A lot has changed in the planning world over the last 5 years but when it comes to promoting a suitable development site for housing, sustainability is still key. A housing site must be in a sustainable location the requirements for sustainability cannot be met through building design and the use of renewable energy alone. Sustainability remains at the core of planning policy and therefore planning officers and inspectors decisions.

What affects site sustainability?

At its most basic level sustainable is being within walking distance of:

  • Primary school
  • Convenience shop
  • Regular public transport

This typically means a site will be adjacent to existing housing or built up areas. The development then spreads organically often to natural barriers such as roads, woodland or rivers.

In-fill development within a village or town is often considered more favourably but it is still reliant on the services on offer within that settlement as to whether that location is considered sustainable.

Other factors such as adequate access and being out of the flood plain and green belt are important, but there are many sites across the country that tick these boxes.

Whether you are looking at a single home or a housing estate the sustainability of the site is the critical element of achieving an economic, environmental and social balance.

Settlement sustainability has long been considered by the local authority as they rank the settlements into categories and so researching the category of your settlement is a good starting point.  Their assessment is however not always right and there are sometimes different ways of looking at sustainability and so it’s always worth carefully assessing this.

Carver Knowles undertake free desktop site appraisals and developer promotions. If you would like to discuss a potential site in confidence and without obligation, we would be pleased to hear from you.