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What stage of the SPD preparation is the council at now?
The consultation draft of the emerging SPD already carries some weight in planning decisions. All comments and information received as part of public consultation are now being carefully analysed and will help to inform the final SPD. We will publish a summary of feedback received (no personal information will be published) and how it was taken into account in the revised SPD. It is expected that the SPD will be adopted in the summer 2021.
What will be the status of the SPD once it is adopted?
As a published draft, the emerging SPD already carries some weight in planning decisions. Once the SPD is adopted, in addition to satisfying the requirements of national, regional and local planning policies, development proposals will also need to demonstrate how the guidance in this SPD has been taken into account. The document can also be used by anyone who is interested in understanding how design can play a role in ensuring that residential developments respect and enhance local character.
Where will the SPD’s guidance apply once the document is adopted?
The Central Area Good Growth SPD will primarily be a material consideration for residential-led developments on small sites located in the Central Area of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The SPD may also provide guidance that is applicable for residential developments on small sites located elsewhere in the borough. For the purposes of the SPD, small sites are defined as those of up to 0.25 hectares. Developments may include roof/rear extensions to existing buildings and new build developments. The guidance will therefore apply to both extensions to existing dwellings as well as the creation of new dwellings. Developments may be as small as one residential unit and there is no defined upper limit - although it is expected that in most small sites this will be up to around 40 units. The document can also be used by anyone who is interested in understanding how design can play a role in ensuring that residential developments respect and enhance local character
How is the document being developed?
After an early stage public consultation (in the form of an Online survey and Microsoft Teams Q&A session) in September 2020, and a series of workshops, we have developed guidelines in collaboration with residents, council services, Members, developers, architects, officers and experts in a range of fields. The council is now consulting on the first full draft of the SPD. The design guidance was informed by an updated character appraisal of the different neighbourhoods in the Central Area, including considerations on existing scale, urban grain and typologies. The project team also undertook an analysis of examples of small-scale housing developments from Tower Hamlets and wider London, to understand how they can be designed in a way that respects and enhances local character. The council then consulted on the first full draft of the SPD between 11th January and 21st February 2021 and is in the process of analysing the feedback received and is now revising the document.