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Creating Successful Places Through Good Design

Planning has a critical role to play in creating and sustaining successful places – attractive, liveable, accessible, connected, vibrant places that are able to attract people and investment that will be crucial to healthy economies that meet the needs of current and future generations.

Planning attaches great importance to the design of the built environment. Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, is indivisible from good planning, and should contribute positively to making places better for people. High Quality design blends architecture, landscape architecture, and planning together to make groups of buildings, neighbourhoods, and whole settlements functional, attractive to live in and sustainable. In doing so, the planning process will work to encourage:

• good design so that it is at the heart of a sustainable community;
• developers to be more attentive to design issues and the need to accommodate adaptation take account of the impacts of climate change;
• the use of planning and design as essential tools for making successful and enjoyable places that will provide a high quality of life, economic growth and environmental protection; and
• the design element of planning to provide a vehicle to identify, protect and enhance the assets that matter and retain the distinctiveness of the island.

It is important to plan positively for the achievement of high quality and inclusive design for all development, including individual buildings, public and private spaces and wider area development schemes. Through the planning process, the aim is to ensure that developments:

• will function well and add to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development;
• establish a strong sense of place, using streetscapes and buildings to create attractive and comfortable places to live, work and visit;
• optimise the potential of the site to accommodate development, create and sustain an appropriate mix of uses (including incorporation of green and other public space as part of developments) and support local facilities and transport networks;
• respond to local character and history, and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation;
• create safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine quality of life or community cohesion; and
• are visually attractive as a result of good architecture and appropriate landscaping.

Planning does not attempt to impose architectural styles or particular tastes nor does it stifle innovation, originality or initiative through unsubstantiated requirements to conform to certain development forms or styles. However it is important for the design of developments to seek to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness.

Although visual appearance and the architecture of individual buildings are very important factors, securing high quality and inclusive design goes beyond aesthetic considerations. Therefore, planning will seek to address the connections between people and places and the integration of new development into the natural, built and historic environment.

To support this approach, applicants are encouraged to take account of the advice and guidance that has been produced.

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