Skerningham Garden Village Design Code SPD

Skerningham Garden Village is an area of land to the north of Darlington which has been earmarked in the council’s Local Plan for housing and community facilities.

This page details what the next steps are for Skerningham and how you can get involved in the shaping of this development.

Please take the time to read through the information on this page.

If you have any queries please email: [email protected].


Skerningham Area Map

The inspector has agreed the proposal in the Local Plan that up to 1,650 houses and facilities such as a GP surgery and schools could be built during the plan period up to 2036.

Beyond that date, there is scope for additional housing.

It is not envisaged that this will be a “sea of new houses”, rather a series of defined hamlets/clusters of houses with open areas between each, giving residents and visitors the chance to enjoy access to green spaces.

The inspector ruled that, before any developers can submit planning applications, the council must create and adopt a design code.

We have commissioned an independent organisation called DesigNE [external link] who will work with residents over the coming months to develop a design code for Skerningham.

What is a design code

A design code sets out expectations about the look and feel of a development to make sure a new estate reflects local character and preferences.

The design code could include:

  • The future look and feel of buildings, encouraging the best of modern design and build techniques
  • Provision of green spaces and biodiversity including protecting existing landscapes
  • Design of streets to encourage outdoor play and recreation
  • Road safety features and cycleways and footpaths
  • Climate change features such as renewable energy

The design code will ensure that Skerningham Garden Village will be developed to a high-quality standard.

You can see an example of how a local design code in Darlington could work here:

Greater Faverdale design code [pdf document].

What will a design code do

Once agreed, the design code will become part of a supplementary planning document (SPD).

The SPD is a legally binding/enforceable document that can be enforced/used by the council to ensure any planning application follows the design code and the principles it sets out.

How can you get involved with shaping the design code

This is your chance to help shape the development of this area.

There will be three face to face sessions.

Initial explanatory session

This took place on Thursday 24 March 2022 at 17:30 - 19:00.

Watch what took place at the initial session.

Relevant documents

Follow up workshops

There will be follow up workshops on:

  • 26/04/2022 - Oban Court Care Home, Whinfield, 18:00 - 20:00
  • 28/04/2022 - Harrowgate Club and Institute, 18:00 - 20:00
  • May, week commencing 16 May 2022

Who can get involved

Anyone who lives or works in Darlington, young or old, is welcome to get involved in the development of the Skerningham design code, particularly those who live close to the area.

  • If you live close to the area to be developed at Skerningham we would encourage you get involved in the development of the design code to ensure that the things you feel are important (relates to existing development, key local features etc are recognised in the code.)
  • If you live or work in Darlington young or old, we encourage you to get involved.
  • If you have moved into new development in Darlington in the last few years, we welcome your involvement. Your recent experience of your new area including your anonymous views on what is good about your place and what could have been better will be invaluable as we shape the Skerningham design code.
  • If you are a young person who may be looking to live in the Garden Village in the future and wants to influence its quality
  • If you are an employer in Darlington and are keen to ensure a good supply of quality places to attract new employees to the town.

What is the timescale of the design code

We are aiming to have the design code agreed and part of the supplementary planning document (SPD) by Autumn 2022.

  • Public consultation on the design code will begin on 24 March 2022 and end in late Spring 2022
  • Feedback from this consultation will be reviewed and included in the draft design code
  • The draft design code will be put before cabinet to agree a consultation SPD 
  • Once agreed by cabinet/council the design code will become a SPD


Public Workshops

The first public workshops have now taken place:

  • Workshop 1A took place on Tuesday 26th April 2022 at Oban Court Care Home, Whinfield.
  • Workshop 1B took place on Thursday 28th April 2022 at Harrogate Club and Institute.

Workshop 1A and 1B PowerPoint presentation [pdf document]

Post-it feedback responses for both events


Follow-up Workshops

Workshop 2 will be held on:

  • Thursday 19th May 2022, at Harrowgate Club and Institute, from 18:30 – 20:30.

Workshop 3 is currently scheduled to be held on Monday 6th June 2022. The venue is yet to be confirmed.

The outputs from Workshop 2 will feed into the work of the team of Built Environment Experts (BEEs) working on the development of the Design Code. Their responses will be fed back to attendees at Workshop 3.

If you have not already registered your interest and wish to be involved in the Public Engagement process and attend one of the forthcoming workshops, please email: [email protected]  Or call:  01325 406724 .

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