23rd August 2019

Driving up design standards in Taunton Deane

EXPERTS ‘Design Action’ have been commissioned to prepare a new residential Design Guide for Taunton Deane to drive up standards in the Borough.

The important document will supplement existing adopted planning policies and provide more detailed design guidance for new developments and help to ensure its high quality.

Funding comes from a bid for Planning Delivery funding earlier this year where the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government awarded £258,000 to prepare the guide and also to recruit an in-house urban designer.

“The urban designer will be providing input into proposed schemes so driving up the standards of new development,” said Cllr Roger Habgood, Executive member for planning policy and transport. “There is significant new development planned in the Deane, particularly through Taunton’s new garden communities.”

The funding will help deliver:

  • Continuity and consistency of advice in relation to urban design which can then help secure high quality results on sites both large and small across Taunton Deane.
  • A common understanding of what good ‘looks like’ providing more certainty for developers and communities.
  • Better quality schemes being designed and implemented, helping to realise the aspirations of the Council that the standard of new development is raised and that the Garden Town agenda is delivered.

Government funding secured by the council’s joint planning policy team includes:

  • £7.2m Housing Infrastructure Fund for development at Staplegrove
  • Garden Town funding to date of just over £1m
  • £258,000 Planning Delivery funding
  • Large Sites and Housing Zone Capacity Funding £120,000 (from which the West Somerset Design Guide has been funded)

Work on the Taunton Deane guide is due to start in August and is likely to be completed in March 2019. The Guide will be underpinned by extensive engagement with local communities, developers, officers and Councillors who will all play a key role in shaping the document.