High quality design
High Quality Design
Draft Objective NE1
To encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport as alternatives to the car.
Draft objective NE2
To minimise the impact of new development on the highway network.
Draft objective NE3
Local distinctiveness and energy efficiency
To promote development that contributes positively to its neighbourhood while embracing high quality design and energy efficiency.
The Local Plan supports the development of a transport network which reduces the need to travel by car and encourages walking and cycling. It indicates that new development should be located where travel can be minimised and will not unacceptably impact on the safety and movement of traffic.
The town suffers from the effects of through traffic, including heavy goods vehicles, using the A15. Earlier consultation has indicated significant support for a bypass to the east of the town to reduce traffic and air pollution and provide opportunities to improve the quality and safety of the town centre environment. However, Lincolnshire County Council, as the highway authority, has no plans to provide a bypass at present and it is not therefore possible to safeguard a route as part of the BPNP.
Bourne is a relatively compact town, and the distances between the town centre, key services, and residential areas are suitable for many people to be able to walk or cycle.
Bourne does not have a town-wide bus system although the Call Connect bookable service is available during the daytime, except for Sundays, for journeys within Bourne, to Spalding and for journeys to rural locations in the immediate area. Delaine Buses, a local company, provides regular, weekday services during the daytime to nearby towns including Stamford and Peterborough and less frequent services to Spalding and outlying villages, including Dyke.
The local community has raised several other issues to date in relation to traffic. These include:
- Problems of road safety in the vicinity of schools at peak times when children are being dropped-off or picked up by car;
- Approximately 53% of those who responded to the 2016 residents’ survey thought that pedestrian and cycle route provision is inadequate;
- Cycle parking provision is inadequate;
- Pavements need to be wider and safer;
- On-street parking in some residential areas can make road users feel unsafe or present access difficulties for emergency vehicles;
- The traffic on main roads is too heavy and too fast.
SKDC does not have any parking standards but uses guidance provided by the highway authority to determine the parking requirements for applications on a case by case basis. The highway guidance is set out in the Lincolnshire Development Roads and Sustainable Drainage Design Approach (2017).
While responsibility for assessing the need for highway improvements is primarily the responsibility of the highway authority, the BPNP can look to influence not only the need to travel by car but also highway safety and parking provision when proposals for new development are being considered.
Modern housing developments are often criticised for being based on standardised suburban design solutions which lack local distinctiveness and could be found anywhere in the country.
The Local Plan requires proposals to make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness, vernacular and character of the area. Major proposals (10 or more homes) should perform positively against Building for Life 12. This is a design tool used to assess the quality of development against a range of criteria including consideration of the extent to which a scheme creates a place with a locally distinctive character by drawing inspiration from building shapes, styles, colours, materials and the character of streets and spaces in the area.
A majority of respondents to the 2016 residents’ survey thought that the design of new buildings should be sympathetic to the traditional style of the immediate area. Although Bourne has an eclectic mix of architectural styles and not all parts have a character that is particularly distinctive, this is largely due to large scale development by volume builders since the War and does not prejudice Government policy to draw inspiration from the earlier local vernacular of town and village centres to create greater local distinctiveness.
Government policy indicates that planning policies should be based on an understanding of the defining characteristics of the area. The Steering Group is therefore preparing a ‘Character Assessment’ to identify the special qualities that give different areas of Bourne their unique identity. The Character Assessment will include not only the town but also Cawthorpe, Dyke and Twenty. The Steering Group will consult on this document once a draft is available.
Energy Efficient Buildings
Government policy indicates that the planning system should support the transition to a low carbon future including renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure where the local environmental impact is acceptable.
Energy efficiency requirements for new homes are set by the Building Regulations. However, Government guidance currently enables higher standards to be set out in planning policies up to the equivalent of Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. This is equivalent to a 19% improvement in energy efficiency on the standard currently set by the Building Regulations.
The Government has committed to introducing the Future Homes Standard in 2025. It is expected that a typical home built to the Standard will have 75-80% less carbon emissions than one built in accordance with the current Building Regulations.
In 2019 the Government also consulted on proposals to introduce an uplift in standards as a stepping stone towards the Future Homes Standard. Consequently, at some point the ability to set higher standards in planning policies may be withdrawn.
Government guidance further indicates that, in respect of non-housing developments, there are no restrictions on setting energy performance standards in planning policies in excess of those in the Building Regulations.
The Local Plan stipulates that developments should demonstrate how carbon dioxide emissions have been minimised but does not set standards. The BPNP could therefore seek to apply standards against which proposals can be measured.
New buildings will also result in energy use during their lifetime which is not covered by Building Regulations and is often referred to as ‘unregulated energy’. This may, for example include energy used by IT equipment, cooking and other appliances.
To further enhance the sustainability of new buildings, both residential and commercial, the Local Plan requires electric car charging points and sets out minimum standards for water efficiency. Development is also required to be designed to avoid increasing flood risk elsewhere.