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Districtwide design guide SPD

We are producing a Design Guide which is a document illustrating the Council’s aspirations for maintaining and improving the design quality across the Somerset West and Taunton area. Consultation on the draft document took place from Monday 3 February to Monday 30 March 2020.

The document explains some key principles and demonstrates that many measures to reduce the harmful effects of climate change can be addressed within the context of good design and placemaking. It also attempts to show how current principles of highway design and layout can be incorporated into good placemaking.

The Design Guide is intended to be adopted by Somerset West and Taunton Council as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and will be a material consideration in determining planning proposals and applications. The Design Guide will also inform emerging policies within the new joint Local Plan. Views from local communities, businesses and the development industry are therefore important in helping to shape the document for maintaining and improving the quality of design across Somerset West and Taunton.

In supplementing adopted policy, the Design SPD will be used by:

  • Planning Officers to assess the design quality of development proposals when determining planning applications and offering pre-application advice;
  • Council members when assessing development proposals in advance of and at planning committee;
  • Applicants and developers when preparing their schemes

We are currently considering responses to the consultation before finalising the Design Guide for adoption.

We are now re-consulting on the Streets, Parking and Placemaking section of the draft Design Guide for Somerset West and Taunton (SWT), excluding the Exmoor National Park (which produces its own planning documents). This re-consultation is taking place as the previous guidance for Streets, Parking and Placemaking has been significantly expanded upon following detailed discussion between SWT and Somerset County Council (SCC) as the Highway Authority.  As Somerset is currently a two tier local authority area, the SWT Design Guide sets out the principles on how the Council wants to improve design quality across the LPA area and the Highway Authority's document provides the technical detail.  The consultation on the SWT Design Guide will take place from Friday 11 December to Friday 5 February 2021.