3. The Document and its Structure

3.1. Who is it for?

This design guide is intended to be a design manual and a working tool. It is intended for frequent reference and is an essential tool for all those charged with preparing or assessing the quality of planning applications for small sites developments.

The design guide should be read by:

Using this design guide will help to de-risk the planning process and speed up the planning process by improving the quality of planning submissions coming forward. Following this guidance will provide comfort to smaller developers who are less able to accommodate risk.

3.2. Structure of the SPD

This document is the second in a set of three documents. The first sets out the vision and context of small sites in Lewisham, while the third is an appendix with further resources and advice. This structure can be seen on the diagram opposite (figure 3).

This document is the SPD, and is split into three main sections. The first is the small sites guidance section and offers general guidance on some of the typical issues that arise when developing small sites. It covers elements of policy that small sites projects will need to comply with, including policy designations and Conservation Areas. It provides advice on the process leading up to the submission of a planning application, advice on how to prepare a design, the documents required for a small sites planning application that are needed to ensure that your application has been properly considered. Finally, it includes simple advice on how to ensure your small site development is following sustainable principles.

The second section is the small sites toolkits section. All applicants should familiarise themselves with this part, as advice from this section is referred to throughout the document. It covers general design principles that are applicable to most small site developments and provides a design toolkit of techniques and design methods for optimising the design of small sites developments. It also covers opportunities that can often be overlooked on small sites, as well as some best-practice tips that applicants should familiarise themselves with. Planning applications which optimise development opportunities and adhere to best-practice principles will be looked upon favourably by officers.

The third section, site types, identifies a series of typical site types found around Lewisham and provides specific design advice for each one. Applicants should consult this section and identify which site types their site falls under, and consult the relevant section early in the design process. It is important to note that real sites may not cleanly fall into one of these generalised site types, and applicants may be able to benefit from the advice contained within several of these site type sections.

In order to be concise, the SPD covers only the most common site types, issues and opportunities in small site development. An appendix is provided to this document that contains further resources and more specific information.