Decision status: Recommmend Forward to Council
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, which included the 15 local authorities with land in the AONB, had prepared a Design Guide for new housing development in the High Weald to support the objectives of High Weald AONB Management Plan 2019-2024, adopted by this Council in February 2019.
The Housing Design Guide aimed to give succinct, practical and consistent advice to set clear design expectations for new housing development within the High Weald AONB. This would help to ensure higher quality and landscape-led design that reflected intrinsic High Weald character, and was embedded with a true sense of place, without stifling innovation and creativity. It was noted that whilst the Design Guide was not a formal planning policy document as such, it would be a material consideration in relation to planning policy and the determination of planning applications. It was considered by some Members that the Housing Design Guide did not go far enough to reinforce the need for sustainability policies.
The Housing Design Guide aligned well with the adopted Rother Local Plan Core Strategy, in particular – Policy EN3: Design Quality. The Guide would help support this Council’s various roles in the planning process, from Plan-Making, through to Neighbourhood Plan liaison, and the Development Management process, helping to successfully deliver housing requirements and meet National Planning Policy Framework and Core Strategy policy objectives. Following adoption, it was intended that the Design Guide would be promoted on the Council’s website, circulated directly to Parish and Town Councils and Neighbourhood Planning groups, and to housing developers working in the district.
It was considered that the High Weald AONB Housing Design Guide was a supportable and appropriate framework for considering housing design in the AONB and could be adopted as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
RECOMMENDED: That the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Housing Design Guide be formally adopted as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
Publication date: 13/03/2020
Date of decision: 09/03/2020
Decided at meeting: 09/03/2020 - Cabinet