Policy DES5: Density of New Residential Development

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

Policy DES5:  Density of New Residential Development

Residential development will be permitted where its density optimises the use of land without compromising:

  1. Local character and local environmental assets; and
  2. The amenity of future residents on the site and in the surrounding area. 

The Council will support Neighbourhood Plans specific density standards which reflect local considerations but also the need to optimise the use of land.

11.40 Optimising the use of land supports sustainable patterns of development. It enables the identified need for housing to be met as much as possible on previously developed land. This must be balanced with protecting the character of an area, securing high quality design and maintaining high standards of amenity for residents. Development will need to accord with the requirements set out in the design policies of the Local Plan and in standards included in the Design and Sustainability SPD. Development proposals will need to demonstrate, as part of a detailed assessment, that they would not harm the character of an area. In the case of areas with a valued character, it is recognised that development proposals will need to have regard to many of the elements of layout and appearance seen in the surrounding neighbourhood. In places with more scope for change, there may be opportunities for a development with a different layout and appearance to come forward to benefit the area as a whole whilst still not prejudicing the valued identity of a neighbourhood.
11.41 Guidance in the NPPF requires plans to seek a significant uplift in the average density of residential development in town centres and other locations well served by public transport unless it can be shown that there are strong reasons why this would be inappropriate, and to consider the use of minimum densities in other parts of the plan area. Consideration has been given to the qualities of the character of Basingstoke Town Centre, Brighton Hill and Chineham District Centres, those areas around these centres which can be served by public transport or on foot or by cycle, and to other parts of Basingstoke. This has led to the conclusion that any benefits of applying minimum densities to these areas are outweighed by the need to protect their valued character. As such, the Plan does not propose minimum housing densities in Basingstoke whilst, at the same time, recognising that densities are to be optimised provided that this does not compromise the character and amenity of an area. Outside of Basingstoke, consideration to the setting of density standards will be made by Neighbourhood Plans.
Implementation and Monitoring

The policy will be implemented through:

  • Specialist design advice provided in relation to pre-application submissions and the determination of planning applications.
  • Design based guidance set out in the Design and Sustainability SPD and other documents such as masterplans, planning briefs and design briefs.
  • The production and adoption of design codes for strategic sites and ensuring that developments adhere to their requirements.

The policy will be monitored through:

  • Recording the density levels of new residential development as part of the annual Authority Monitoring Report.