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Village Design Statement (VDS)

The Village Design Statement (VDS) for the Middleton on Sea Area of Special Character has been prepared as part of a nationwide initiative by the Countryside Commission to assist with the design of buildings and the contribution they make to their village environment and setting. The VDS describes the distinctiveness and characteristics of the area and expresses this in the form of specific design guidance that aims to ensure that the special characteristics of the Area are retained and that new development contributes positively to the long term future of the Area. Arun District Council (ADC) has included it as Supplementary Planning Guidance to compliment their own policies and guidance and will take this into consideration when determining planning applications submitted to them. It also underpins the basis for representations made by MOSA and the Parish Council, to ADC when consulted on planning applications within the Area. 


As such the VDS is an important document which residents, property owners and developers are encouraged to consider early in the design process of any development project and to draw this to the attention of their architects/designers and builders. The design principles (including scale. massing layout etc) for any new development project, should also be discussed with neighbours and the relevant MOSA Road Representative, to ensure that any issues can be identified and discussed ahead of Planning submission.


It is of course recognised that today not all houses on the Estate display the characteristics described within the Design Statement and that unlike a Conservation Area, the controls on development are less restrictive. However, it is the features set out in the VDS and ADC's own character assessment, that predominately give the Area its Special Character and as such the principles and guidance set out should be seen as a design basis for future building, alteration or extension.


The guiding principles are as follows:-


  • Three storey buildings are not in keeping with the character and must be avoided.

  • The characteristic mix of building materials should be maintained and match those of existing buildings.

  • Semi-detached pairs of buildings have distinctive proportions that should not be spoiled by insensitive alterations and additions.

  • Roofs should be of thatch or traditional clay tiles with steep pitches and low eaves.

  • Skylights should sit flush with the roof and be avoided in front elevations. 

  • Dormer windows should not dominate the roof and should be of similar size or smaller than the windows below with pitched roofs.

  • The inclusion of chimneys in new designs and the retention of existing chimneys are encouraged.

  • Timber weatherboarding should be retained; white uPVC is not considered appropriate

  • Exterior walls should be rendered and painted in traditional pastel colours.

  • The use of traditional timber or metal window frames is encouraged.

  • Replacement windows should be in keeping with the original design. Modern crittal metal casement windows are available.

  • Porches should enhance the original house and external doors should be in keeping with the original design

  • The Beach Huts are of historical importance to the Area and must be retained in their original form.



Furthermore the guidance specifically seeks to ensure that any new building works, should:


  • Be of the highest quality,

  • Be in keeping with the scale of existing developments and be well related to adjacent buildings and space,

  • Retain the existing pattern of low density properties set well back from the road,

  • Maintain the existing overall pattern of street scene, roofscape, and tree cover,

  • Encourage and preserve boundary hedges and flint walls,

  • Ensure that the orientation maintains the privacy enjoyed by neighbouring properties and seek to minimise overshadowing,

  • Ensure that conservatories are designed and located with care,

  • Be accompanied, preferably, with a perspective drawing to show the relationship with existing buildings and street scene,

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the local context in its use of materials, design, style detailing, layout and form,

  • Seek to avoid the demolition or part demolition of existing buildings of merit,

  • Have a high standard of landscaping which retains, where possible, any existing

  • planting,

  • Have the area in front of buildings substantially soft landscaped,

  • Make use of existing vehicular accesses,

  • Pay regard to the treatment of front boundaries and their contributions to the overall street scene,

  • Have sufficient car parking sited sensitively so as not to detract from the visual amenities of the area or soft landscaped areas beside and in front of buildings.

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