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Hopes housing design guide will halt inappropriate development in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 15:28 23 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:28 23 June 2018

Picture: Getty Images

Picture: Getty Images

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A guide to what is appropriate housing for Suffolk could help “mitigate some of the worse excesses of development” expected in the county in coming years, a housing preservation expert has said.

Director of the Suffolk Preservation Society, Fiona Cairns, said such an aid is necessary as the county faces “unprecedented levels” of housing development, she told delegates at the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Forum 2018 last week.

“We are living in an incredibly hostile development climate and seeing unprecedented levels of development in the county,” said Ms Cairns.

“By working together, we can mitigate some of the worse excesses of the development that is coming - there is a need to develop a Suffolk vernacular, so developers know what we are happy to welcome into our communities.”

Ms Cairns said she hoped an updated Suffolk Design Guide currently being worked on by a partnership of Suffolk councils will go some way to identifying the type of dwellings that will sit comfortably in areas such as the Dedham Vale AONB.

“The Suffolk vernacular is about design and scale - it’s not so much about materials - it’s how it fits into the landscape,” she added.

And buildings suitable for Suffolk’s countryside don’t have to hark back to some idyllic, bygone age, according to Ms Cairns.

She continued: “There is support for high quality, contemporary design and we need to find the good examples that are out there - we have launched a photo competition to look at contemporary design to get the debate going.”

Chairman of the joint advisory committee of the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project, Nigel Chapman, said the organisation had been discussing similar themes for some time and had decided there is a need for a piece of work that helps building developers make the right choices.

He said the organisation will soon publish a report looking into the use of colour in building development across the AONB and identifying the shades and hues that blend in best with different locations around the AONB.

He added: “The hope is it will act as a guide to developers, so they use the right colour on buildings in the designated area.”

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