Emerging Borough Character and Design Study SPD

The Borough Character and Design Code SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) is an update to our existing 2014 Urban Context and Character Study. It updates the character assessment and will also propose design codes for the borough. This updated study will play a crucial role in shaping future development to ensure that it responds positively to our borough’s character and is of high-quality design. 

It is proposed that the emerging Borough Character & Context Study and Design Code SPD will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document and will be formally consulted on from 4th April- 16th May.

Context

Design coding is one tool available to local planning authorities, communities and developers to define and deliver design quality. It is a set of design requirements that provide detailed parameters for the physical development of an area. The Borough Character and Design Study will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which will be a material consideration in decision making on planning applications. 

The New London Plan emphasises the use of design codes: Policy D4 states that design codes should be used to help bring forward development and ensure it delivers high quality design and placemaking. 

The need for area-wide design assessments is currently set out in the NPPF. Furthermore, design codes are set to become a statutory requirement as stated in the proposed changes to the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework). Paragraph 124 of the NPPF emphasises the role that area-based character assessments, codes and masterplans can play in helping to ensure that land is used effectively while also creating beautiful and sustainable places and Paragraph 172 emphasises that all local planning authorities should prepare design guides or codes consistent with the principles set out in the National Design Guide and National Model Design Code (NMDC), which reflect local character and design preferences.  

Aims

The Borough Character and Design Study SPD aims to improve design quality across the borough through: 

  • Updating the character assessment to provide an up to date understanding of built and socio-economic character;
  • Updating the character area boundaries to form an understanding of local character and to underpin area-based design code recommendations;
  • Proposing area-based recommendations to guide the transformation, enhancement and conservation of each of the character areas;
  • Developing design codes that ensure the delivery of the area-based recommendations and high quality & characterful design in development.

Progress to Date

We undertook an initial engagement survey entitled “Tell us about your Neighbourhood” in January and February 2021. The survey sought feedback from residents and people who work in the borough about their local areas, asking for feedback what makes the area special, what is liked and disliked and the activities that are undertaken in different parts of the borough. This was in order to provide an understanding about what contributes to an area’s special character and how future improvements can enhance the design quality and character. The survey also sought feedback on character area boundaries. The survey gathered around 750 responses. A summary of responses will be provided in the final report.

On 3 March 2021 we held an informal engagement workshop with residents, where presentations were given by Allies and Morrison on proposed character area boundaries and on opportunities to enhance character in each neighbourhood. A video of the workshop can be viewed here and the presentation here. Please note that the presentation is a work in progress and will be updated in the final report.  

On 12 May 2021 a 2nd informal engagement workshop was held with residents to gather feedback on proposed area design codes, propose alternative codes and come up with new codes that shape the future of neighbourhoods. A video of the workshop can be viewed here and the presentation here. Please note that the presentation is a work in progress and will be updated in the final report.  For this workshop, we put together an informative video to explain what design codes are, what they aim to do: https://vimeo.com/539853481

Further online engagement workshops were held with residents in Feltham (23rd July 2021), Brentford (3rd August 2021) and Chiswick (3rd August 2021) to gather feedback on aspirations for specific sites to shape design codes. 

The first statutory consultation on the Study took place between Monday 4th April and Friday Monday 16th May 2022, where we invited comments on the document via a prototype consultation portal. A number of public workshops were held including: a West of the Borough workshop on 21st April 2022, an East of the Borough workshop on 28th April 2022, a workshop with the Youth Parliament and a workshop with a disability focus group.

The Borough Character and Design Code SPD (complete document - consultation version)

The consultation version of the emerging Borough Character and Design Study SPD is available to view using the links in the table below:

Part A – Introduction, Borough wide character analysis & growth strategy

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART A_accessible file.pdf

 

Part A analyses and summarises Hounslow’s character at a Borough-wide level. It also proposes a set of design principles and looks at where growth should be focused. 

Part B1- Feltham, Hanworth & Bedfont

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART B1_accessible file.pdf

 

Part B1 includes a vision and growth strategy for Feltham, Hanworth & Bedfont, in addition to area-level design codes and neighbourhood level design guidance.

Part B2 – Hounslow West, Cranford & Heston

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART B2_accessible file.pdf

 

Part B2 includes a vision and growth strategy for Hounslow West, Cranford & Heston, in addition to area-level design codes and neighbourhood level design guidance.

Part B3 – Central Hounslow

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART B3_accessible file.pdf

 

Part B3 includes a vision and growth strategy for Central Hounslow, in addition to area-level design codes and neighbourhood level design guidance.

Part B4 – Isleworth & Osterley

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART B4_accessible file.pdf

 

Part B4 includes a vision and growth strategy for Isleworth & Osterley, in addition to area-level design codes and neighbourhood level design guidance.

Part B5 - Brentford

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART B5_accessible file.pdf

 

Part B5 includes a vision and growth strategy for Brentford, in addition to area-level design codes and neighbourhood level design guidance.

Part B6 - Chiswick

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART B6_accessible file.pdf

 

Part B6 includes a vision and growth strategy for Chiswick, in addition to area-level design codes and neighbourhood level design guidance.

Part C – Design Guidance

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART C_accessible file.pdf

 

Part C includes 4 chapters:

Chapter C1 sets out design guidance relevant to all site types, including nature, movement, homes & buildings.

Chapter C2 includes guidance for seven distinct site types- backland, residential infill, town centre, large format, arterial route, waterside and upwards extensions.

Chapter C3 includes design guidance for tall buildings.

Chapter C4 includes design guidance for residential extensions.

Part D – Site Specific Guidance & Codes

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_PART D_accessible file.pdf

 

Part D sets out more detailed design guidance and design codes for specific sites within the Borough.

Appendix

211119_Hounslow Character and Design study_APPENDIX_accessible file.pdf

 

The Appendix includes the analysis diagrams and plans included elsewhere in the document, displayed on full pages to allow for detailed viewing.

Engagement and Consultation Statement Consultation Statement C&D Dec 21.pdf The Draft Engagement and Consultation Statement outlines the engagement work undertaken so far, the feedback received and outlines the consultation plans. 

Next Steps

The Study will be refined in line with your feedback. The Study will then be published for further consultation before adoption later on in the year. Consultation responses will be published in the Engagement and Consultation Statement along with the revised Study.

Contact Us

Please email the Spatial Planning Team at ldf@hounslow.gov.uk or call on 020 8583 3419 quoting “Character and Design Code Study"

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