Securing Locally Distinctive Design
However ordinary a place might seem at first glance, every village or town has characteristics and features that are greatly valued by its community. It might be a place’s relationship with landscape, distinctive building forms, use of materials, a particular landmark, local details, trees and open spaces or street names.
Neighbourhood Plan evidence, policy and guidance can play a key role in recording and protecting locally valued features and informing how future development can reinforce the local distinctiveness so often lost through new development.
In 2019, Place Studio helped the community of Cam produce their Neighbourhood Plan with design policies supported by both a ‘Cam Design Statement’ and a ‘Cam Design Code’. The evidence produced by the community, guided by the Place Studio team, revealed the common and distinctive relationship shared by the village’s neighbourhoods with the surrounding rural landscape, neighbourhood tree planting and the network of local green pathways.
Both the Design Statement and Code provide the parish, the local planning authority and applicants with clear guidance on how this distinct landscape and access character should be prioritised in schemes – including the strategic allocations - to ensure that development integrates with and reinforces Cam’s distinct sense of place.
The Plan has successfully passed examination and referendum and was formally 'made' in May 2021.
Our work on this project was a finalist in the RTPI South West Awards for Planning Excellence 2020.
"I must congratulate the Steering Group on the quality of this neighbourhood plan. It is a comprehensive, well written and presented plan that builds upon a clear vision for Cam... These neighbourhood plan policies add a local dimension which will sit comfortably alongside the Stroud Local Plan. They are distinctive policies which reflects the unique characteristics of the parish"
Examiner, Cam Parish Neighbourhood Plan