Policy SE 1: Design

Development proposals should make a positive contribution to their surroundings in terms of the following:

  1. Sense of place
    1. Ensuring design solutions achieve a sense of place by protecting and enhancing the quality, distinctiveness and character of settlements;
    2. Ensuring sensitivity of design in proximity to designated and local heritage assets and their settings;
    3. Ensuring that places are designed around the needs and comfort of people and not vehicles, so that layout, street design and parking is in accordance with the principles set out in Policy CO 1 and Manual for Streets;
    4. Ensuring that proposals are underpinned by character and design assessment commensurate with the scale and complexity of the development;
    5. Encouraging innovative and creative design solutions that are appropriate to the local context; and
    6. Ensuring a high quality public realm that enhances conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and creates opportunities for social interaction.
  2. Managing design quality
    1. Ensuring for larger scale and more complex developments that design proposals have positively responded to the Design Review process footnote 62;
    2. Ensuring for major developments that Masterplanning and Design Coding forms an integral part of the design process;
    3. Ensuring that housing developments achieve Building for Life 12 (or as updated) standard; and
    4. Encouraging sustainable construction practices including the use of appropriate recycled and sustainable materials of high quality.
  3. Sustainable urban, architectural and landscape design
    1. Encouraging the introduction of passive environmental design principles and climate change adaptation features in the orientation of buildings and spaces and detailed design;
    2. Encouraging sustainable modes of travel through appropriate design;
    3. Reducing energy and water usage through appropriate design;
    4. Encouraging the use of renewable/low carbon energy technology, as appropriate; and
    5. Encouraging the use of green infrastructure.
  4. Liveability / workability
    1. Ensuring appropriate level of privacy for new and existing residential properties;
    2. Ensuring appropriate external storage;
    3. Ensuring a high quality internal and external working environment commensurate with the type and nature of business, particularly for new build development or conversions to office space;
    4. Ensuring appropriate provision for waste storage allowing for its sustainable management; and
    5. Ensuring appropriate access for the mobility impaired or partially sighted.
  5. Designing in safety
    1. Ensuring high levels of passive surveillance of streets, spaces and parking including appropriate lighting;
    2. Incorporating Secured by Design principles, provided that these are adequately balanced against other design considerations and do not undermine the quality of the development; and
    3. Ensuring that site layout and design minimises the opportunity for crime.


13.7 Cheshire East has a unique character and sense of place and it is important that new development responds positively to it. High quality design should be the aim of all those involved in the development process and should be considered at the earliest possible stage. Development proposals should, therefore, consider the wider character in addition to that of the site and its immediate context, to ensure that it reinforces the area in which it is located. Where there is the opportunity to improve the area, the design should secure a positive new character, enhancing both its appearance and the way that it functions.

13.8 A genuinely sustainable form of development should be underpinned by sustainable urban, architectural and landscape design. Both outline and detailed proposals should demonstrate their performance in respect to sustainable design, commensurate with the type and scale of the application.

13.9 Development should have due regard to the site and wider setting in respect to layout, movement and connections, scale and height, landscape character, townscape character and in their appearance both in terms of architectural quality and materials. Development should also ensure high levels of passive surveillance of streets, spaces and parking through the arrangement and design of buildings, streets and spaces and the activity within them. Boundary treatments and hard surfaces are equally important to successful design.

13.10 In rural areas, particular attention should be paid to landscape character, the local vernacular and the peculiar characteristics of the locality. These will vary considerably within Cheshire East and new development should be designed with a distinctive sense of place in mind.

13.11 Consequently, it is important that new development has a strong design vision, formed early in the process, in order to create a strong sense of place and to fully address both the opportunities and constraints of the site and the wider area.

13.12 Proposals for new development should express how the design achieves this in the Design and Access Statement. This should not merely be a statement of what the proposal is or looks like but must set out the ‘story’ of the design (i.e. the design process that has been followed) and how it has evolved and strengthened. The design process can be summarised as:

13.13 Detailed design policies will be included in the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document. Design policies will also be supplemented by Supplementary Planning Document(s) on Design.

13.14 Prospective applicants should also consider the ten ‘Active Design’ principles published by Sport England and supported by Public Health England. They comprise an innovative set of design guidelines to support active lifestyles and good health through suitable design and layout and are available at: https://www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning/planning-for-sport/planning-tools-and-guidance/active-design/

Key Evidence

  1. Local Design Awards
  2. Cheshire Landscape Character Assessment
  3. Conservation Area Appraisals developed for conservation areas across Cheshire East
  4. Village Design Statements

(Footnote 62) A Supplementary Planning Document will be produced to help define what is considered to constitute ‘larger scale and more complex developments’ and to set out the options for Design Review to fulfil the requirements of this criteria.

Policy information


Previous page: Policy SC 7 'Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople'  |  Cheshire East Local Plan policy index  |  Next page: Policy SE 2 'Efficient Use of Land'