Not many local authorities are prioritising Supplementary Planning Documents at the moment as they try to rapidly replace increasingly out-dated Development Plan policies. So it is surprising to see Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council issuing updates to an SPD already adopted.

The main change is a new Residential Amenity Design Guidance document which is appendix 16 to the Design and Sustainability SPD (with sixteen appendices to read through you don’t envy architects trying to design schemes in Basingstoke!). Few local authorities have prescriptive policies on the sizes of residential gardens (probably for fear of setting a particular size and that being exactly what is provided every time and never any bigger). Some developers however do like to know where they stand so that they can calculate exactly what they can get on a site. Also its good to see some of the favourite planning rule of thumbs still making it into these kind of documents (e.g. 20m back-to-back, the 45 degree rule on rear extensions…).

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