Cheshire East Council has formally adopted and launched its Residential Design Guide, which it said could be used as justification to refuse planning applications if a scheme “is not of the requisite quality”.
The guide has been in the making since 2015, and has undergone an eight-week consultation.
The council said that the guide is meant to ensure that all new developments “achieve a high quality of design, reflecting local distinctiveness and characteristics, including the type of materials, natural features, surroundings and other connections with the locality”.
The guide is a supplementary planning document, supporting the current and emerging Local Plans.
The recommendations within the guide are to be applied to future developments across the borough, in urban as well as rural communities.
Frank Jordan, executive director for place, said: “This design guide will help to set a benchmark for quality and a ‘sense of place’.
“While we want to see more imaginative developments that are pleasing to the eye, we would like to see designs that reflect the characteristics of the town, village and community in which they are situated.
“Where development is not of the requisite quality, then the design guide, in support of Local Plan policy, provides justification to refuse permission as part of the planning balance. Now adopted, it will form a material consideration when determining planning applications for new housing development.”
The guide addresses the appearance of new housing, and sets out a framework for an entire development, including landscaping, paving materials, public realm and open space.
It also makes recommendations on waste and recycling provision, thermal insulation and performance, and other aspects of sustainability that contribute to a quality of life.
The guide is aimed at a range of users, including the council, communities, developers and their design teams.
e*Scape Urbanists, and PG Landscape Architects advised the council on the creation of the guide.
A limited number of reference copies of the guide will be available at council offices and at public libraries, and can be accessed online at Cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan