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Design Quality Framework

Introduction

The Design Quality Framework is an ambitious project to provide both the information and processes needed to improve design within the city. Our aims and objectives are:

  • Improving design quality by providing clear guidance, benchmarks and design quality expectations.

  • Accelerating the planning process by providing clear and consistent guidance on processes, submission requirements and support available. Also encouraging applicants and designers to engage in pre-application discussions.

  • Overcoming communication barriers between communities and professionals by describing core design principles in a simple, accessible way.

    Download the overview guide here


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What the Design Quality Framework does?

  • Reflects national, regional and local policy.

  • Lays out design and planning processes and submission requirements.

  • Sets ambitions and expectations for design quality.

  • Establishes thresholds for design quality.

  • Provides strong guidance for design quality from feasibility stage through to post-occupancy.

  • Describes the appraisal criteria for the various stages of the planning process.

Sets a framework for improving:

  • Place quality.

  • The quality of life, health and wellbeing of users, consumers and the general public.

  • Existing assets, especially those with heritage value.


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What it cannot do

  • Ignore adopted plans, frameworks and other legislation.

  • Limit design freedom and innovation.

  • Assume compromises in quality can be achieved on the basis of financial viability or economic gains.

  • Appraise design quality on the basis of stylistic preferences.

  • Be applied retrospectively to planning permissions granted prior to the launch of the relevant DQF document.