1. Basic Design Considerations
These guidelines have been drafted by The Friends of Restronguet Point with the intention that they will be taken into account by the relevent Planning Authorities when considering new development proposals in the area.
Restronguet Point (“The Point”), which, for these purposes, includes Harcourt and Porthgwidden, lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a coastal landscape of national importance and of economic importance to Cornwall as a core asset of its tourist industry. The Point forms the highly‑visible west bank of the Carrick Roads of the Fal river and so development needs to respect this important public view.
It is particularly important that property development or redevelopment follows guidelines agreed with Feock Parish Council and Carrick District Council. These guidelines have been drawn up, but not taken verbatim, from the CDC’s Carrick District Design Guide (Consultation Draft), April 2003. They are summarised as follows:
This section relates to all aspects of planning submission.
a. New development should sit comfortably and harmoniously within its setting and next to its immediate neighbours. It should also be consistent with the general character of The Point.
b. New buildings and their accompanying walls should not disrupt The Point’s distinctive skyline nor on either side interrupt significant views toward the water.
c. The plot coverage of buildings should be appropriate to their scale and provide adequate garden space, while distances from buildings on other properties should maintain acceptable standards of privacy and daylight. Any redevelopment should maintain pre‑existing public views toward the water.
d. New buildings should be neighbourly in terms of scale, height, volume, footprint, distance from and effect on adjacent buildings.
e. Development layouts and the location and orientation of buildings on their plots should respect traditional patterns that maintain pre‑existing building lines. They should avoid unnecessary setbacks, gaps and gap closures.
f. Existing landscape features such as trees, hedges and other wildlife habitats should be accurately surveyed and protected.
g. New buildings should express locally‑distinctive building traditions, materials, character and identity.
h. In all the above, the views from the water on either side of The Point toward it should be regarded as just as important as the views from either side of The Point toward the water.
i. The age of the tree cover is such that it cannot in the long term be relied on to obscure buildings from seaward views. Individual designs need to take account of the probability that what may now be obscured by trees may in a comparatively short time be exposed to fuller view.
a. The traditional boundaries on Restronguet Point are predominantly Cornish hedges built with locally‑sourced, finely‑coursed killas bedded in and topped with earth. They are approximately one metre high. In a few places similar stone has been used to form higher mortared stone walls.
See Appendix for details of Cornish Wall construction
b. New boundaries should match existing local stone size, colour and coursing as closely as possible.
c. Particular attention should be paid to coursing, pointing and laying stonework in the traditional manner.
d. Local stone found on site or in pre‑existing walls should be reused.
e. In order to create a harmonious streetscape, boundaries should be consistent with those of neighbouring properties in terms of alignment, height, materials and character.
f. High blank walls are to be avoided. Low walls are considered very appropriate for front gardens.
Special Conditions attached to any building work
a. Verges, which in general are owned by CC, are to be retained in any development and any damage repaired before completion.
b. Services should be laid underground.
c. Contractors’ vehicles should be parked within the development site. Deliveries of materials etc should also be on site and not block the road.
d. The road is to be maintained in a clean condition and kept free of mud during development work. If necessary, it is to be repaired on completion.
In March 2005 the ODPM issued Changes to the Development Control System: Second Consultation Paper (ODPM 2005).
In a move designed to end the ‘red lining’ approach to outline applications, where a development would occur with little supporting detail, there is an expanded list of headings that adds layout, scale and access to the basic statements on use and size of development. The paper suggests that a typical application should show development zones within a site, maximum and minimum heights, lengths of buildings and access points. Broader definitions are proposed for access, landscaping, layout and scale, the latter extending beyond the current massing and height parameters to include the height, width and length of each building.
The biggest departure, however, is the need for accompanying design and access statements. These must explain how the applicant has approached the site development and should justify the design and access principles that will be used to develop a detailed scheme. The aim here is to assist community involvement and informed decision-making. (ibid., §2.14; emphasis added)
Appointment of professional consultants
It is suggested that developers consider the appointment of professional consultants, Chartered Town Planners, Chartered Surveyors, Registered Architects or Registered and Chartered Architects and Landscape Architects. They would report on the condition of buildings; their design, construction and/or conversion; inspection processes; and landscape design. Planning applications will now require the submission of greater detail, including a written statement. (FRP)