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 Village Design Statement for Kirkby Malzeard 

The design statement is now complete, to view it in PDF format on line click here

...and here is how it happened....

Harrogate Borough Council suggested that Kirkby Malzeard should have a Village Design Statement and a group met for over six months to develop this.

I hope the information below gives you some idea of what the group were trying to produce. It was planned that the VDS should be published during 2000.

Meetings were held at least once per month and all were welcome to attend and provide comment, suggestions and input - the group was definitely not exclusive! The first 'public outing' and general discussion of the work took place in the Mechanics' Institute on 29th January. Thanks to those of you who came along to give your suggestions.

Thanks to all who took the time to complete and return the questionnaires. A summary was compiled and was taken into consideration when the draft V.D.S. was written.

For further information contact Alan Coppock.

First of all - what is a Village Design Statement (VDS)? To give you some idea of what was trying to be achieved, set out below are some extracts from the Advisory Booklet dealing with the development of this document.

"The Countryside Commission believes that the rich and varied character of rural settlements forms an important part of the beauty and distinctiveness of the English Countryside. The Commission also believes that this character is under increasing threat from standardisation and poor design. In 1993, we published Design in the Countryside, which focused on the themes of regional diversity, local distinctiveness, and the harmony between buildings, settlements and the wider landscape setting. It proposed, as one of two new mechanisms for understanding and influencing rural design, the preparation of Village Design Statements.

The purpose of Village Design Statements is to manage change, whether that change is major new development or just cumulative, small-scale additions and alterations. They are not about whether development should take place; that is a job for the local plan. Their concern is about how planned development should be carried out, so that it is in harmony with its setting and contributes to the conservation and, where possible, enhancement, of the local environment.

A VDS is important to local people because:

  • It sets out the character of the village in a way that will encourage locally distinctive design;
  • It gives the community a recognised voice in the planning processes that affect the visual quality of the village;
  • It supports and strengthens the role of the parish council when consulted over planning applications;
  • It is a representative view of the local people of the character of the village;
  • It demonstrates local commitment to high quality design and appropriate development that will improve the quality of the life of the village;
  • It contributes to securing a thriving and viable future for the village;
  • It enables local priorities to be considered in the development process;
  • It enables local people to be able to respond in an informed and professional manner to planning and development proposals in the village; and
  • It is applicable to all villages and settlements, not just conservation or specially designated areas.

The suggested analysis of information for the VDS structure is:

  1. Introduction * What the VDS is and its aims and objectives. * The local planning context into which the VDS will fit.
  2. The village context * A brief description of geographic and historical background. * A short description of the village as it is today; the people, economics and future prospects. * Any special considerations that affect development pressures in the village, such as tourism etc.
  3. The character of the landscape setting * The visual character of the surrounding countryside. * The relationship between the surrounding countryside and the village edges. * The relationship between the village and any special landscape features, such as ancient monuments, woodlands or nature reserves. * Buildings seen in the landscape eg farm buildings.
  4. Settlement pattern character * Overall pattern of village, district zones and layouts. * Character of streets and routes through the village. * Character and pattern of open spaces in the village and connections with the wider countryside. * The relationship between buildings and spaces.
  5. Buildings and spaces in the village * The character of distinct areas of building types in the village. * The height, scale and density of buildings. * The mixture of sizes, styles and types of buildings. * Hedges, walls and fences. * Distinctive village features, materials or building details.
  6. Highways and traffic * Characteristics of local roads and streets. * Footpaths, cycleways and parking. * Street furniture, utilities and services."

For further information contact Alan Coppock.