Building Design Guidance


Our aim is to encourage greater attention to the design of development within the Surrey Hills to ensure that its future as an AONB is not prejudiced. Sustaining landscape quality will be much easier if new developments respect the natural and built characteristics that exist already. Preparing a design statement will ensure that this occurs.

Preparing a Design Statement

The design statement is a document that supports your planning application by setting out how you have arrived at your design proposal. It should demonstrate how your proposal has incorporated basic principles of good design in the Surrey Hills AONB. This statement will be expected to accompany all planning applications in the AONB.

The design statement should include:

  • a short description of the plot, its history and its surroundings. Photographs would be helpful here
  • An explanation of how you have taken onboard the design principles
  • Illustrations of the proposed development in its surroundings

Sources of design advice

The local planning authority should be able to advise your Design Statements and what might be needed for your proposal. They should be able to advise you on reference material including;

  • ‘By Design’ (DETR/CABE 2000) is a national guide
  • ‘Surrey Design’ (SLGA 2002) is a county guide
  • Surrey Hills AONB Management Plan (2004) summarises key landscape features and landscape character areas.

The Design Principles

Respect the pattern of the settlement, its open spaces and greens
Conserve the character of the setting
Complement the scale, height and proportion of the buildings
Celebrate the detailing of the buildings and architectural features
Choose appropriate materials and finishes
Promote contemporary architecture
Value the treatment of boundaries
Use representative trees and landscape design
Cherish designated landscapes
Celebrate local distinctiveness
Be creative on access and parking

For more information download our full guide;

Building Design Guide into the Surrey Hills