Design code to give residents greater say on how their community is developed

Residents will have the chance to influence how their towns, villages and streets are developed with the creation of a new design code to guide how buildings and streets look and function.

Wychavon has joined forces with Create Streets to come up with the design code which will be a first for the district. Create Streets is a social enterprise with an associated charity, the Create Streets Foundation, which exists to help neighbourhoods and communities create and steward better places to be more beautiful, sustainable, healthy and popular.

Design codes will become an important part of the planning system in the future. They will set 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 can include everything from the type of material that can be used to whether buildings should avoid being north facing so it's easier to install solar panels on them.

Having a design code will not replace the need for planning permission or remove the rights of residents to object or comment on individual planning applications.

But by requiring developers to build to the design code, it means planners can ensure new development is better suited to towns and villages and is good quality, sustainable and helps communities flourish.

The code is being created with critical input from residents. Three consultations are being planned in different parts of the district over the next few months to gather views before a final consultation on the finished design code.

The first consultation is aimed at residents living in Broadway, around Bredon Hill and surrounding areas. To take part residents should visit the interactive Create Communities map available through www.wychavon.gov.uk/consultations.

Using the map, residents will be able to click on a selection of buildings in the area and give their views on whether they would like to see more or less similar looking buildings in their area in the future. If there is a street, building or feature somebody thinks has been particularly well designed, they can also click on any part of the shaded area within the map and give their views on it.

The first consultation runs until 23 October. A consultation on the Evesham, Pershore and surrounding areas is expected to start before the end of the year and the Droitwich Spa and northern part of the district early in 2023.

Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, said: "We want our new homes and places to improve our towns and villages and to nestle within the landscape. This design code is critical in helping us create beautiful new homes and places to support prosperity and sustainable and neighbourly living.

I encourage residents to take up this opportunity to directly influence how their street, neighbourhood or community is going to look and develop in the years to come."

Residents not in the Broadway or Bredon Hill areas can sign up to our consultation mailing list at www.wychavon.gov.uk/emailalerts to be alerted when future design code consultations start. 

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