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Taunton Garden Town public realm design guide SPD

We are producing a Taunton Public Ream Design Guide which is a document illustrating the Council’s aspirations for raising the standard of the public realm and streetworks consistently across our Garden Town. A further public consultation on the revised draft document is taking place from Monday 05 July to Monday 16 August 2021.

Following an earlier consultation in winter 2020/21, the updated document has taken into account the responses received to date and the following substantial revisions and additions have been carried out as a result:

  • Section 1 – Introduction – this has resulted in an expanded section on the nature of the guide as for the Garden Town public realm (i.e. not a full highway technical guide). It also has clarified it as being for existing as well as new streets. The section has also amplified the role the public realm plays in responding to the climate emergency and recent Somerset Climate Emergency Strategy and SWTC Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilient Action Plan. The section now adds more detail on relationship to national Planning Practice Guidance on Local Design Guides and relevant material in the new National Design Guide
  • Section 2 - Materials and Components has been amended to refine street lighting standards to include a General Standard Conservation Areas
  • Section 3 - Illustrative Layouts has been revised to provide an approach to cycle facilities at Outer Gateway junctions that would conform in principle with recent Local Transport Note and, where relevant, the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges National Guidance

The guide is aimed at guiding the design of public realm and street works by the highway authority, developers, utility companies and their agents and contractors. It also attempts to show how current principles of highway design and layout can be incorporated into good placemaking. The draft Taunton Garden Town Public Realm Design Guide and its Strategic Environmental Assessment / Habitat Regulations Assessment is published for consultation along with a Statement of Community Involvement.

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. Once adopted, 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 the public realm and urban spaces in Taunton Garden Town.

In supplementing adopted policy, the Design Guide 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

Paper copies are available to view at the Council Offices at Deane House, Main Reception, Belvedere Road, Taunton, TA1 1HE (Monday – Friday, 8.30am to 5pm) and West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, TA4 4QA (Monday – Friday, 8.30am to 5pm). For any viewing of the documents at Deane House or West Somerset House, due to Covid restrictions, please call to make an appointment 0300 3048000.

We encourage the use of the online consultation portal.

However, comments can also be submitted by email or post:

Email: strategy@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk

Post: Writing to the Council at: Placemaking Specialist, Planning and Development, Somerset West and Taunton Council, Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton, TA1 1HE.

Following consultation, the intention is for the final version of the draft Taunton Garden Town Public Realm Design Guide (taking account of comments received in the consultation) to be considered by Executive Committee and then Full Council for adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document and a material planning consideration. Depending on the numbers and detail of consultation responses, the earliest that the Statement might come back to Executive would be Autumn 2021.