Policy GEN 1: Design principles

In line with LPS policies SD 2 ‘Sustainable Development Principles’ and SE 1 'Design', development proposals should:

Sense of place

  1. create high quality, beautiful and sustainable buildings and places, avoiding the imposition of standardised and/or generic design solutions where they do not establish and/or maintain a strong sense of quality and place;
  2. create a sense of identity and legibility by using landmarks and incorporating key views into, within and out of new development;
  3. reflect the local character and design preferences set out in the Cheshire East Borough Design Guide supplementary planning document unless otherwise justified by appropriate innovative design or change that fits in with the overall form and layout of their surroundings;

Managing design quality

  1. ensure that design codes prepared for major development schemes are based on effective engagement, reflect local design aspirations and take into account the Cheshire East Borough Design Guide supplementary planning document for residential schemes, relevant design policies in neighbourhood plans and the Design Guide and National Model Design Code;
  2. provide evidence for all major development schemes of how design assessment frameworks, including Building for a Healthy Life, have influenced the proposed design. This should include an appropriate level of engagement with the council and local communities;
  3. ensure any changes made to development proposals between permission and completion do not materially diminish the quality of development;

Sustainable urban, architectural and landscape design

  1. create buildings and spaces that function well, are fit for purpose and yet are innovative, adaptable and flexible to respond to changing social, environmental, technological and economic conditions over the lifetime of the development
  2. wherever possible, retain and creatively re-use existing buildings as part of new development;

Safety, inclusivity and accessibility

  1. be accessible and inclusive – ensuring that developments and spaces can be used safely, easily and with dignity by all, regardless of disability, age, gender, ethnicity or economic circumstances;
  2. ensure that car parking and electric vehicle charging infrastructure are carefully sited and designed.

Supporting information

3.2 Good design is central to the creation of attractive, accessible, inclusive, successful and sustainable places. We expect high quality, well designed developments that contribute positively to the quality of place in the borough and make the best use of land. Development should be inclusive, creating places and spaces where everyone can access and benefit from a full range of opportunities available to members of society. It should aim to remove barriers that create undue effort, separation or special treatment and enable everyone regardless of disability, age or gender to participate equally, confidently and independently in society with choice and dignity.

3.3 Developers should engage with the council, the local community and relevant statutory consultees at the earliest opportunity, such as at concept/pre-design stage, in order to make sure that new development responds appropriately to the unique character and quality of place in the borough. This can also lead to an enriched design and improved levels of community ownership. Engagement can also help to consider the evidence required to support planning applications such as the requirement for design coding, testing layouts, illustrative masterplans, massing studies and modelling for larger proposals, as appropriate in line with LPS Policy SE 1 'Design'.

3.4 To provide clarity about design expectations at an early stage, proposals should take account of any formally adopted supplementary planning documents (including the Cheshire East Borough Design Guide), the National Design Guide and National Model Design Code (or any replacements), area specific design guidance, masterplans, character appraisals or area specific management plans. Neighbourhood plans can also be used to help identify the special and distinctive qualities of a local area.

3.5 The council will also use design assessment frameworks including Building for a Healthy Life 12 (or as updated) consistent with the approach set out in LPS Policy SE 1 'Design'.

3.6 The design of new development should take account of the effects of and adapt to the impacts of climate change through the implementation of appropriate design measures in line with LPS Policy SD 2 ‘Sustainable Development Principles’ and Policy ENV 7 'Climate change'. This includes taking opportunities to incorporate sustainable drainage and water efficiency measures within the development layout in line with Policy ENV 16 'Surface water management and flood risk'. Schemes should consider ‘passive’ opportunities presented by the site and the way it functions, for example through solar orientation, topography, and existing landscape features etc. Massing strategies should seek to work with opportunities presented by the site to help reduce energy demands and create high quality and comfortable living and working environments.

3.7 Cars should be accommodated in, but not overly dominate layouts and be positively integrated within the overall design, innovative solutions should be employed to reduce the dominance of parking within streets and spaces. Applicants should be aware that Part S in Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations sets out requirements for electric vehicle charging points within new residential and non-residential development schemes. These requirements should be considered early in the design process.

3.8 This policy, read alongside LPS Policy SE 1 'Design' will apply to all proposals for new development requiring planning permission, where relevant, regardless of its land use, both in urban and rural areas.

Related documents

Policy information


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