Criteria for Development Types Over 50 Dwellings Per Hectare

The nature of every development will be shaped, in part, by its adherence to the principles laid out in this guide. There is a collection of large and small complementary influences but fundamental to the strategy for sustainable development is the definition of the four ‘development types’ for sites within sustainable urban areas.

These development types are self-selecting once due regard has been given to:

  • Local development frameworks with established criteria for densities.
  • Existing planning and development briefs for individual sites.
  • Establishing the appropriate density by means of a Context Appraisal.
  • A site’s spatial context and related potential for sustainable development.
  • The area of the site.

A comprehensive appreciation of the characteristics for each type can only be gained by reference to the complete text, but a summary of the major components is given below.

Compact Development

  • Minimum density of 75 dwellings per hectare.
  • Schemes should be mixed-use where possible but, as a minimum, half the ground-floor frontage facing major streets should typically be non-residential.
  • The mix and proportion of uses should be determined by the Context Appraisal. The potential for home-working should be considered within the design of space.
  • Buildings and space should be designed for flexibility of use and, as a minimum, the ground-floor ceiling height of every building should be 3m, or 3.5m if fronting a major street.
  • The public realm should be robust, enabling it to accommodate a variety of appropriate uses with the design flexibility to meet future demands.
  • Car parking will normally be underground, under-deck, under-croft or multi-storey with some short-stay, unallocated on-street spaces for visitors and customers of local businesses. Opportunities should be available to adapt parking spaces in future to accommodate green space or enable a widening of the footway.
  • All homes without exception should be well-connected to digital infrastructure from the outset.

Robust Urban Form

  • Variety of housing and apartments.
  • Minimum residential density of 50 dwellings per hectare but should be higher if compatible with surroundings.
  • The mix and proportion of uses should be determined by the Context Appraisal.
  • Buildings and space should be designed for flexibility of use and, as a minimum, the ground-floor ceiling height of every building should be 3m, or 3.5m if fronting a major street.
  • The public realm should be robust, enabling it to accommodate a variety of appropriate uses with the design flexibility to meet future demands.
  • Car parking will normally be underground, under-deck or under-croft. Opportunities should be available to adapt parking spaces in future to accommodate green space or enable a widening of the footway.
  • All homes without exception should be well-connected to digital infrastructure from the outset.

Large Sustainable Development

  • Minimum site area of 50 hectares.
  • Minimum average density across the area of 65 dwellings per hectare, with the highest density at the centre of the extension.
  • These schemes should aim to contribute substantially to the employment needs of the town and be largely self-sufficient for all primary services.
  • Car parking should be arranged to be compatible with the prevailing density of each part of the extension. Multi-storey car park arrangements are particularly suitable at this scale of development.
  • Projects would generally be expected to include sustainable energy and waste recycling infrastructure sufficient to meet 100% of the needs of the development.

Small Infill

  • Maximum site area of 0.1 hectares.
  • Density to be compatible with surroundings.
  • A Context Appraisal is not required – just a site appraisal.
  • Mix of uses informed by the surroundings but, where the site is in a sustainable location, a minimum of 50% of ground-floor frontage on a major street should typically be non-residential.
  • Buildings and space should be designed for flexibility of use and, as a minimum, the ground-floor ceiling height of every building should be 3m, or 3.5m if fronting a major street.
  • Car parking arrangements will be informed by the context but should be adaptable.
  • All homes without exception should be well-connected to digital infrastructure from the outset.

Page updated: 9/02/2018


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