EDG and National Design Guide

The National Design Guide has now been published and provides guidance for councils that have not produced their own local design guides when considering whether development proposals meet design policy set out in the NPPF.

The guide forms part of the planning practice guidance (PPG) and should be read alongside the updated section on design. The new guide references paragraph 130 of the NPPF which states clearly that “permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions, taking into account any local design standards or style guides”.

For Local Planning Authorities in Essex, the Essex Design Guide can be used to address this.

The design guide sets out ten characteristics of well-designed places which echo the content within the Essex Design Guide.

These are:

  • Context – the guide says that good design "enhances the surroundings";
  • Identity – good design is "attractive and distinctive";
  • Built form – good design delivers "a coherent pattern of development";
  • Movement – well-designed places should be "accessible and easy to move around";
  • Nature – good design should see nature "enhanced and optimised";
  • Public spaces – such places should be "safe, social and inclusive";
  • Uses – developments should be "mixed and integrated";
  • Homes and buildings – housing should be "functional, healthy and sustainable";
  • Resources – well-designed places and buildings are "efficient and resilient", and "conserve natural resources including land, water, energy and materials";
  • Lifespan – developments should be "made to last".

Page updated: 3/06/2024

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