Policy DM4 - Principles of good design

Proposals which would create high quality design and meet the following criteria will be permitted:

  1. Create designs and layouts that are accessible to all, and maintain and maximise opportunities for permeability and linkages to the surrounding area and local services;
  2. Respond positively to and where possible enhance, the local, natural or historic character of the area. Particular regard will be paid to scale, height, materials, detailing, mass, bulk, articulation and site coverage - incorporating a high quality, modern design approach and making use of vernacular materials where appropriate;
  3. Create high quality public realm and, where opportunities permit, provide improvements, particularly in town centre locations;
  4. Respect the amenities of occupiers of neighbouring properties and uses and provide adequate residential amenities for future occupiers of the development by ensuring that development does not result in excessive noise, vibration, odour, air pollution, activity or vehicular movements, overlooking or visual intrusion, and that the built form would not result in an unacceptable loss of privacy or light enjoyed by the occupiers of nearby properties;
  5. Respect the topography and respond to the location of the site and sensitively incorporate natural features such as trees, hedges and ponds worthy of retention within the site;
  6. Provide a high quality design which responds to areas of heritage, townscape and landscape value or uplifts an area of poor environmental quality;
  7. Orientate development, where possible, in such a way as to maximise the opportunity for sustainable elements to be incorporated and to reduce the reliance upon less sustainable energy sources;
  8. Protect and enhance any on site biodiversity and geodiversity features where appropriate, or provide sufficient mitigation measures;
  9. Safely accommodate the vehicular and pedestrian movement generated by the proposal on the local highway network and through the site access;
  10. Create a safe and secure environment and incorporate adequate security measures and features to deter crime, fear of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour;
  11. Avoid inappropriate new development within areas at risk from flooding, or mitigate any potential impacts of new development within such areas whereby mitigation measures are integral to the design of buildings;
  12. Incorporate measures for the adequate storage of waste, including provision for increasing recyclable waste;
  13. Provide adequate vehicular and cycle parking to meet adopted council standards; and
  14. Be flexible towards future adaptation in response to changing life needs.

Account should be taken of Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans, Character Area Assessments, the Maidstone Borough Landscape Character Guidelines SPD, the Kent Design Guide and the Kent Downs Area of Natural Beauty Management Plan.