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What is good design?

What is good design?

The long-standing, fundamental principles for good design are that it is: fit for purpose; durable; and brings delight (Vitruvius).

To achieve good design in the National Park you will need to understand the site and its context and you should follow a logical design process based on this evidence, as set out in the Landscape–led Design Flow Chart.

Design Priorities

  1. The preservation and enhancement of the National Park’s built heritage is critically important to this Authority and will always need to influence the design of any development that might affect it.
  2. Equally, the Authority sees the connected themes of conserving and enhancing biodiversity; enhancing and linking green infrastructure; and bringing people closer to nature as a significant design priority for all types of new development.

The Authority is also very committed to new development meeting high sustainable development standards, both mitigating and adapting to predicted climate change.

Helpful links

Watch the video below to find out more about how good design can be achieved in the South Downs National Park.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."