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Frequently Asked Questions

Other things you may want to know.

The Code has been developed on the principle of “comply or justify”. This means that all development is expected to follow the rules and guides set out in the document. Those that do are more likely to move through the planning process more quickly and efficiently. Where a proposal does not follow the Design Code, a through justification must be given. Ignoring the code completely, with no reasons given, may result in refusal of planning permission.

The Uttlesford Design Code will be a practical and useable guide for all parties involved in the design and planning of development in Uttlesford – including housing developers and planning officers. It will set out a series of rules and guidelines that, when followed, will combine to ensure that all proposals are designed and built to the highest quality expected by Uttlesford District Council.

Public consultation on the Local Plan (regulation 18 stage) was scheduled to take place in November 2022. However this has now been delayed till Spring/Summer 2023. The pause will give the Council more time to work on the draft plan; ensuring policies are of a high standard and meet the technical requirements of the government’s Planning Inspector.

The Design Code will now be developed before the Local Plan. While the Local Plan proposes where development could take place, the Design Code defines how development should be designed. The Design Code does not contain information about specific development sites.

The National Design Guide sets out 10 characteristics of good design:

  • Context - enhances the surroundings
  • Identity - attractive and distinctive
  • Built form - a coherent pattern of development
  • Movement - accessible and easy to move around
  • Nature - enhanced and optimised
  • Public spaces - safe, social and inclusive
  • Uses - mixed and integrated
  • Homes and buildings - functional, healthy and sustainable
  • Resources - efficient and resilient
  • Lifespan - made to last

These address all elements of community, natural and built environment and cover all the cross-cutting issues like climate-change adaptation and healthy living.

The ten characteristics reflect the Government’s priorities and have directly framed the requirements, principles and guidance provided within the Uttlesford Design Code.

You can read more in the National Design Guide.