Designing Great Places
A Design Guide for a town centre is a useful tool. It typically sets out policies and practices for a coordinated approach to the design, choice of materials, types and sizes of street furniture and signage, shopfronts, shutters, lighting, and so forth for a given area or the entire town centre. Imagine the uniform picturesqueness of towns in the Lake and Peak District; design guide 'rules' are not there to constrain but rather to protect an identity which speaks volumes about their local areas, and attracts people to them because of this.
Where this guidance is formally adopted as supplementary local planning guidance it can have quite a significant impact in creating a distinctive look and feel of more than just streets, pavements and public squares. It is a statement of agreed policies and practices which delivers a strategy into the complex world of designing our town centres, bringing together the activities of all the different agencies who have a responsibility for delivering a service affecting the appearance of the streets including cleansing and maintenance.