Supplementary Guidance Details

Development Control Design Policy, Guidance and Standards 2015 (DC15)

Approval date 03-11-2015

1. Background

DC15 is a clear departure from a single classification of policy provisions found in previous DC publications. The policy document heralds in a new contextual design framework which distinguishes between different qualities and elements that comprise urban and architectural design.

The DC15 initiates a vibrant purpose where every design project cannot be created and assessed in isolation but must be seen within the totality of its immediate context, which in most cases constitute the street. In DC15, streets are not only transitional spaces but more importantly are social places which are vital to the success of the overall workings of an urban settlement.

Divided into 5 parts, the DC15 document, moves progressively from the broader contextual considerations to focus on issues of urban form, architectural quality and architectural elements. Within the framework, the document adopts three types of provisions, Policy/Regulation (P), Good-practice guidance (G) and Technical standards (S). The policy provision carries the most weight in the assessment of development proposals. On the other hand, the Good-practice guidance provision generally provides the intent and establishes the principle but that may then have diverse solutions to achieve such a principle while the Technical standards supplement the other two provisions in terms of specific quantitative targets and which are non-controversial, objective, universally-agreed numerical considerations.

The two parts of the document which focus on contextual design and urban form, are mainly characterised by policies in the acknowledgement that these parts contains critical aspects that have most bearing on the context/street and that can make or break a streetscape – they are the ‘main shapers of the street’. These are therefore the parts that need to be controlled most, not to produce standardised buildings but so as to guarantee certain fundamental street principles and parameters.

DC15 is making a number of supplementary planning guidance documents obsolete. These include the DC 2007, Development Control within Urban Conservation Areas (July1995), Shop fronts (May 1994) and Traffic Generation, Access and Parking (Circular to Architects PA 3/93).


2. Documents