Good design plays a key role in improving the quality of our built environment.

North Norfolk Design Guide

It was for this very reason that NNDC were one of the first councils in the country to adopt a design guide back in the 1970s. This original guide was a response to some of the inappropriate development which emerged during the mid-late 20th century and which did not necessarily reflect the strong vernacular traditions of the area.

Although having been re-drafted several times since, the guide continues to shape and inform all types of new development from housing to hanging signs. It is a supplementary planning document which forms part of the North Norfolk Local Plan and can be viewed in full using the following link:

The Design Guide offers a broad range of advice on all forms of development. However, it is often the smaller alterations which can have such a big impact. This is certainly the case with replacement windows which are probably the most commonly asked about building alteration.

Replacement Windows

Windows play a crucial part in defining our built environment and in establishing the character and appearance of individual buildings. They also tell us so much about the development of architectural tastes and styles.

As a result, when contemplating the replacement of windows, it is important that due consideration is given to the overall style and appearance of the new frames. In traditional buildings, usually flush-fitting, side-hung casements or sliding-sash windows work best. By contrast, modern stormproof casements with top-hung opening mechanisms and night vents can detract from the host building.

As replacement windows can require planning permission (usually when the proposed frames are not of similar appearance to the existing), it is recommended that a pre-application enquiry be submitted to seek the views of the Local Planning Authority.

Design Awards

Here at North Norfolk, we like to reward buildings that make a difference through their design. Hence, every year since 1982, the Council has run an annual design awards scheme which recognises those buildings and schemes which have made the biggest contribution to the District’s built environment. Previous award winners have included sensitive refurbishments of historic buildings as well as innovative new build projects.