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18. Built Environment

Core Strategy Strategic Objective

To protect and enhance the built environment through ensuring new developments are of high quality design

SCS Strategic Aim

The built and natural environment has been protected and enhanced

Why is this a strategic objective?

18.1 The design and quality of the built environment is a significant contributor to the quality of people's lives. The design of buildings and the wider spaces around them influence where people choose to live, work and spend leisure time, and how they feel about their area. High quality design and attractive environments can therefore encourage investment and economic development in an area, support social inclusion and help to create civic pride and community cohesion. Good design is therefore a key element in achieving sustainable development.

18.2 The built environment of Warwick District is primarily contained within the four towns and villages, and comprises a mix of historic and more modern areas. In general terms, the quality of the built environment is high and this is reflected in the strength of the local economy in recent years. The area is a very popular place to live and attracts people from other areas and regions as evidenced by higher than average house prices. It has also been a popular destination for businesses and inward investment, as well as tourism and leisure trips with people attracted by the high quality environment of the towns and countryside. These qualities need to be maintained and improved, particularly during the current economic downturn and within those parts of the District in need of economic, social and environmental regeneration.

Evidence:

Participation

18.3 In response to the "Issues Paper", over 60% of people considered promoting high quality design a high priority for the District. The majority of respondents considered that it was very important that high standards of design should acknowledge their surrounding buildings and context, and look to retain and improve the existing character of the District.

Research

18.4 A significant proportion of the built environment of the District is designated as part of the historic environment. The evidence base to support the historic environment objective is also therefore relevant to this section.

National and Regional Planning Policies

18.5 Relevant national planning policy is contained within PPS1: Delivering Sustainable Development (2005). PPS1 requires local planning authorities to achieve high quality design for all development, including buildings, and public and private spaces. Robust policies should be prepared on design based on stated objectives for the future of the area and an understanding of its present defining characteristics. Furthermore, following the passing of the Planning Act in 2008, local planning authorities are now required by legislation to have regard to the desirability of achieving good design.

18.6 Regional Planning Policy requires local planning authorities to promote the creation of high quality built environments, with particular attention given to securing a high quality of townscape, urban form, building design and urban spaces, which respects local character, culture and history.

What are the Options?

18.7 The Core Strategy must include policies to promote and deliver high quality design within new developments. It is, however, a strategic document and it is not its role to set out detailed policies, for example, on the approach to be taken towards designing new buildings or spaces across the District. This guidance would be more appropriately set out within a Supplementary Planning Document. Furthermore, it is not the role of the Core Strategy to set out policies or designations to control the design of new development in specific areas, for example within regeneration areas or villages. This would be more appropriately undertaken at the local level, working with communities, through the development of area action plan or supplementary planning documents for that specific area of the District.

18.8 The only option for the Core Strategy is therefore to incorporate strategic policies which set a framework for subsequent more detailed work to be undertaken by the Council, its partners, and the local community to protect and enhance the built environment through securing high quality design of all new development. This is therefore the Council's preferred option.

Feedback - Built Environment
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