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byker buildings app1




        SEPTEMBER 2005

1.1   The purpose of this Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is to inform potential
      developers of land use planning and transportation opportunities and constraints on the site.
      The guidance highlights the relevant policy considerations and statutory requirements which
      must be addressed in the submission of a planning application for proposed development.

1.2   In addition to this SPD, and in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local
      Development) (England) Regulations 2004, a Sustainability Appraisal and Statement of
      Community Involvement have also been produced concurrently with this guidance. These
      documents are available on request.

1.3   The site of the former Byker Buildings, demolished in September 2000, presents an
      excellent redevelopment opportunity to contribute towards the regeneration of the Lower
      Ouseburn Valley. The council wish to see the development of exemplar sustainable family
      housing on the site that will significantly transform the appearance of the area and create a
      landmark feature for the entrance to the Valley. The SPD sets out the preferred use for the
      site and the sustainability requirements, identifying sustainability features that may be used
      in design to develop this modern, innovative project for the site that the Council fully

1.4   The council are seeking a comprehensive and appropriate development, and therefore the
      wider site area is to be considered and recognised in the redevelopment of this site, close
      consultation with adjacent uses especially the Cumberland Arms Public House should be


2.1   The site is very prominently situated a short distance to the east of Newcastle City Centre,
      at the top of Byker Bank, providing a vantage view point into the Ouseburn Valley. It is
      visible from the Quayside, from across the Tyne and from several major routes into the city
      centre from the East End of Newcastle.

2.2   The area, see appendix 1, is currently occupied with a variety of uses that include retail (use
      class A1) units, the Cumberland Arms public house, landscaped open space and newly
      resurrected allotments. The Byker Buildings site (two former residential blocks, demolished
      in 2000) lies to the south west.

2.3   The site lies on the periphery of the Ouseburn Valley that accommodates a growing number
      of creative industries including a number of live music venues and artists workshops.

2.4   The Byker Wall development, designated grade II listed building, is situated to the east of
      the site, separated by Byker Bank, which provides an important link road between Byker
      and the Quayside.

2.5   The site can be accessed by car from Byker Bank at two points: via Stephen Street/Back
      Stephen Street and via Byker Buildings (James Place) that leads to The Cumberland Arms
      public house. All the roads within the site boundary are adopted. There are several
      pedestrian routes that traverse through the area linking up with the Lower Ouseburn Valley,
      the City Stadium open space to the North West and beyond.

2.6   Shields Road District Centre is situated within five minutes walk to the north east of the site
      that provides an adequate number of amenities and facilities and a local transport hub with
      a range of buses and a metro station linking into the City Centre. However access to the
      centre could be improved as existing access could compromise safety of residents.

2.7   The development site, hashed in appendix 1, measures approx 2,850 sq m. The site is
      relatively steeply sloping, with a difference of approximately 10m in levels between north
      and southern boundaries.


3.1   There is no specific site allocation identified in the Unitary Development Plan (UDP),
      however there are a number of policies relevant to the future development of the site, that
      will need to be considered and are outlined in appendix 2. The importance of sustainability
      in development is evident at the national and regional level, as identified in appendix 2.

      Interim Planning Guidance for Release of Land for Housing

3.2   The site is located inside the Newcastle-Gateshead Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder
      area, 'Bridging NewcastleGateshead'. The vision for this project is that by 2017, the
      housing market in the area will be revitalised, strong and stable, fully integrated with the
      renaissance of the region. Any development proposal will need to be consistent with this
      vision and the objectives of BNG and therefore developers are advised to consider their
      proposals within the context of Policies H1 and H2 of the Council's 'Revised Interim
      Planning Guidance on Release of Land for Housing', approved at Executive October 2004
      (see appendix 2) and against which all proposals for new housing developments of 10 or
      more units are to be assessed.

3.3   In this respect, the site performs well when assessed against Policy H1 of the Guidance,
      being previously developed and accessible to jobs shops and services by modes other than
      the car. Residential development could also make a positive contribution to the vitality and
      viability of Shields Road. Policy H2 further seeks to ensure that proposals directly support
      housing market renewal, are essential to regeneration, meet local needs or otherwise
      provide exceptional planning benefits. The site adjoins Byker, which ranks amongst the
      20% most deprived housing neighbourhoods in the City. Replacement housing on the
      Byker Buildings site in the form of private family houses of three or more beds with private
      outdoor space could help to broaden the housing offer and promote mixed communities in
      an area where almost two-thirds of the stock is rented from a social landlord and almost half
      are flats (in both instances the proportion of the housing stock in England as a whole is
      around a fifth).

      Strategy for the Regeneration of the Ouseburn Valley

3.4   A Strategy for the Regeneration of the Lower Ouseburn Valley, published in January 2003,
      has been developed around the “Urban Village Concept” which is based on a mixed-use
      approach. The urban village concept reflects the mixed-use character of the Ouseburn
      Valley, it encourages diversity of development and lifestyles and the creation of a good mix
      of housing tenures, price, size and type. The Strategy has been developed to achieve a
      sustainable approach to future development, encouraging energy efficient and sustainable
      housing for new build/conversion. The environmental quality of the area is gradually

      improving with the development of new housing and leisure uses. The development of the
      Byker Buildings site is expected to contribute towards this improvement process.

      Lower Ouseburn Conservation Area

3.5   The site lies just outside the Conservation Area of the Lower Ouseburn Valley. However,
      the adjacent Cumberland Arms lies within. This building forms a valuable contribution to the
      conservation area. Consideration will need to be given to this designation in accordance
      with PPG15, para 4.14 - „development proposals which are outside the conservation area
      should not affect its setting, or views into or out of the area’ (PPG15: Planning and the
      Historic Environment). Account should be given to the Conservation Area Management
      Plan (July, 2004) and its appendix the „Urban Design Framework‟ (September, 2004) that
      identifies general design principles for the area, that will assist in potential development

      Ouseburn Parking and Accessibility Study (OPAS)

3.6   In 2003 the Council adopted the Ouseburn Parking and Accessibility Study that tested a
      development scenario for the Ouseburn Valley. Specific parking standards were approved,
      together with a developer contribution model which required all developments to contribute
      towards the resulting highway and parking infrastructure. Parking standards under the
      OPAS requires any application to provide core car parking on site, with the remaining
      parking to be provided in large communal car parks.

      Sustainable Development

3.7   The principles of sustainable development are embodied in the Councils Corporate Policy,
      as follows:

         The City Council aims to improve accessibility, reduce accidents, cut pollution and traffic
         congestion. The Council is pursuing policies to protect and enhance open spaces, local
         wildlife and vegetation, increase the level of vegetation, increase the level of recycling,
         improve waste management and reduce energy consumption.

3.8   The Council is promoting the use of the EcoHomes Assessment sponsored by the National
      House Building Council (NHBC) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), as one of
      the tools to deliver sustainability in housing. This is an up to date, innovative environmental
      assessment tool that provides an authoritative rating for new, converted or renovated
      homes. It balances environmental performance with the need for a high quality of life and a
      safe and healthy internal environment. The optional issues assessed may include energy,
      water, pollution, materials, transport, ecology and land use, health and well-being.
      Developers who improve environmental performance through good design rather than high
      capital costs are rewarded. Appendix 3 gives a summary of the BRE methodology to be
      used in assessing the successful scheme.

3.9   The Council recently adopted „A Charter for the Environment‟ which seeks to reduce the
      amount of the earth‟s resources we use, through the promotion of sustainable forms of
      development. The Council draws particular attention to the efficient use of water, energy
      and materials. The Council, in partnership with interests from residents and the commercial
      and voluntary sector, is seeking to become the first Carbon Neutral City.
3.10     The site is identified under the „Sustainable Housing Project‟. This is a demonstrative
         project that seeks to apply corporate carbon neutral and sustainability principles to identified
         areas. This is supported by Newcastle Gateshead Pathfinder Initiative.


4.1      This site is a key development opportunity at a gateway to the Ouseburn that has the
         potential to contribute towards the regeneration of the valley.

4.2      Residential accommodation is the preferred use for the site, more specifically large,
         family units are favoured. This development will increase the choice of housing in the
         Valley contributing towards achieving a stable sustainable urban village, in line with the
         vision of the Regeneration Strategy. To facilitate the encouragement of families these units
         should be spacious and flexible and accommodate at least three-bedrooms1. In accordance
         with recommended housing densities, the site should accommodate a density of between
         approx 30 and 40 dwellings per hectare.

4.3      The council would encourage the developer to refer to the Lifetime Homes concept,
         developed by a group of housing experts who formed the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
         Lifetime Homes Group. The Lifetime Homes accessibility requirements go beyond Part M of
         the building regulations, adding flexibility to ensure that homes are easy to adapt as peoples
         needs change over time. For example, dwellings can incorporate more generous circulation
         space to allow for accessibility for disabled occupiers and visitors.

4.4      Commercial use is considered to be inappropriate given the previous use of the site and the
         desire to encourage the „live‟ element of the urban village concept into this part of the valley.

4.5      The Council, in partnership with the Newcastle Gateshead Pathfinder Initiative, is offering
         the opportunity for developers to achieve the first major sustainable housing project in
         Newcastle. The successful scheme will need to support the Councils Sustainability
         Policies contained within the Unitary Development Plan, Newcastle’s carbon neutral
         aspirations and the Council’s corporate policy for sustainability. The baseline for
         assessment of schemes will be the British Research Establishment (BRE) EcoHomes
         “Very Good” rating, with a preference given for an “Excellent”. Appendix 3 outlines
         this method.

4.6      The Council would recommend the development to exceed the BRE standards by focussing
         upon the design principles outlined below to achieve sustainable development.

5.       DESIGN & LAYOUT

5.1      The site should seek to provide a sustainable and balanced community, with the opportunity
         for an imaginative housing scheme, with its own identity and sense of place.

 Family figure based on evidence following analysis of survey data from the Newcastle Housing Requirements Study 2003, undertaken by David
Couttie Associates Limited, together with inter-authority migration data from the Office for National Statistics.
5.2       Designs should take a more holistic approach and illustrate flexibility so they are adaptable
          to potential changes in the future and do not compromise future development in the area.
          There is scope to design a more imaginative layout that makes the best use of the space.
          An options appraisal should be incorporated as part of the design statement to demonstrate
          the flexibility of the design and how it can develop through phasing over period of time.

5.3       Principles

          The following design principles must be applied to this site:

         Designs should improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the proportion of the
          energy met from passive solar gain in accordance with policy SD1.4 (UDP, 2001), through
          considering layout and orientation of new development and the use of renewable energy
          sources for electricity and heat generation.

         Water efficiency measures should be deployed in dealing with surface water run-off.

         Use of locally sourced, sustainable and recycled materials in construction eg Forestry
          Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber which ensures that it is from a genuinely well-
          managed source.

  Additional information on these key elements of sustainability in design is detailed in appendix 4.

         The size of the development should be two to three-storey.

         Bland, flat elevations should be avoided, designs should be visually rich showing depth and
          quality especially the south and south west facing elevations. There is the potential to
          create a strong building line to the frontage treatment to Byker Bank and Bank Stephen
          Street, which would have the benefit of attenuating traffic noise;

         The development should aim to provide an inclusive layout and a small urban block
          structure, with a coherent framework of buildings, attractive pedestrian routes and good
          natural surveillance. There is potential to incorporate a landmark design feature visible from
          the highway, to promote character in the new townscape.

         Designs for the site are encouraged to take advantage of the scenic views in the area and
          look at the wider green connections and links with the valley and City Stadium.

         New development should be of an appropriate scale, massing and high quality architectural
          design taking into account the wider context of the site and the adjacent users.
          Developers must seek to enhance to the prominence of the site, the character of the area,
          the proximity to the Lower Ouseburn Conservation Area and the Listed Byker Wall, and
          complement surrounding existing buildings, notably the Cumberland Arms Public House.

         Developers should be encouraged to create potential communal refuse and recycling
          points in the design so that residents can dispose household waste in a convenient way.
          These servicing requirements must be screened/treated in a satisfactory way from public
          areas/views and must not have an adverse effect on pedestrian activity level.

         Good accessibility should be achieved to and from the area, with good public transport
          links and provision for walkers and cyclists. Pedestrian routes should be included that
          connect locally and to the wider environment, improving the legibility and permeability of the
          site as a whole. The development should adhere to the principles of a „Home Zone‟ concept
          where pedestrian movement has precedence over the car. Alternative modes of travel must
          be encouraged with links to the local cycle and footpath network. Developers are advised to
          refer to the publication

         The development should conform to the guidelines in Secured by Design, an initiative
          supported and managed by the Association of Chief Police Officers. Secured by Design is
          aimed at encouraging the building industry to adopt crime prevention measures to assist in
          reducing the opportunity for crime and fear of crime, by promoting natural surveillance onto
          the pedestrian networks in and around the site. In addressing this issue consideration
          should also be given to appropriate lighting to create a more secure atmosphere.

          Developers will be expected to address these key elements by providing supporting
          information at the bidding stage, as part of or in addition to a design statement. More detail
          on the requirements of a design statement in given in appendix 5.


6.1       Vehicular access will be limited to one access point onto Byker Bank, this may be via James
          Place Street or a replacement nearby. Any access alteration must be designed to current
          design standards. In considering vehicular routes within the site, developers should be
          aware of the need to retain vehicular access to the public house to allow the delivery of
          goods as well as access to any existing businesses north of the site. There may be an
          opportunity to restrict access to Back Stephen Street, however existing access
          requirements would need to be taken into consideration in the design. A turning head is
          required, suitable for service delivery. This would ideally be located at the western end of
          the site to reduce reversing distance and be dedicated as highway. All vehicles must be
          able to enter and leave the site in a forward gear.

6.2       Parking requirements should be in accordance with the OPAS that highlights a flexible
          approach maximising parking usage.

6.3       The developer would be expected to fund foot and cycle links to the development and
          include cycle parking within the development proposal. There may also be contributions
          toward traffic improvements directly as a result of the development proposal (ie Traffic
          Regulation Orders etc).

6.4       The Byker Buildings site does not relate particularly well with Shields Road District Centre
          despite it being within short walking distance. The OPAS outlined above has already
          highlighted the infrastructure improvements throughout the Ouseburn Area, this includes
          improved linkage to Shields Road.

6.5       If detailed designs for this site highlight the need for other specific improvements to
          accommodate the proposed development form that was not anticipated in the developer
          contribution model the developer will be expected to fund these improvements in addition to
          the OPAS contribution.


7.1   As part of the redevelopment proposals for the site, a high standard of landscape design will
      be expected incorporating both hard and soft landscaping. The scheme should be
      sympathetic and complementary to the development and its surroundings.

7.2   Developers are advised to refer to the Council‟s Supplementary Guidance Note 19:
      Landscaping Schemes, The tree strategy, „Trees Newcastle‟ and the Newcastle Biodiversity
      Action Plan „Your Wildlife‟. The design should include early consideration of landscape
      elements including fences, walls, hedges, gates and choice of planting as an integral part of
      the layout, thereby ensuring a cohesive scheme. The approach to landscaping is relevant
      to the need of addressing passive solar design, in relation of shading patterns, in that it is
      necessary to avoid the overshadowing of buildings by vegetation and pay regard to the
      spacing of landscaping elements and the choice of species adjacent to dwellings.


8.1   The Byker Buildings site is an area of considerable archaeological sensitivity. An
      archaeological desk based assessment has been undertaken for the site. This report
      concludes that Hadrian‟s Wall runs through the study area, although its precise course is
      not certain. Part of it is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and the Wall is also a
      UNESCO World Heritage Site. Milecastle 3 (small fortlets built every Roman mile along the
      wall) lies in this vicinity, possibly within the study area. The Military Way, the Roman road
      which lay to the rear of Hadrian‟s Wall also possibly runs through the development site.

8.2   Archaeological trail trenching is essential on this site, to ascertain whether the Roman
      features survive or not. This must be done at an early stage in the planning process. Early
      consultation with English Heritage and the County Archaeologist is essential, to discuss
      work required. Further information regarding this issue will be available from the City


9.1   A noise survey has been carried out across the site at various locations to assess noise
      levels, which is likely to influence the layout and the design of the development. A
      specification should be agreed with the Public Health and Environmental Protection Division
      and submitted for consideration with any proposed scheme. The developer will be required
      to ensure that the impact on residential amenity is safeguarded, particularly from noise or
      disturbance that may emanate from the existing businesses to the north of the site, the
      Public House, traffic on Byker Bank or the Byker Metro and live music venues in the Valley.
      The provision of acoustic glazing and ventilation or other similar measures may be required
      to mitigate noise impact on the residential amenity.

                                  APPENDIX 2 - PLANNING POLICY

National Policy Advice
PPG1 – General Policy and Principles
PPG3 – Housing

PPS1 – Creating Sustainable Communities
PPS22 – Renewable Energy, plus Companion Guide

DLTR (2004) „By Design – Better Places to Live‟ – a companion guide to PPG3
DETR (1998) „Place, Streets and Movement‟

RSS1 – Regional Spatial Strategy for the North East (November 2002), is based on the vision of
sustainable development for the North East. The overarching principle for RPG1 is “to provide a
framework for development which delivers environmental, social and economic objectives to
improve the quality of life for all, without threatening – either now or in the future – the viability of
the natural, built and social systems on which the delivery of those objectives depends” (RSS,
November 2002).

Relevant Unitary Development Plan Policies (January 1998)

H1.4           Accessible Housing
H2             Protection of Residential Amenity
H4             New Housing Design

Sustainable development
4HE ENV22 Built Development
SD1           Sustainable Development
SD1.1         Energy and the Urban Environment
SD1.2         Combined heat and power
SD1.4         Renewable energy

EN1.1       Design
EN2         The Appearance of the City
EN2.1       Development that harms views

Conservation of Historic Environments
C3           Conservation Areas

T2.1           Citywide Management
T4.5           Control over Development
T5.3           Cycling

Noise and Vibration – pollution control
POL2         Pollution Control
POL8         Noise and Vibration
POL10        Railway and Metro Noise
POL11        Railway and Metro Noise

Sustainable Development
Policy H4 (E) Maximising energy efficiency
Policy SD1.2 Encouraged use of combined heat and power in buildings
Policy SD1.4 Development and use of renewable energy

Development Control Policy Statements
DCPS 17     Spacing Standards for Residential Development
DCPS 19     Landscaping
DCPS 22     Noise and Vibration
DCPS 23     Parking Standards for Cars and Cycles

Interim Policy Guidance on Housing
Policy IPG H1
Policy IPG H2


BRE Ecohomes is a straightforward, flexible and independently verified environmental assessment
method, with environmental performance expressed on a scale of pass, good, very good and
excellent. It is an easily understood, credible label for new and renovated homes including
houses, apartments and sheltered accommodation. Assessments are undertaken by licensed
assessors, who are trained and monitored by BRE. A Council officer has recently received training
as an approved EcoHome assessor.

A workbook is issued for each development. A sample of this workbook, which illustrates the level
of information required, is available from the BRE web site.

To complete the assessment, the developer enters information on the design and specification into
the workbook and passes this to the assessor. The assessor checks that the relevant information
has been provided, and completes the workbook, determining the rating achieved. This is then
returned to the BRE for quality assurance and certification. All EcoHomes assessments are
covered by BRE‟s stringent quality management procedures adopted to ensure a consistent
approach and level of service.

Different Stages of Assessment

As the housing sector makes extensive use of standard specifications and house types, the
assessment process can be carried out in three stages:

Stage 1 – Assessment of specification
Many issues can be assessed form the general building specification provided that they are
applicable to the whole development; e.g. types of materials used.

Stage 2 – Assessment of house types
For standard house types other issues can be assessed once only for each house type; e.g.
energy efficiency.

Stage 1 and 2 can be carried out at an early stage in the development process, influencing the
choice of the successful developer for the site.

Stage 3 – Assessment of development
This stage completes the assessment as it covers all remaining issues, such as ecological value of
the site and transport.

Formal assessment of a development is carried out by BRE when all stages are completed.


The key elements that contribute towards achieving sustainable housing are detailed below.
Developers should recognise that techniques should not be achieved in isolation but combined
with other innovative approaches to sustainability reducing the need for conventional energy

1.       Energy Efficiency and use of renewable energy

         i)     Orientation and Building Design
          The reduction of energy demand and consumption can be achieved through an
            integrated approach to building design. The housing layout can be designed to
            maximise natural daylight penetration by taking advantage of the natural features of the
            site, incorporating an overall approach to passive solar design techniques.
            Consideration should be given to the proposed means of ventilation, solar gain, daylight,
            thermal mass, and heating systems. More specifically:

            Development should be orientated to take advantage of the changes in climate, with
             maximum performance elevations with the most glazing facing within 30 degrees of

            External Layout - buildings should be appropriately spaced to avoid obstructions and
             limit the extent of overshadowing to southern aspects. This can be achieved by locating
             low rise, lower density buildings such as bungalows to the south side of the site and
             taller high density housing to the North; staggering dwellings or using stepped facades.
             Care must be taken when planting trees in and outside the site2.

            Internal layout - an open floor plan will allow the collected solar heat to circulate freely
             across the site, rooms which are occupied for much of the time (e.g. living rooms) should
             be positioned on the south side of the dwelling and windows on the north side of the
             dwelling should be smaller and fewer in number than those on the south.

            Natural Cooling techniques which help a house stay cool in the summer, reducing the
             need for air conditioning and can be achieved by the provision of overhanging eaves and
             shading systems.

            Natural ventilation driven by solar design should be used in preference to air

            Insulation (roofs, walls and floors) should go beyond the requirements of the Building
             Regulations to achieve significant reductions in energy use.

            The choice of materials will be of particular importance in ensuring a balanced system
             to heating and insulation (eg timber frame construction and timber window frames) and
             thermal massing, that can be incorporated into the design of the whole building.

 Planning for Renewable Energy – A Companion Guide to Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22) Page.50 Case study 4D:SPG on Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy in New Developments Leicester City Council, adopted August 2002

          The developer should also seek to install energy efficient fixtures and fittings and heat
           recovery systems. Internal lighting should be provided by dedicated energy efficient
           fixtures throughout (i.e. compact fluorescent lamps in fitting designed to prevent the use
           of inefficient tungsten lamps). Lighting to garages and external areas should also be
           designed to accommodate energy efficient lamps only.

          It is also important that the housing design incorporates sufficient space for the
           separate storage of recyclable materials and storage space for cycles to encourage the
           use of cycles for short journeys.

          The existing roads in the site run in a south-east, north-west direction, that dictates most
           dwellings will face in a south-westerly direction ensuring the potential for passive solar
           gain. The scheme should nevertheless offer a distinctive sense of place by varying set
           back of dwellings from the highway and a variety of architectural detail. As dwellings
           need only face within 30 degrees of the south this provides a 60 degree range for
           varying orientation.

     ii)      Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

     The developer should provide a technical submission on the ways in which the energy loads
     arising from the use of the buildings will be met from a range of renewable energy sources
     that should include the provision of photovoltaic cells to south facing elevations and solar
     collectors for heating water. The use of ground source heat pumps should also be included,
     for domestic heating. The provision of efficient gas condensing boilers may be the most
     suitable approach to energy efficiency for a small number of units, where ground conditions
     preclude the use of heat pumps. All buildings should be constructed to allow flexibility for
     the introduction of additional energy sourcing devices in the future.

     The proximity of the site to the Byker Wall development provides the potential extension of
     the Byker District Heating System to this site. The Combined Heat and Power system is a
     very efficient technology for generating electricity and heat together, currently serving 2,000

2.   Water Efficiency and Recycling of Water

3.   Use of Sustainable Materials in Construction

     It is essential that the materials used in the construction of the dwellings have proven low
     environmental impacts and are sourced sustainably. The aim should be to use a palette of
     whole, unprocessed materials that are sustainable (such as timber, natural stone, earth and
     clay and natural fibres) and sympathetic to the surroundings and proximity to the
     conservation area.

     The use of formaldehyde glues, petrochemicals, plastics and materials containing chlorine
     (i.e. PVC, HCFC, HFC) should be avoided due to their environmental impact. A variety of
     other, less environmentally damaging plastics should be specified by the developer to be
     used for all building purposes. Similarly, the use of chipboard, particleboard and Medium
     Density Fibreboard contain formaldehyde and is damaging to the environment and should
     be replaced with wood from certified forests. High energy materials such as cement can be

     substituted by lime, that has the benefit of reusing fired materials such as bricks in the
     development process.

     It is recommended that all dwellings incorporate the standards for sustainable construction,
     as set out in Appendix 6. The Association of Environment Conscious Building (AECB)
     provides useful advice to builders on the sourcing of sustainable materials (see Appendix 7
     for a list of useful contacts including the AECB). A procedure for acquiring certified timber
     will be required including chain of custody certification, for example through the Pan
     European Forest Certification (PEFC). The Council would also expect to see the
     segregation of construction waste to allow its return to manufacturers or to other specialists
     (e.g. palettes and packaging) under an approved take back scheme.

4.   Biodiversity

     The current levels of biodiversity on the site are minimal and the sites size restricts
     opportunities. However due to the proximity of the site to open space the community can
     enjoy the adjacent wildlife corridor and open space to the west, although new developer is
     encouraged to incorporate quality green space and landscaping into the development.

5.   Accessibility

     The layout of the new development has a major influence on the choice of means of travel
     that residents make, and therefore the sustainability of movement patterns. It is important
     that the scheme encourages walking, cycling and public transport by linking the new
     development to existing pedestrian and cycle routes and bus routes. In particular, the
     layout should improve existing and incorporate new pedestrian routes which are safe,
     attractive, and direct routes, where users can be seen by people living in the area.

     The developer should seek to achieve a Home Zone development where the speed of traffic
     is restricted, providing a safer environment.

6.   Design for Recycling

     The aim should be to encourage the recycling of green material by composting and
     chipping, thereby reducing the amount of waste going to landfill sites. The provision of a
     composting/chipping facility should be considered. This should be provided in a central
     location to serve the whole development, or space should be provided at each individual


The design statement should include a combination of illustrative and written material. The
suggested structure for the design statement is set out below.

• Background information - Applicant, agents and contact details. This section could include the
client brief(s) for the potential development site, where they exist. This should include the written
instruction and/or verbal instructions for the design approach to address building, space and
access design.

• Site Details - Current site ownership boundaries, ownership of adjacent sites where known and
areas of adopted highway within and adjacent to the application site. Location plan with proposed
development located within wider geographical context (suggest suitable scale at 1:1250). History
of site if known.

• Site Analysis - Site topography, orientation, photographic survey of site, constraints and
opportunities and any supporting concept drawings.

• Design Principles - A short written statement setting out the design principles adopted be the
proposed development.
This should contain the context for the schemes set within its policy framework at a number of
policy levels including:
[1] National, regional guidance and suggested best practice;
[2] A response to Unitary Development Plan or adopted Area Development Framework policies,
including the interim housing policy; and,
[3] Supplementary planning guidance and detailed response to locally specific planning guidance,
including the Ouseburn Regeneration Strategy and the Lower Ouseburn Conservation Area
Management Plan and the sub-area design guidance.
This should also include supporting three dimensional illustrative material that shows the site within
its wider context.

• Detailed Design Elements -The design statement should contain an explanation of the
proposed development in relation to the additional detailed design issues in respect of materials
and performance. A detailed explanation of the proposed development – context, streets, spaces
and public realm and landscape. This is likely to include statements on:
[1] Sustainability [reference to SAP rating approach to determining eco-homes standard and
requirement for independent assessment, including forecast and record to changes made in
response to this forecast SAP rating];
[2] Safety and security [including references to „design our crime‟];
[3] Scale and mix;
[4] Details and materials.

In addition to the statutory requirements for the formal planning application, the design statement
should include a range of explanatory drawings and illustrations; such as artist impressions,
photomontages, CAD/VR images; to explain the three dimensional qualities of the proposal. The
level of detail within the design statement will reflect the complexity and scale of development.
The description and illustrative analysis of site and surrounding context should include the use of
photographs and analytical drawings in plan and three dimensional form. This supporting

illustrative material should be in colour and should show the proposed development in its
immediate context.

• Key views
The valley has a number of important historical views which need to be taken into account; these
are not only contained in the conservation area itself but they also identified outside of the
boundary line looking inwards. With this in mind visual submission illustrations should take
account of these views and show the proposal in this wider context. The views of importance are
identified in the Conservation Area Management Plan for the Lower Ouseburn, the Urban Design
Framework and the Tyne Gorge Study.

• Building in Context
It will be important for any new proposal to take into account the context of the surroundings. With
the site being situated on periphery of the Conservation area and sitting adjacent to the listed
Byker Wall the building should be sympathetic to its surroundings and not affect the setting of a
conservation area negatively (in line with PPG15). CABE‟s “Building in Context” highlights a
number of exemplars taken from across the country.


Building Research Establishment (BRE)

Housing Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme
Managed by the Energy Saving Trust

Forestry Stewardship Council

Pan European Forest Certification

The Association of Environment Conscious Builders (AECB)

Environment Agency
Tyneside House
Skinnerburn Road
Newcastle Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne

Renewable Energy Enquiries Bureau
OX11 0RA

Northumbria Water Ltd
Leat House
Pattison Road
District 15
NE38 8LB

The Green Consumer Guide
Environmentally Friendly Products, Services and News


Ecohomes – The Environmental Rating for Homes. The Guidance 2003 (BRE)

The Green Guide to Housing Specification. An Environmental Profiling System for Building
Materials and Components (BRE)

General Information Report 27 „Passive solar estate layout‟ by Energy Saving Trust

Good Practice Guide 339 – Domestic Ground Source Heat Pumps: Design and installation of
closed loop systems by Housing Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (Energy Saving

„Energy Efficiency in New Housing. Summary of Specifications for England, Wales and Scotland‟
by Housing Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (Energy Saving Trust)

„Renewable energy sources for homes in urban environments‟ by Energy Saving Trust

„Home Zone Design Guidelines‟ June 2002, Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers

byker buildings cb


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