08. Does the scheme feel like a place with a distinctive character?
PPS3 (housing): Local planning authorities should consider if a development: ‘Creates, or enhances, a distinctive character that relates well to the surroundings and supports a sense of local pride and civic identity.’
Successful places tend to be those that have their own distinct identity. How a neighbourhood looks affects how residents feel about where they live. Character and quality help increase community pride. The ability of a scheme to create a sense of place greatly depends on the quality of the buildings and the spaces around them. This not only needs architecture of a high standard but a strong landscape strategy. It is about character, identity and variety.
A design with character needs to be supported by strong ideas. These ideas may be about reflecting contemporary society and culture or about responding to local patterns of development and landscape.
“Character areas can reinforce local identity and serve as a marketing tool to raise the profile of a certain area.”
English Partnerships/ Housing Corporation, 2000
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The 20 Criteria
Environment & community
Streets, parking & pedestrianisation
Design & construction
|Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such as a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafes?|
- By design – urban design and the planning system: towards better practice (DTLR, 2001); Section 2, p19
- Urban Design Compendium 2 (English Partnerships and Housing Corporation, 2007); p41