Waveney Local Plan

Housing Density and Design

239 Cambridge Housing8.168 It is important to make efficient use of land whilst delivering high quality developments which complement local distinctiveness. The National Planning Policy Framework allows Local Planning Authorities to set their own approach to housing density.

8.169 Lowestoft and the market towns are built up areas with characteristically higher densities of development and benefit from greater provision of services and facilities. Higher densities in these settlements will therefore complement the existing urban density levels and deliver more houses in sustainable locations. Development in these locations should be of an urban scale at a minimum density of 30 dwellings per hectare. In the central areas of Lowestoft and the market towns densities higher than 30 dwellings per hectare can be appropriate where they reflect the local character of development and are well served by public transport.

8.170 Outside of Lowestoft and the market towns housing density will vary and housing densities should reflect local character.

8.171 Well established design guidance, including Building for Life 12 and in Design Guides published around the country, identify that development in an urban context should be appropriately designed to define and enclose urban spaces (which includes streets) using buildings and structures. This can help to create places with a sense of identity and improve local distinctiveness.

8.172 A key element is the high level of continuity in the built frontage using buildings of appropriate height and width. Detached buildings are ineffective in enclosing spaces and work best at lower densities with landscaping around them. Urban scale developments should therefore make use of terraced and semi-detached buildings in providing continuous built frontages to enclose space. Where detached buildings are grouped together in high density schemes the result is often poorly defined with indistinct places and spaces. Urban scale developments must therefore demonstrate a higher proportion of terraced and semi-detached properties than detached properties. Buildings and structures forming developments at an urban scale of 30 dwellings per hectare and above should therefore be designed to enclose space.

8.173 Housing density is calculated using only the site areas which will be developed for housing and directly associated uses. These uses will include access roads within the site, private garden space, car parking areas, open space, landscaping and small children's play areas, where these are provided. 

Policy WLP8.30 - Housing Density and Design

Proposals for residential development will be permitted provided that the development makes best use of the site in a manner that protects or enhances the distinctiveness and character of the area and takes into account the physical environment of the site and its surroundings.

Development proposals in and adjacent to the built-up area of Lowestoft and the market towns should aim for urban scale development at a density of at least 30 dwellings per hectare, unless local character indicates otherwise.

Urban scale development proposals should use buildings and structures to enclose spaces and create places of individual and distinctive identity. Urban scale development should avoid detached buildings which are narrowly separated and do not effectively enclose spaces and should demonstrate a greater proportion of terraced or semi-detached properties than detached properties.

Neighbourhood Plans can set their own policies for housing density which respond to local circumstances.