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Design code consultation

In this section
Design code consultation

We want to become a leading council for rural and urban design. We want to see high quality, beautiful development in our district that protects, enhances and complements Wychavon’s heritage, natural open spaces and distinctive character.

That is why we have worked with design consultancy, Create Streets to produce a series of design codes which will play a critical role in ensuring beautiful new homes and places are created in our district to support the economic success of Wychavon and sustainable and neighbourly living.

The consultation ended on 5 February 2024.

What is a design code
A row of houses

The design codes are like recipes for a place. They set out a series of requirements for new developments, streets, buildings and the natural environment, which direct not only how they will look and feel, but how they interact with existing places.

Because each part of our district has its own set of distinct requirements, we have divided Wychavon into four parts and produced a separate design code for each one.

The codes cover Pershore and the surrounding area, Evesham and the Vale of Evesham, Droitwich Spa and the surrounding area and the Cotswolds Edge, which covers places including Broadway.

Purpose of design codes
A Tudor style cottage

The design code sets out to developers, housebuilders and architects what is required, in detail, from their proposed plans before they are even submitted, guaranteeing standards are upheld and removing the uncertainty which can lead to delays in the planning process.

The codes build upon the South Worcestershire Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document and take into account changes made to the National Planning Policy Framework in 2021 which strengthened the importance of design codes in the planning process.

Once adopted, the codes will become an important part of the evidence used to assess and decide on planning applications.

How the design code will be used
People walking along Bridge Street, Evesham

There are three levels of guidance within the code. These levels are explained below:

MUST

Parts of the code marked MUST, have to be followed by developers and are non-negotiable. Development that does not follow them will not be allowed.

SHOULD

These are design features which developers are strongly encouraged to include. Where they cannot, they will have to justify and evidence why they haven’t been able to follow a certain requirement. Exceptions will be approved on a case by case basis.

CAN

These are design features which are recommended but if not followed they will not drastically alter the overall quality of development.

Read our draft design codes
A street scene

The design codes have been produced following feedback from previous consultations with residents.

They aim to respond to the hopes and concerns of residents about development and reflect what you want to see more of as the place where you live grows and changes over time.

You can download and reach each of the design codes by using the links below: