Comply or Justify

The guidelines and principles set out within The Guide are not simply aspirational or desirable; they carry material weight within the decision-making process. To this end, only those schemes which follow these principles will be positively supported.

'Permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions, taking into account any local design standards or style guides in plans or supplementary planning documents'. NPPF Para 130.

The Design Guide and best practice contained herein have been produced based on the principle of ‘comply or justify’.

In general terms, this means all new development is expected to comply with the principles as set out within this document. Proposals that follow the guidance are more likely to move through the planning process quickly and successfully.

Proposals which fail to pay regard to the guidance and the policy context will be resisted and refused when necessary.   

Where a proposal departs from any of these principles, a thorough justification will need to be provided. North Norfolk District Council does not wish to stifle creativity, innovation or exemplar designs which often bring richness and variety into the built environment. However, compelling justification for these exceptions will be a requirement during submission for planning approval.

This approach underpins the Council’s aspiration to secure only high quality development by maintaining a degree of flexibility in assessment and offering the chance for applicants or agents to justify any departures from the established best practice. It also allows for the very best examples of inspiring contemporary design to come forward.