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Joint Design Guide consultation

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have been producing a new Joint Design Guide. The draft Joint Design Guide has been prepared as part of the councils’ commitment to securing high quality, sustainable development across both districts.

The Joint Design Guide sets out the steps and design principles that are to be followed when designing a scheme to submit for planning application.

It follows best practice and demonstrates how high quality and sustainable developments can be achieved. Additionally, it ensures that identity, character, heritage landscape is preserved and enhanced.

To help you understand what the guide is about and the principles it contains, we’ve created an easy to use website*.

*We are aware of some minor issues using parts of the website with some devices. If you do experience issues, please let us know at please note some of the links on the website will take you to external resources. These files are quite large and might take a few minutes to download for those on slower internet connections.

It tells you in more detail what the draft Joint Design Guide is and how it will be used as well as outlining the key design elements: place and setting; natural environment; movement and connectivity; space and layout; built form; climate and sustainability.

The Joint Design Guide is a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), and is a material consideration in determining planning applications submitted to the Council, it will be used by:

  • Planning Officers to assess the design quality of development proposals when determining planning applications and offering pre-application advice
  • council members when assessing development proposals in advance of and at planning committee
  • applicants and developers when preparing and designing schemes to submit for planning

The consultation on the draft Joint Design Guide is now CLOSED.

What happens next

We’ll take on board your comments on the draft Joint Design Guide before bringing a final version before our councils to be adopted. Once adopted, which we expect to happen in late Spring 2022, the new Guide, along with a consultation statement and a consultation summary report, will be published on South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils’ websites shortly afterwards.

Supporting documents:

Equalities Impact Assessment (PDF)

Existing Design Guides:

Our existing Design Guides for both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils can be viewed below:

The current South Oxfordshire Design Guide was adopted in 2016.

The current Vale of White Horse Design Guide was adopted in 2015.