Development should conserve local distinctiveness by demonstrating high quality design which both respects existing character and responds to the distinctive character of the area, it should accord with the requirements of the East Boldon Design Code (annex 2).
Development will be supported where it:
a) Maintains and where possible enhances the character of the locality, paying particular attention to the appearance, size, scale and density of the proposed development;
b) Reflects the incremental and phased development of the village including its diverse range of architectural styles and avoids extensive and repetitive development proposals;
c) Where appropriate, uses materials which complement those of adjoining and surrounding buildings;
d) Conserves the significance of heritage assets and their setting;
e) Takes account of the topography and natural features of the site and considers the impact of the development as part of long distance views;
f) Respects established building lines and creates boundaries and roof lines that are in keeping with the street scene;
g) Demonstrates a commitment to sustainable design to minimise energy use;
h) Provides adequate refuse and recycling storage, which is incorporated into the scheme to minimise visual impact;
i) Adopts the principles of sustainable drainage, where appropriate;
j) Ensures the development will not prejudice the amenity of its future occupiers or that of adjacent properties in terms of overshadowing, loss of light, dominance, loss of privacy, noise or general disturbance;
k) Provide car parking and cycle storage in accordance with the parking standards set out in the East Boldon Design Code Annex on Parking and which is appropriately sited within the development;
l) Encourages cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel;
m) Ensures that lighting associated with the development will not have a significant effect on residential amenity or wildlife;
n) Incorporates measures to support species and habitats;
o) Will not result in unacceptable levels of noise, air or water pollution; and
p) Creates a safe, accessible and well-connected environment that meets the needs of its users.
Where a design and access statement is required as part of a planning application, this must demonstrate how the proposal has responded to the above principles and the design codes as an integral part of the design process.
The built and historic environment of the plan area are vital to its character and the quality of life of residents. The importance of this has been fed back strongly by the local community through early engagement. Plan objective 2 therefore seeks to ensure all new development makes a positive contribution to a safe and well-designed built environment and that it respects the historic environment of the area.
Further information which supports the policies within this section is available within the built and historic environment background paper.
Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, it creates better places in which people live and work. It is fundamental to what the planning and development process should deliver and will ensure that new development contributes positively to the local environment and therefore enhances the quality of life of local residents. Section 12 of the NPPF highlights the importance the government attaches to good design. Paragraph 125 recognises the important role that neighbourhood plans can play in identifying the special qualities of each area and explaining how this should be reflected in new development. In addition, the national design guide sets out the characteristics of well-designed places and demonstrates what good design means in practice. It forms part of national planning practice guidance. The national model design code provides further detailed guidance to promote successful design.
There are a number of good practice guidance documents that can help inform the design of development, such as ‘Building for a Healthy Life’, which is a government endorsed industry standard for well designed homes and neighbourhoods. Local communities, local authorities and developers are encouraged to use it to guide discussions about creating good places to live.
During early engagement with the local community the forum identified a number of design objectives to help shape new development:
• Deliver a built environment of the highest quality which is empathetic and sensitive to the characteristics of East Boldon.
• Create inspiring, sensitive design and avoid bland, extensive, and repetitive housing development.
• Create a built form which is sympathetic to sustainable living and provides a public realm that encourages people to walk and cycle to local destinations including local centres, schools and parks, along attractive safe, direct routes, and whenever possible maximise the opportunity to use public transport.
• Deliver a range of accommodation and a mix that will help foster a strong sense of community and reflects the needs of East Boldon residents.
• Ensure that new development successfully integrates with adjoining areas and provides street patterns and pedestrian routes which are easy to navigate, accessible to all, and promote community interaction.
• New development must be sensitive to the existing habitat and biodiversity of the area. It must provide high-quality landscaping, including tree planting, and a comprehensive and interconnected network of green infrastructure which links and complements the green spaces and community assets, especially those identified by the Neighbourhood Plan. It must provide design solutions that help to promote wildlife.
As part of the evidence base supporting the preparation of the plan, AECOM prepared a design code, to inform policy development. The document describes the plan area and defines design codes which are included as annex 2 to this plan.
National planning policy and guidance is clear that master planning has a vital role in the planning process. NPPG explains that masterplans set the vision and implementation strategy for a development and they are distinct from local design guides, focusing on site specific proposals such as the scale and layout of development, mix of uses, transport and green infrastructure. Depending on the nature of the development proposals, masterplans can include a range of information and detail. It is likely that other plans and technical reports will be needed to be developed alongside a masterplan to inform it and provide supporting evidence. This could address details such as landscape character, transport and biodiversity. Whatever their form, the key benefit is that the result is a collaborative approach from the outset of the design process between the local planning authority, developers and local communities. Masterplans are normally prepared by developers, however local planning authorities can prepare them, in which case, they are often adopted as supplementary planning guidance.
Policy EB3 therefore encourages high quality and sustainable design and sets out the key principles that should be addressed as part of proposals for new development whilst seeking to ensure the plan area does not place unnecessary restrictions on new development. The policy is cross cutting and will help to deliver all of the plan objectives.