Dacorum Borough Council has completed public consultation on its Paradise Lane Design Code Draft Supplementary Planning Document for Central Hemel Hempstead.
The code developed by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design will steer the transformation of this former industrial area on the edge of Hemel Hempstead town centre to a new neighbourhood and area for workspace, increasing housing provision in the town as part of a new sustainable community and connecting it back to the town centre.
The scheme is one of the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC’s) National Model Design Code (NMDC) Phase 1 Pilots, and is the first of these projects that has followed all three stages of the NMDC process – Analysis, Vision, Code – to have reached public consultation as part of the formal adoption process.
The design code sets out a framework of requirements for new development in the Paradise and Wood Lane industrial area. The guidance established by the SPD will ensure that new development on this site is of the highest possible design quality. Its aim is to guide the delivery of a well-connected, coherent, mixed-use neighbourhood with high-quality buildings and integrated open spaces and landscaping, which will provide options for people to live and work locally and make sustainable and healthy choices, such as being able to walk or cycle.
The content of the draft SPD has been developed following an extensive engagement exercise with the wider community, which took place over the summer of 2021. Following the current consultation, Dacorum will consider the views raised and make any changes necessary before the document is formally adopted as SPD. Once adopted, the SPD will become a material consideration in determining future planning applications.
Cllr Alan Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Place at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “By preparing this Supplementary Planning Document, we will be ensuring that new development in the Paradise and Wood Lane area is of an exemplar standard of design, helping to create a high-quality neighbourhood where people live, work, play and be active.”
Jane Dann, director at Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, added “Design codes are intrinsic in creating a coherent identity for an area, particularly where the vision is for an urban neighbourhood with homes and workplaces. Mixed-use design coding, done properly, coordinates the vision and delivery of creative, vibrant new neighbourhoods, so they work well for all their users, and create attractive and sustainable places.
“The Paradise Lane Design Code public consultation is a key step towards formal adoption of a code that is already helping to inform detailed proposals for the intensification of this important edge-of-town centre area. As the first government pilot to have followed all three stages of the NMDC process – Analysis, Vision, Code – and reached public consultation as part of the formal adoption process we hope it will also provide a useful resource for other codes coming forward across the country.”