Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

Quality Development

4.72 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) places high importance on good design, stating that pursuing sustainable development involves seeking positive improvements in the quality of the built, natural and historic environment, as well as in people's quality of life. Planning should seek to secure high quality design and a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings. Permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunity to improve the character and quality of an area.

4.73 Thanet's towns, villages, coast and countryside enjoy a diverse and rich built heritage which contributes significantly to Thanet's unique sense of place and identity. There are 21 conservation areas and around 2,000 listed buildings (a large proportion of which are in the historic town centres) - the highest concentration of listed buildings for a local authority in the South East. However there are some areas in the district where the townscape quality needs improvement and the Council is seeking developments of a higher quality. The urban areas have been developed to a high density, with high numbers of flats - largely due to the availability of large properties formerly used as hotels which lend themselves to conversion to flats, and the subdivision of larger family homes. Some of the urban areas boast a rich architectural heritage including attractive Victorian terraces and Regency squares and large and attractive art deco properties along the coasts. Some suburbs and the rural villages are characterised by lower density development, with large, well-spaced properties and a number of tree lined streets.

4.74 Good design can help improve and enhance areas by ensuring high quality developments, encourage regeneration and can help reduce the opportunities for and the fear of crime. The NPPF re-iterates and reinforces the role of Design Review in ensuring high standards of design. Design Review is an independent and impartial evaluation process in which a panel of experts on the built environment assesses the design of a proposal. The projects that Design Review deals with are usually of public significance, and the process is designed to improve the quality of buildings and places for the benefit of the public.

4.75 Developers proposing projects of public significance (such as urban extensions or town centre mixed use developments) will be required to seek a Design Review by an independent design panel. This should be carried out at an early stage in the process. The South East Regional Design Panel, (Design South East) can be contacted at Kent Architecture Centre www.architecturecentre.org.

4.76 Developers proposing projects that are of national significance or that will have a profound impact on the regional and local environment will be required to seek a National Design Review with the CABE team at the Design Council, www.designcouncil.org.uk. A design review may be required for developments in significant locations such as prominent seafront locations or as part of large strategic allocations.

4.77 This objective of this policy is to ensure that new development is built to the highest attainable quality thereby improving the quality of life for residents and aiding investment and regeneration. More detail on the design considerations for good quality development is set out in policy QD01.

Policy SP33 - Quality Development

New development will be required to be of a high quality and inclusive design as set out in policy QD01. Developers may be required to seek an independent Design Review for development proposals on sites with a prominent visual impact, or in significant locations, or as part of strategic allocations or which are of national significance.