Village design statements

Village design statements are guidelines intended to assist people who are thinking about the design of proposed developments, whether it is, for example, an alteration to an existing property, street furniture or the construction of new dwellings or commercial premises. A village design statement is not about whether development should take place but about how development should be undertaken so as to respect local identity; it is about managing change in a settlement, not preventing it.


Who produces village design statements?


Village design statements are produced by people living in the area to which the statement relates. The process of drawing up village design statements is led by local people and not by the Local Planning Authority. Local people are best placed to identify local character and distinctiveness which could help to improve the general quality of design. Local people are able to describe the setting, pattern and shape of a settlement, the nature of buildings and spaces, local materials, landmarks, unique qualities and special features.


What is the purpose of village design statements?


The purpose of village design statements is to improve and encourage better quality design in towns and villages and are useful for all types of development not only that requiring planning purposes.

The Local Planning Authority may endorse a village design statement as a material planning consideration in determining planning applications as long as the statement complies with national and local planning policy. Where a village design statement has been endorsed by Local Planning Authority it will be seen to carry more weight when planning applications are being determined or at appeal.


What is an effective village design statement?


An effective village design statement is:

  • developed, researched, written and edited by local people
  • representative of the views and is produced by a wide section of the local community
  • describes the visual character of the settlement
  • demonstrates how local character and distinctiveness may be integrated into new development
  • compatible with the statutory planning system (local and national policy)


Who has already produced a village design statement?


A number of communities within Arun have already produced village design statements:

Arundel Village Design Statement.pdf [pdf] 5MB

East Preston Village Design Statement.pdf [pdf] 3MB

Middleton on Sea Village Design Statement.pdf [pdf] 8MB

Pagham Village Design Statement.pdf [pdf] 3MB

Rustington Village Design Statement.pdf [pdf] 3MB


Further Information

If you would like further advice about producing a village design statement please contact Arun District Council’s Conservation Officer or Planning Services on 01903 737785.