Housing design

Good housing design contributes to a safe, attractive and healthy borough comprised of interesting and environmentally friendly buildings which are sympathetic to Doncaster’s character and which improve the quality of local neighbourhoods for the benefit of the community and environment.

Key planning policies relating to residential design are set out in the

These policies encourage a high standard of residential design, which is a key aim of the Borough Strategy and Housing Strategy. Core Strategy policy CS14 requires new housing developments to meet Building for Life. In certain instances the council will also require Secure by Design standards to be met.

South Yorkshire residential design guide

The South Yorkshire Residential Design Guide
Download (3.48MB)

The guide:

  • has been prepared to help applicants meet the Building for Life criteria and the requirements of policy CS14
  • sets out urban design and detailed highway design guidance and is used by the council in the appraisal of residential schemes
  • is for use by residential developers and their design professionals, consultants and agents in formulating designs and making applications for planning permission for residential development in South Yorkshire
  • is underpinned by the principles in Building for Life, and is aimed generally at developments of 10 or more dwellings, but many of the design guidelines are appropriate to smaller developments
  • incorporates planning, design and highway responsibilities and is intended to provide a clear and consistent approach to housing design in the development management process

Building for Life

Building for Life is the industry standard, endorsed by Government, for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods that local communities, local authorities and developers use to stimulate conversations about creating good places to live.  Core Strategy policy CS14 requires new developments to meet Building for Life.

The Building for Life questions reflect our vision of what new housing developments should be: attractive, functional and sustainable places. Redesigned in 2012, the standard is based on the new National Planning Policy Framework and the commitment to build more homes that are better designed.

National Planning Policy Framework
Download (758KB)

The Building for Life questions are designed to help structure discussions between local communities, the local planning authority, the developer of a proposed scheme and other stakeholders.  It is also designed to help local planning authorities assess the quality of proposed and completed developments. The relationship between the council’s LDF design policy, Building for Life and the South Yorkshire Residential Design Guide can be found in the table below:

Links between residential design policy and guidance
Download (281KB)

Development Guidance and Requirements SPD

This document sets out guidance to help implement policies set out in the adopted development plan. In particular, it sets out detailed requirements and guidelines against which planning applications will be judged, as part of an assessment of wider planning considerations in relation to a site.

It reflects and summarises key housing design requirements and also includes guidance on commercial design, the historic environment, transport and access, green infrastructure, biodiversity, geodiversity and ecology, open space, landscape, trees and hedgerows.

The Residential Backland and Infill development Supplementary Planning Document

The Residential Backland and Infill development SPD contains design guidance specifically in relation to smaller scale infill and backland development. Where the development is in a conservation area several of our conservation areas appraisals give a more detailed context for the backland / infill development. Some have development control guides which would be useful to consult.

Examples of applications that broadly meet the council’s design policy and guidance

The following applications are considered good examples of major housing proposals that broadly meet the council’s design policy and guidance.  The application files, Design and Access Statements, and plans, can be viewed online by entering the application numbers (highlighted bold below) into the planning applications online search page and clicking on ‘associated documents’.

  • 13/01424/FULM Former Askern Colliery, full application for c220 homes 
  • 10/00312/OUTA Carr Lodge: outline application for c1200 home urban extension 
  • 13/00073/REMM Carr Lodge: phase 1 detailed application c300 homes 
  • 12/02500/REMM Civic and Cultural Quarter housing c100 homes 
  • 12/02133/FULM Grange Farm hybrid application c600 homes 
  • 12/00563/FULM and 13/01281/4FULM Willow Grove application c70 homes 
  • 11/03419/4FULM Thomson and Dixon full application for housing and extra-care facility 
  • 11/02679/FULM Granby Estate redevelopment, full application for 388 homes 
  • 12/00555/FULM former Golden Fleece hotel, full application 20 apartments 
  • 11/03396/FULM Hallgate, Mexborough- full application for 16 homes 
  • 10/03535/4FULM Six Streets, Hyde Park full application for 123 homes 
  • 11/00719/REMM Manor Farm phase 1, reserved matters application for 276 homes
  • 10/03539/4FULM Kirby Street, Mexborough, full application for 39 homes

Other Documents

Doncaster housing vernacular project - this student project aims to demonstrate how using local details (such as windows, doors and chimneys) can improve the appearance of new housing to develop place-specific, locally inspired and distinctive design advocated by the Council.

Doncaster housing vernacular project
Download (1.99MB)

Urban Design Lessons: Housing Layout and Neighbourhood Quality (Dec 2013) - this short report from the Homes and Communities Agency explores lessons learnt from 100 design proposals and financial data submitted for the DPP2 panel procurement. The report shows that good urban design does not have to cost more and can have many benefits, including increasing the value of developments. Key urban design principles are illustrated by layout examples, demonstrating good practice and areas for consideration.

Urban Design Lessons (Dec 2013)
Download (1.98MB)

Further information:


Last updated: 30 November 2021 16:14:05