Taunton Design Charter and checklist
The purpose of the Taunton Design Charter and checklist is twofold. This document sets the council’s expectations in terms of design of key sites within the Garden Town, and also provides a framework against which prospective developers, communities and the council – as the planning authority – will assess relevant planning applications.
The Charter and checklist will be incorporated within, and endorsed by, the wider Somerset West and Taunton area-wide Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Further, as part of the Local Plan review, we will consider how good design can be fully incorporated into the statutory development plan and consequently carry the fullest weight within the planning decision-making process.
Design Charter – what we expect
Achieving excellent outcomes in completed projects relies heavily on all parties adopting a good process and working collaboratively. Adherence to The Charter will require partners to commit to the following stages which are set out in more detail in the document:
- Skills and Engagement – Preparing to Succeed
- Context Appraisal
- Site Appraisal
- Development of the Design Concept
The special characteristics of Garden Town projects – what we aim to achieve
Projects within the Garden Town will comply with the established principles of good architectural, urban and landscape design that should apply to all developments. There are also key characteristics that we will expect from Garden Town projects – these are set out in more detail in the Charter and checklist.
Design checklist – how we will measure success
The checklist is in the form of a series of 16 questions across four spreadsheets that can be actively used by all parties in pre-application negotiations or, indeed, in later stages of the development process through to the post-completion auditing of final build quality. The checklist is largely based on the Building for Life 12 framework, which is enhanced in scope to include a new section which covers the ‘Climate + Planet Positive’ topics. Our council became one of the first in the country to declare a ‘climate emergency’ in March 2019, setting itself the ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.