Cornwall Design Guide

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New Cornwall Design Guide and New Streetscape Guide

We have produced a new draft Cornwall Design Guide and a new draft Streetscape Design Guide. We consulted on both guides from Monday 20 January to Monday 2 March 2020. We are currently reviewing responses to the consultation. This will inform the finalisation of the documents. Once adopted both will be material considerations in the determination of planning applications. The consultation versions are set out below.

Draft Cornwall Design Guide

The new Design Guide refreshes the current guide to boost design quality.  There will be particular emphasis on

  • environmental growth
  • health and wellbeing
  • inclusivity
  • climate change resilience

It strongly encourages applicants to:

  • consider the site context
  • engage with stakeholders and Cornwall Council

from the outset.  It also encourages them to demonstrate how the analysis and feedback have shaped proposals. Each topic sets out a number of outcomes that we will be seeking in new development. Innovative design solutions are specifically encouraged.

The document has an interactive format with a new Design and Access Statement Template.  This is also available as an editable Word version.  There are also links to additional information and resources. The new Design Guide will replace the current Design Guide and the Domestic Alterations and Extensions Guide. It is also available as a PDF version without the supporting pop-up information boxes.

View the draft Cornwall Design Guide

Draft Streetscape Design Guide

This guide has been prepared by colleagues in the Transport and Infrastructure Service. They have prepared the guide in discussion with the Planning and Sustainable Development Service. This document will support:

  • the new Cornwall Design Guide
  • the policy set out in Connecting Cornwall: 2030 Local Transport Plan

It will also provide guidance to develop streets and public spaces to a high quality that:

  • are inclusive
  • are safe and accessible for all
  • serve the current and future needs of the communities of Cornwall
  • support a dynamic society and economy
  • promote more sustainable and healthy lifestyles (mental and physical wellbeing)
  • minimise our impact on the built and natural environment while making the most of the local green infrastructure assets

The guide recognises that infrastructure provided for movement and access has a crucial role in meeting the Cornish climate change emergency objectives.  This includes reducing our reliance on the private car. The principles and outcomes have been drafted to make sure that they do not inhibit innovation or creativity.

View the draft Streetscape Design Guide

Current Cornwall Design Guide

Use the links below to view the current Cornwall Design Guide.  The arrows and links within each section will take you forwards and backwards without the need to come back to this page each time.

Please note that some of the files below are quite large and may take a little while to download.

The purpose of the Cornwall Design Guide

The Government attaches great importance to the design of the built environment. This is highlighted by both the National Planning Policy Framework and the National Design Guide. Section 7 notes that good design:

  • is a key aspect of sustainable development
  • is indivisible from good planning
  • should contribute positively to making places better for people

The Cornwall Design Guide embodies this ambition.

The Cornwall Design Guide will assist:

  • householders
  • professionals
  • developers
  • communities

in designing and assessing proposals.

This is part of the Council’s commitment to securing the highest quality new development.  It promotes the importance of a robust design process and good design practice. 

The Design Guide both encourages and promotes creativity and innovation. This is instead of being prescriptive in terms of design style. It provides guidance on the quality of design that is expected being a rigid policy document or a pattern book to be slavishly followed.

The guide applies to all types of development projects. Whilst providing a focus on residential development the guide highlights many examples of best practice in Cornwall. Whilst not to be simply copied the guide provides inspiration. This is a clear indication that successful schemes can be achieved without compromising on:

  • quality
  • sustainability
  • the fulfillment of user requirements

The Cornwall Design Guide has been the subject of:

  • a sustainability appraisal
  • consultations
  • a scrutiny and review process

It was adopted by the Council’s Cabinet on the 13th March 2013. As such the guide should be regarded as a significant material consideration.

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