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Planning Applications and Design

Design Guide

The Design Guide is a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and provides an overview of the design principles and sets down the expectations we will employ when considering planning applications.

Design and Access Statements

Statements should help provide a proper understanding of the site, its context and its proposed development. For more information you can download a useful CABE document:

Design Council

The Design Council (external link) is the government's advisor on architecture, urban design and public space.

We support the work of the the Design Council and in particular the need to raise the quality of design. The 'Building for Life 12' is an initiative led by the the Design Council which aims to improve the quality of new housing development.

Places Matter

'Places Matter' is a programme to help improve decision making and commissioning skills, as well as promote awareness of - and expectations for - high quality design.

As part of the Places Matter initiative, access is provided to a regional panel to review the design of development schemes before the planning submission stage. This 'Design Review' is a respected method of improving the quality of development proposals by offering constructive, impartial and expert advice to developers, planning authorities and regional agencies.

The review is intended to help raise design aspirations and encourage high design standards across the Northwest. As such we would encourage applicants, architects and developers to submit schemes to the process.

The Design Review aims to be constructive in its recommendations - so projects should be submitted to Places Matter at the pre-application stage when there is scope for discussion and possible change. The panel's views are then summarised in written reports for use by planning authorities and clients to help them evaluate and improve designs.