High Weald

colour study image edited 1New guidance has been launched to help integrate property development into the landscape of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) using colour, tone and texture to reinforce a strong ‘sense of place’ and local distinctiveness.

The Environmental Colour Assessment – or ‘Colour Study’ – was commissioned by the High Weald AONB Partnership with support from the area’s local authorities, in response to a significant increase in the amount and scale of development within the area in recent years.

The Colour Study, produced by Jem Waygood, documents the existing colours in the High Weald landscape and provides advice on what colours can be used in new development to help to integrate it into the landscape successfully.

This includes practical advice on different materials and suppliers to assist developers in the early stages of the design process, and to help local planning authorities in determining applications. The information is also relevant to single new-build dwellings or homeowners planning an extension to an existing building.

The Colour Study captures the colours and tones of the High Weald, creating three palettes of colours that are sympathetic to the landscape:

  • The overall High Weald Character Area;
  • Coast and Lower River Catchment;
  • Woodland and Wooded Heath.

The study also created four palettes of interpretative colours, based on the characteristic local elements of Iron, Clay, Wood and Water.

Jason Lavender, High Weald co-director, said: “As the High Weald faces increasing development pressure, it has become clear that generic and inappropriate housing design can have a significant impact on the local distinctiveness of the AONB and contribute to a sense of urbanisation in the countryside.

“The main objective of the Colour Study is to ensure that the use of colour in new development contributes to the conservation and enhancement of the AONB by maintaining and reinforcing local distinctiveness, and establishing a strong ‘sense of place’ within the buildings of the area. We are also working with Design South East on a Design Guide for housing developments in the High Weald AONB which will sit alongside the Colour Study, and we will publish this for consultation next spring.”

Download the High Weald AONB Colour Study:
High Weald AONB Colour Study

Read more:
Planning in the High Weald AONB