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Cornwall Design Guide

New Cornwall Design Guide and New Streetscape Guide

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

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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 and 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, with innovative design solutions 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 in discussion with the Planning and Sustainable Development Service.  The document will support the new Cornwall Design Guide and the policy set out in Connecting Cornwall: 2030 Local Transport Plan. It will 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

Other related guidance

The new Design Guide and Streetscape Design Guide will sit alongside other guidance documents including the following:

Neighbourhood Planning Groups may also be interested in our neighbourhood planning toolkit guidance on design.

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 National Planning Policy Framework and the National Design Guide highlight the importance the Government attaches to the design of the built environment. Section 7 notes good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, is indivisible from good planning and should contribute positively to making places better for people. The Cornwall Design Guide embodies this ambition.

As part of the Council’s commitment to securing the highest quality new development the Cornwall Design Guide will assist householders, professionals, developers and communities in designing and assessing proposals.  It promotes the importance of a robust design process and good design practice. 

The Design Guide encourages and promotes creativity and innovation 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, they provide inspiration  a clear indication that successful schemes can be achieved without compromising quality, sustainability or the fulfillment of user requirements.

The Cornwall Design Guide has been the subject of a sustainability appraisal, consultations, and 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.