Public Realm Design Guide for Taunton Garden Town

Closed 16 Aug 2021

Opened 5 Jul 2021


We are now re-consulting the public and all stakeholders on the draft Public Realm Design Guide for Taunton Garden Town which is a document illustrating the Council’s aspirations for maintaining and improving the public realm design quality across the Taunton Garden Town area. The consultation is taking place from 5 July to 16 August 2021.  

The purpose of the document is to raise the standard of the public realm and streetworks consistently across our Garden Town. The draft design guide is aimed at improving the design quality of public realm and street works by the highway authority, developers, utility companies and their agents and contractors. It also attempts to show how current principles of highway design and layout can be incorporated into good placemaking.   

The draft Public Realm Design Guide for Taunton Garden Town is intended to be adopted by Somerset West and Taunton Council as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and will be a material consideration when determining planning applications and will inform discussions with our statutory consultees. The updated document addresses the responses received to date and the increasing need to emphasise the role that design can play in reducing carbon emissions towards meeting net zero targets. Whilst this consultation relates to the whole draft Public Realm Design Guide, the following sections of the document have been amended or altered as a result: 

  • Section 1 – Introduction – this includes an expanded section on the nature of the guide for the Garden Town public realm (i.e. not a full highway technical guide). It also clarifies it as being for existing as well as new streets. The section also amplifies the role the public realm plays in responding to the climate emergency and recent Somerset Climate Emergency Strategy and SWTC Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilient Action Plan. The section adds more detail on relationship to national Planning Practice Guidance on Local Design Guides and relevant material in the new National Design Guide. 
  • Section 2 – Materials and Components – this includes refined street lighting standards to include a General Standard Conservation Areas – this explains that Town or Core Standard may be applied by the Conservation Officer in these areas.  
  • Section 3 – Illustrative layouts – this includes a revised section to provide an approach to cycle facilities at Outer Gateway junctions to conform in principle with recent Local Transport Note and, where relevant, the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges national guidance. 

Why your views matter

We are now re-consulting on the draft Public Realm Design Guide and are keen to hear your views on the entire document and the changes identified above. All previous comments have been considered. 

In supplementing adopted policy, the Public Realm Design Guide SPD 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 their schemes. 

We are therefore running a six-week consultation on the draft Public Realm Design Guide to seek formal comments on this important planning guidance document. Responses to the proposals in this consultation document will inform the final version of the SPD which is planned to be reported to the Council for adoption in Autumn 2021. 

What happens next

Following consultation, the intention is for the final version of the Taunton Garden Town Public Realm Design Guide (taking account of comments received in the consultation) to be considered by Executive Committee and then Full Council for adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document and a material planning consideration. Depending on the numbers and detail of consultation responses, the earliest that the Statement might come back to Executive would be Autumn 2021.


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • carbon neutrality
  • renewable energy
  • recycling
  • settlement tiers
  • garden town
  • rural centre
  • distribution of housing
  • site selection
  • new homes
  • affordable housing
  • gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople
  • accessible housing
  • lifetime homes
  • self-build
  • economic growth
  • economic development
  • employment land
  • town centre vitality
  • retail
  • health
  • social interaction
  • lifestyle
  • leisure
  • natural environment
  • built environment
  • deprivation
  • somerset west and taunton council
  • aims and objectives
  • natural environment
  • built environment
  • public realm
  • protected areas
  • waterways
  • air quality
  • rural
  • coastal
  • urban
  • new development
  • community infrastructure levy (CIL)
  • telecommunications
  • water and sewerage
  • transport