What is urban design?

Urban design is about shaping cities, towns and villages to be attractive places to live and work in. This includes both how places look and how they function.

Urban design involves the design of buildings, groups of buildings and the spaces between them. It also considers how places are connected and how people move between them.

Successful urban design creates development that complements its setting whilst ensuring good design. The council encourages good urban design in a variety of ways, including:

  • Providing design advice in relation to planning applications and pre-application enquiries.
  • Assessing the quality of completed developments.
  • Providing design advice in relation to the development and regeneration of council owned land.
  • Helping shape planning policy as part of the emerging Local Plan, the document which will guide future development in the borough.
  • Providing design advice and planning guidance on possible development sites in the form of design briefs and concept statements.
  • Helping to manage the North East Hampshire Architects' Panel, an independent group of architects who provide expert advice to the council on key development proposals.

Our Commitment to Creating Good Quality Places

The leaflet below highlights some of the ways in which the council helps the achievement of high quality design.

PDF document Our commitment to creating good quality places(PDF) [372 kb]

Design Quality Initiative

The council recognises that well designed places are important to ensure a high standard of living for its residents. It therefore takes proactive steps to ensure that high standards of design are achieved in both the rural and urban areas of the borough. This is called the Design Quality Initiative.

The council is committed to achieving the highest standards of design and as such has adopted a design charter. It sets out the core principles which guide the work of the Design Quality Initiative.

Cllr Simon Bound, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Planning and Infrastructure, is the Lead Councillor for Design. This role is to advocate the importance of good design at a strategic level and ensure that design issues play a central role in the development of the council's policies and strategies.


PDF document Design Quality Charter(PDF) [53 kb]

Contact details

Urban Design Team

Telephone: 01256 845492

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Friday
    8.30am to 4.30pm