieve a density not only appropriate for its context but also taking into account its accessibility;
  4. Have a layout and form that delivers efficient and adaptable homes in accordance with Policy S6 and Policy S20.

4.     Movement

  1. Form part of a well-designed and connected travel network with consideration for all modes of transport offering genuine choices for non-car travel and prioritising active travel and where relevant demonstrate this through evidence clearly showing connectivity for all modes and a hierarchy of routes (also see Policy S47 and Policy S48);
  2. Maximise pedestrian and cycle permeability and avoid barriers to movement through careful consideration of street layouts and access routes both within the site and in the wider context contributing to the delivery of walkable and cyclable neighbourhoods in accordance with Policy S48;
  3. Ensure areas are accessible, safe and legible for all including people with physical accessibility difficulties;
  4. Deliver well-considered parking, including suitable electric vehicle charging points, with appropriate landscaping provided in accordance with the parking standards set out in Policy NS18 and Policy S49;
  5. Deliver suitable access solutions for servicing and utilities;

5.     Nature

  1. Incorporate and retain as far as possible existing natural features including hedgerows, trees, and waterbodies particularly where these features offer a valuable habitat to support biodiversity, aligned with policies in the Natural Environment chapter of the Local Plan;
  2. Incorporate appropriate landscape and boundary treatments to ensure that the development can be satisfactorily assimilated into the surrounding area, maximising opportunities to deliver diverse ecosystems and biodiverse habitats, strengthening wildlife corridors and green infrastructure networks, and helping to achieve wider goals for biodiversity net gain, climate change mitigation and adaptation and water management;

6.     Public Spaces

  1. Ensure public spaces are accessible to all, are safe and secure and will be easy to maintain with clear definition of public and private spaces;
  2. Form part of a hierarchy of spaces where relevant to offer a range of spaces available for the community and to support a variety of activities and encourage social interaction;
  3. Be carefully planned and integrated into the wider community to ensure spaces feel safe and are safe through natural surveillance, being flanked by active uses and by promoting activity within the space;
  4. Maximise opportunities for delivering additional trees and biodiversity gains through the creation of new habitats and the strengthening or extending wildlife corridors and the green infrastructure network in accordance with policies in the Natural Environment chapter;

7.     Uses

  1. Create or contribute to a variety of complementary uses that meet the needs of the community;
  2. Be compatible with neighbouring land uses and not result in likely conflict with existing ‘bad neighbour’ uses unless it can be satisfactorily demonstrated that both the ongoing use of the neighbouring site will not be compromised, and that the amenity of occupiers of the new development will be satisfactory with the ongoing normal use of the neighbouring site;
  3. Not result in adverse noise and vibration taking into account surrounding uses nor result in adverse impacts upon air quality from odour, fumes, smoke, dust and other sources;

8.     Homes and Buildings

  1. Provide homes with good quality internal environments with adequate space for users and good access to private, shared or public spaces;
  2. Be adaptable and resilient to climate change and be compatible with achieving a net zero carbon Central Lincolnshire as required by Policies S6, S7 and S8;
  3. Be capable of adapting to changing needs of future occupants and be cost effective to run by achieving the standards set out in Policy S20;
  4. Not result in harm to people’s amenity either within the proposed development or neighbouring it through overlooking, overshadowing, loss of light or increase in artificial light or glare;
  5. Provide adequate storage, waste, servicing and utilities for the use proposed;

9.     Resources

  1. Minimise the need for resources both in construction and operation of buildings and be easily adaptable to avoid unnecessary waste in accordance with Policies S10 and S11;
  2. Use high quality materials which are not only suitable for the context but that are durable and resilient to impacts of climate change in accordance with the requirements of Policy S20;

10.  Lifespan

  1. Use high quality materials which are durable and ensure buildings and spaces are adaptive; and
  2. Encourage the creation of a sense of ownership for users and the wider community with a clear strategy for ongoing management and stewardship.

Development proposals will be expected to satisfy requirements of any adopted local design guide or design code where relevant to the proposal.

9.1 Health and Wellbeing

9.1.1 The vital role of planning in creating and supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities, in terms of physical and mental health, is well recognised and is a key element in delivering sustainable development.

9.1.2 Central Lincolnshire’s health priorities and issues are set out in the latest Joint Health and Well Being Strategy for Lincolnshire; Joint Strategic Needs Assessment; and Public Health England Local Authority Health Profiles for Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey. The most significant issues include mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people, unpaid carers, obesity levels, adult mental health, dementia, increasing physical activity levels and the link between housing and health.

9.1.3 In addressing these priorities and issues, it is essential that community needs are supported through appropriate physical and social infrastructure, and by other facilities and key services which contribute to improving physical and mental health and wellbeing, and the overall quality of life experienced by residents.

9.1.4 Active Design, developed by Sport England and supported by Public Health England, provides a set of principles that promote activity, health and stronger communities through the way we design buildings, streets, neighbourhoods, towns and cities. The Active Design guidance[1], which provides further details for each of the principles along with a set of case studies, can be found on Sport England’s website. Developers may find it helpful to consider the guidance as the principles are cross cutting across other policy areas within this Local Plan.

9.1.5 Helping communities’ experience a high quality of life is a key theme that cuts across many policies in this Local Plan.

9.1.6 The impacts of proposed development on health should be assessed and considered by the applicant at the earliest stage of the design process, to avoid negative health impacts and ensure positive health outcomes for the community as a whole. This includes developers consulting with health care commissioners at an early stage to identify the need for new or enhanced health care infrastructure. Guidance on preparing Health Impact Assessments is published on the Central Lincolnshire website.

1. Available at https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/facilities-and-planning/design-and-cost-guidance/active-design [back]
Policy S54: Health and Wellbeing

The potential for achieving positive mental and physical health outcomes will be taken into account when considering all development proposals. Where any potential adverse health impacts are identified, the applicant will be expected to demonstrate how these will be addressed and mitigated.

The Central Lincolnshire authorities will expect development proposals to promote, support and enhance physical and mental health and wellbeing, and thus contribute to reducing health inequalities. This will be achieved by:

  1. Seeking, in line with the Central Lincolnshire Developer Contributions SPD, developer contributions towards new or enhanced health facilities from developers where development results in a shortfall or worsening of provision, as informed by the outcome of consultation with health care commissioners;
  2. In the case of development of 150 dwellings or more, or 5ha or more for other development, developers submitting a fit for purpose Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as part of the application or master planning stage where applicable, and demonstrating how the conclusions of the HIA have been taken into account in the design of the scheme. The HIA should be commensurate with the size of the development;
  3. Development schemes safeguarding and, where appropriate, creating or enhancing the role of allotments, orchards, gardens and food markets in providing access to healthy, fresh and locally produced food; and
  4. Ensuring quality green infrastructure provides adequate access to nature for its benefits to mental and physical health and wellbeing and potential to overcome health inequalities.

Proposals for new health care facilities

Proposals for new health care facilities should relate well to public transport services, walking and cycling routes and be easily accessible to all sectors of the community. Proposals which utilise opportunities for the multi-use and co-location of health facilities with other services and facilities, and thus co-ordinate local care and provide convenience for the community, will be particularly supported.

9.2 Advertisements

9.2.1 The display of advertisements is subject to a separate consent within the planning system under the Advertisement Regulations[2]. External advertising plays an important role in the built environment and for commercial activity, helping to identify uses and occupiers within a building or area and to advertise the goods and services they provide. However, advertising can look unattractive if poorly sited and designed. It can also clutter the street scene and detract from the character and local distinctiveness of an area. A balance needs to be met between commercial requirements and the impact on the environment, public safety and amenity. The amenity impacts and safety implications of advertisements requiring consent will be carefully considered, taking into account any cumulative impact on a specific area.

9.2.2  

2. Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 as amended. [back]
Policy NS55: Advertisements

All proposals for the display of advertisements must comply with relevant national regulations and guidance. Where advertisement consent is required, such consent will be permitted if the proposal respects the interests of public safety and amenity, subject to the following criteria:

  1. The design (including any associated lighting and illumination), materials, size and location of the advertisement respects the scale and character of the building on which it is situated and the surrounding area, especially in the case of a listed building or within a conservation area; and
  2. The proposal would not result in a cluttered street scene, excessive signage, or a proliferation of signs advertising a single site or enterprise; and
  3. The proposal would not cause a hazard to pedestrians or road users; and
  4. The proposal would not impede on any surveillance equipment and would contribute positively to public perceptions of security.

9.3 Contaminated Land

9.3.1 Contamination in or on land can present risks to human health and the wider environment. Contamination can originate from polluting industrial processes, landfill, some agricultural activities or naturally occurring sources (e.g. radon gas from underlying rock).

9.3.2 Where pollution issues or risks from landfill gas are likely to arise or where land contamination may be reasonably suspected, developers should hold pre-application discussions with the appropriate Central Lincolnshire Authority, the relevant pollution control authority and any stakeholders with a legitimate interest.

9.3.3 All investigations and remediation should be carried out in accordance with ‘Land Contamination Risk Management’ (LCRM) which was published by Government in October 2020, or any subsequent updated advice.

Policy S56: Development on Land Affected by Contamination

Development proposals must take into account the potential environmental impacts on people, biodiversity, buildings, land, air and water arising from the development itself and any former use of the site, including, in particular, adverse effects arising from pollution.

Where development is proposed on a site which is known to be or has the potential to be affected by contamination, a preliminary risk assessment should be undertaken by the developer and submitted to the relevant Central Lincolnshire Authority as the first stage in assessing the risk of contamination.

Proposals will only be permitted if:

  • layout and drainage have taken adequate account of ground conditions, contamination and gas risks arising from previous uses and any proposed sustainable land remediation and
  • it can be demonstrated that the site is suitable for its proposed use;
  • there are no significant impacts on future users, neighbouring users, groundwater or surface water.