Appendix 1 Statements of Housing Types and Area Character

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					                Appendix 1

Statements of Housing Types
        and Area Character


This guidance applies to infilling, minor redevelopment and to developments within a housing area on previ-
ously non-residential sites.

Pre-1919 Villas

The character in these areas derives from spaces between buildings, the design and proportions of the build-
ings and landscaping. Redevelopment is not opposed in principle but must reflect scale, massing, materials
and the footprint of existing, adjacent and surrounding buildings. Existing landscaping must be respected
and amenity areas, particularly to the rear, should not be dominated by parking. Development which takes a
substantial part of rear gardens will generally be resisted.

Pre-1919 Terraced

These areas are characterised by quite high densities. The townscape quality derives from their regularity
and the amenity space from small rear gardens. Such areas are generally lacking in car parking and typically
front gardens are absent. Redevelopment is not opposed in principle but densities higher than existing are
unlikely to be acceptable. Where redevelopment or new development occurs, car parking and amenity
standards must be met and densities may therefore need to be lower than existing. New development should
not exceed by more than one storey that of existing development in the area. Scale, sympathetic elevations
and protection of existing rear gardens are likely to be important.

Inter-War Terraced Housing

These are areas characterised by a lower density than the pre-1919 stock, principally because of larger rear
gardens, almost universal small front gardens and sometimes rear access. Amenity for the area derives
largely from the open character of the land at the rear of the terraces. On-street parking tends to be a serious
problem, even where rear access ways and parking facilities exist, since growth in car ownership has out-
stripped the facilities available. Development of land at the rear would not be acceptable because of loss of
amenity to existing frontage dwellings (unless proposals encompassed a redevelopment of an entire block, ie
the existing frontage dwellings as well). Storey heights on redevelopment or new development should not
exceed that of existing development by more than one storey.

Inter-War Detached/Semi-detached Housing

This category includes dwellings with large rear gardens, usually well stocked with trees which contribute
considerably to an attractive open and semi-rural character. Such dwellings may be vulnerable to redevelop-
ment proposals if modest dwellings on large plots can be assembled and demolished. A significant increase
in the density of development is unlikely to be acceptable, particularly if it involves development of back
gardens. Development of ‘backland’ is usually unacceptable because of the loss of amenity to existing
frontage development and length of accesses. Storey heights should be the same as that of existing develop-
Inter-War Municipal Housing

In Gravesham this tends to be two storey semi-detached stock or short terraces, usually as houses but some-
times as low rise 2 or 3 storey flats. Densities tend to be fairly low by present day standards with rear gardens
creating an open character. Such property often suffers from inadequate parking facilities which tends to
lead to extensive on-street parking. “Right to Buy” legislation has resulted in a number of such properties
now being privately owned in Gravesham. Redevelopment may be justified to improve the standard of the
housing stock and access and parking arrangements.

Post-War Municipal Housing

This tends to be of two types:-

(1)     Suburban

        Early post-war suburban estates tend to reflect the pattern of inter-war stock, usually to slightly
        higher densities and with a general lack of off-street provision for cars. The stock is usually 2 storey
        terraced or semi-detached houses, with some low rise flats. There has been sufficient time for
        landscaping to mature. Where provided, rear car parking areas are communal and may be poorly
        maintained. A number of properties are now privately owned. Some immediately post-war dwell-
        ings are system-built and potentially a problem. They may need to be redeveloped and, if so, there
        is merit in this being done comprehensively and to a higher density.

(2)     High Density

        Some parts of the urban area were redeveloped comprehensively under slum clearance powers in the
        1960’s, although this was less extensive in Gravesham than in many towns. Often this resulted in flat
        developments, sometimes medium rise. There may be some opportunities for improvements if the
        stock is refurbished or redeveloped.

Post-War Private Housing

This can be classified in two ways:-

(1)     Early post-war

        Early post-war private estates tend to follow the inter-war pattern, of mainly two and three bedroom
        terraced and semi-detached houses. However, they were usually to a higher density, with smaller
        gardens but normally making some off-street provision for cars. More recent developments have
        tended to be at higher densities and coupled with increasing car parking standards, these have re-
        sulted generally in smaller rear gardens.

(2)     Recent post-war

        In the 1980’s, private developers have shown more interest in amenity and appearance and whilst
        densities remain high, more effort has been put into external design and hard and soft landscaping.
        Also layouts have been more informal on the pattern of Design Bulletin 32. Another recent trend has
        been for private developers to offer a greater range of dwelling types. Developers are building a
        higher proportion of small detached dwellings, dwellings for smaller households, including flats and
        sheltered elderly persons accommodation. Flats in particular have recently been built to very high

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