Village Design Statement

What is a Village Design Statement?

A Village Design Statement (VDS) is a means of influencing decisions on design and development. It provides a clear statement of the character of a particular village or area against which planning applications can be assessed. It is not about whether development should take place (that is a matter for the adopted Local Development Plan), but about how development should proceed with regard to the local identity.

The criteria for producing a VDS are:

  • It is developed, researched, written and edited by local people;
  • Is representative of the views of the village and involved a wide section of the community in its production;
  • Describes the visual character of the village and shows how local character and distinctiveness can be protected and enhanced in any new development;
  • Is compatible with the statutory planning system and suitable for approval by the local Authority as support to its Local Plan;
  • Is applicable to all forms and scale of development; and
  • Is about managing development, not preventing it.

Local people are well placed to identify local character and distinctiveness, described in terms of the landscape setting of the village, the pattern and shape of the settlement and the nature of buildings, open spaces, landmarks and any special features.

Policy C1 of the adopted Local Plan states that the Local Planning Authority attaches great importance to the preservation of the countryside and wishes to conserve the character, appearance and resources of the rural area whilst promoting the well-being of the rural communities and the viability of agriculture. The VDS provides detailed support for this general policy, and if adopted, becomes a material consideration when determining planning applications.

Preparing a VDS does not demand knowledge of design or planning. The only real requirement is an interest in the future well-being of the village. However, it does involve a lot of work, organisation and commitment by the local community.

The Landford Village Design Statement was prepared during 2009-2010 and was adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document by the New Forest National Park Authority in March 2011. As such it forms part of the policies that must be consulted when preparing a planning application. This document can be accessed by clicking on VDS.

For more information contact  Ken Parker (Parish Cllr) on 01794 390681.


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