Factors which have a direct influence on density

There is a wide range of variables which contribute to enhancing or reducing density in one way or another. Some are site specific, others are driven by planning policy or by the context of the site. As policy and guidance evolves to meet the demands and constraints of new development, the following factors, when combined can have a substantial influence on the density of the site.

  • Car parking; variable depending on location/public transport availability, garages or parking spaces and future trends to move towards alternative sustainable transport modes;
  • Highway requirements; width related to area served by highway and need to accommodate on-street parking, closely linked to the provision and ownership of cars;
  • Provision of footways; whether shared vehicular and pedestrian surface
  • Dwelling sizes and types; number of bedrooms- detached or terraced. Apartments/houses.
  • Number of floors/storeys; within unit and multiple units
  • Open space; whether it is provided and to what standard and to what percentage of the site area
  • Property spatial requirements; back to back, privacy, overlooking
  • Cumulative development impact
  • Local microclimate; daylight and sunlight
  • Circulation space and access; rear garden private access. Connectivity within development. Cycleway provision.
  • Provision of accommodation above open ground floor areas; carriage arches, FOG units, vehicular access and footpath routes
  • Disabled persons provision; DDA, ramps, increased areas for parking
  • Mixed use provision; vertical or horizontal separation, percentage of floor space, service/access requirements
  • Public realm open space; provided on site and to what standard, SuDS integrated or separate mitigation features
  • Townscape requirements; location of buildings, highway, height/width ratios
  • Site related factors; shape of site, constraints, easements, off site influences (noise), landscape and ecology, historic environment
  • Landscape; private space, verges, roadside planting, boulevards
  • Services; routes of services, wayleaves, substations, pumping stations
  • Highway alignment; deviation from straight alignment creates a less efficient use of space


Page updated: 12/01/2021

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