Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Ensuring new development respects local distinctiveness Outdoor Lighting Policy 15 - Design Principles [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP1164
Respondent Lichfields (Sarah Fabes ID-3226) [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 02 Oct 2018
Current Status Accepted

In recognising the need for the creation of high quality developments, the NPPF states that "plans should, at the most appropriate level, set out a clear design vision and expectations, so that applicants have as much

certainty as possible about what is likely to be acceptable." Draft Policy 15 provides design considerations,

design criteria and key questions to be addressed. It does not currently provide a clear design vision.

We agree that design guidance is fundamental to the planning and development process and that clear

design expectations are key to achieving this. Nonetheless, the overly prescriptive details required by draft Policy 15 would be better suited as a Supplementary Planning Guidance Document and/or site-specific guidance rather than standalone policy.

Core Strategy Policy SP 1 sets out a general framework for design consideration of development proposals and is supported by the ADMP which establishes a detailed basis for control of development. This approach is considered suitable in setting the design aspirations against which planning applications shall be assessed.

Accordingly, U+I object to the overhaul of the prevailing policy basis (as outlined at Policy 15) and suggest that the policy is revised to establish more applicable design criterion against which applications should be assessed.

A requirement of draft Policy 15 is to submit a supporting statement to show how the development proposals have met the Council’s No. 8 design criteria and No. 13 key questions. This is excessive and unnecessary.

In its current form Policy 15 conflicts with the NPPF paragraph 127 which states that planning policies

should ensure that developments "…e) optimise the potential of the site to accommodate and sustain an

appropriate amount and mix of development (including green and other public space) and support local

facilities and transport networks." We recommend that the wording of draft Policy 15 is amended as below to better reflect the more flexible approach established under Chapter 12 of the NPPF to ensure that a clear design visions is set out: "The form of the proposed development must respond to take into account the scale, height, density, materials and site coverage of the area, together with regeneration opportunities presented by the sites context."

The suggested wording is contained at Appendix 1.