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03/02/2020

Design guide launched for AONB in South East

Words: Laura Edgar
High Weald AONB / Shutterstock_792891370

A design guide setting out the expectations for new housing development in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has been published.

The guide, put together by the High Weald AONB Partnership, gives “practical, clear advice”, on a range of factors, including site layout, building appearance and materials, public spaces and parking provision.

The partnership said the guide is for built environment professionals working in the AONB, including designers, developers, highways engineers and planning decision-makers.

It contains “real-life examples” and images to inspire “higher-quality design that reflects the special character of the High Weald landscape and is embedded with a true ‘sense of place’, without stifling innovation and creativity”.

The partnership added that it aims to ensure that new housing development meets the National Planning Policy Framework's (NPPF) guidelines for well-designed places and the conservation of an AONB.

Citing an An Independent Review of Housing in England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty 2012-2017, by the National Association Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Sylvia Tidy, chair of the High Weald joint advisory committee, said: “The scale of housebuilding in the High Weald AONB is currently at an unprecedented level, with the area experiencing the highest increase in the level of housing growth of any AONB in England.

“The High Weald Housing Design Guide is a much-needed tool to help local authorities balance the need for new housing with their statutory duty to conserve and enhance this precious landscape. We hope to see fewer generic housing developments and more that capture the essential character of the High Weald, from its historic buildings and winding streets to its breathtaking scenery. In short, creating beautiful places for everyone.”

The High Weald AONB covers parts of four counties – East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Set up in 1989, the High Weald AONB Partnership comprises 15 local authorities, Natural England and organisations representing farming, forestry, recreation and community interests.

The High Weald Housing Design Guide can be found here (pdf).

Image credit | Shutterstock

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