Proposals to update planning guidance about homes

Friday, 13 August 2021

We're seeking views on proposed improvements to planning guidance relating to the provision of affordable homes, and the design of new residential developments and extensions to existing homes.

The consultation is based on two draft planning documents that incorporate the proposals.

The draft document about affordable housing reflects the government’s recent introduction of a new type of affordable home, known as a ‘first home’, which allows someone to buy a home at a discount from the normal market value.

The discounts can be 30, 40 or 50 per cent and will be retained for any future re-sales to keep homes affordable in the long term.

It is proposed that this type of home should be made available to local residents first. If there are no local buyers within the first three months of a property being on the market, it could then be marketed to a wider audience.

We are also seeking views on a draft residential design guide, which sets out a new design vision for the borough.

The guide aims to improve design standards of new homes and alterations to existing homes, such as extensions. It highlights positive characteristics of the borough’s towns and villages and provides examples of what good design can look like on the ground.  

The guide refers to the use of a site’s natural and physical assets to help establish character, effective layout of buildings and streets, and high-quality public realm landscaping to include trees. It also states there should be different housing types to meet local needs and high-quality materials and energy efficient measures should be used in construction.

The draft documents are available on our consultation page until Friday 24 September for anyone to comment on.

Paper copies of the documents can be viewed at borough council offices and county council libraries.

The planning policy team is available to answer queries about the consultation. Email or call 01723 232480.