How to Conduct a Context Appraisal

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Spatial Context 

This will identify the development site’s position within the urban hierarchy i.e. urban centre, neighbourhood, transport corridor, regeneration area, sustainable urban extension, large urban infill or small urban infill. 

Built Form Context

To provide a demonstrable appreciation of built form in the vicinity. Audits of built form will cover analyses of building style, form, height and materials. The built form context would also cover the pattern of streets and spaces, morphology, skylines and landmarks. 

Functional Context

This examines the existing activities and functions in the vicinity of the site.

This includes the existing pattern of uses, economic development initiatives, health facilities, education facilities, community facilities, public art, open spaces, bio-diversity structure, landscape character, areas liable to flood, heritage assets and movement (vehicular, public transport and pedestrian flows). 

Operational Context

Will show how infrastructure and facilities are used and their capacity to accommodate further demands. It provides a basis for assessing how an area operates and how much stress it is under and would cover: car parking and public space management, school place availability, capacity of GP surgeries, employment space availability. 

Community Context

This seeks to determine the reasonable and realisable needs and demands for space that exists within an area and to associate these demands with the known existence of vacant or under-used space and the potential for creating new space. This is intended to provide a sound rational for development decisions that follow. It would cover: community aspirations, employment and business space demands, housing demand, education and health provision proposals.


Page updated: 9/02/2018


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