1. What is this Document
1.1. What is this document?
This document is a supplementary planning document (SPD) providing advice and guidance for anyone involved in preparing or reviewing planning applications for residential development on a small site in Lewisham.
1.2. Purpose of this section
This section outlines the purpose of the design guide and the value of good design when developing a small site. It explains how to use the document, its structure and who it is intended for as well as its aims.
1.3. What is a supplementary planning document (SPD)?
A supplementary planning document (SPD) provides advice and guidance on the implementation of policies and proposals contained in Lewisham’s Local Plan. SPDs are prepared in line with the National Planning Policy Framework and Regulations 11 to 16 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.
1.4. What is a small site?
Small sites are any that fall below 0.25 hectares in size. That is 2,500 square metres (sqm), or just under a third of the size of a standard football pitch. Note that the guidance contained in this document is also applicable for the development of sites which are marginally above this figure, however.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that local authorities should promote small sites developments as “Small and medium sized sites can make an important contribution to meeting the housing requirement of an area, and are often built-out relatively quickly.” (NPPF, paragraph 68). Meanwhile the London Plan says that “Boroughs should pro-actively support well-designed new homes on small sites (below 0.25 hectares in size) through both planning decisions and plan-making” (London Plan, Policy H2a).
Lewisham needs to build on average 16,670 new homes over the next 10 years, with 3,790 of these coming from small sites. These sites vary in character, ownership and existing usage, but they can be found across Lewisham and encouraging them to be developed to provide new homes is vital to meeting these targets.
1.5. Why have an SPD on small sites?
The SPD has a number of aspirations:
- Deliver more homes, including those that are genuinely affordable
- Ensure that Lewisham achieves its annual housing targets and meets the government’s Housing Delivery Test
- Diversify the housing supply to make it more open to smaller operators – Lewisham is currently heavily reliant on large strategic sites delivered by large housebuilders
- Encourage local builders and developers to build within Lewisham thus stimulating the local economy and creating local jobs
- Increase density/critical mass within our underdeveloped areas to help support local centres
- Help coordinate the delivery of infrastructure within the south of our borough through the collection of CIL and S106 contributions
The emerging Local Plan is introducing an affordable homes contribution for small sites for the first time which again will help deliver Lewisham’s home building programme.
In the diagram on the next page are the key objectives that have guided the production of this document.