11. Does the building layout take priority over the streets and car parking, so that the highways do not dominate?

Scalebor Park, Burley-in-Wharfedale

Car parking: what works where (English Partnerships, 2006): ‘It is only through combining good external public environments with good home environments that successful neighbourhoods can be built.’

The building layout should be the priority in any new housing development. Buildings of the appropriate size, proportion, shape and layout will help create well-defined streets and spaces, which are attractive and user-friendly, improving residents’ quality of life.

In many recent housing layouts, more thought has been given to streets and car parking than to the arrangement of the buildings and the quality of the spaces created between them.

The rigid application of highway engineering standards for roads, junction separation distances and turning circles can create an environment which is unpleasant and difficult to use, especially for pedestrians. Streets and parking facilities should be designed to improve the usability and feel of an area but not to dominate it.

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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?

Further reading

  • Better places to live: a companion guide to PPG 3 (DT LR and CABE, 2001); Section 3, p29