Planning for Place policy area

Page contents

About this policy


Avoid and reduce the number and length of trips needed by improving land use planning, travel planning and levels of digital connectivity.


To plan, design and improve local neighbourhoods and other parts of towns and villages to provide attractive environments for people, and to increase opportunities to live and work locally in order to reduce trip numbers and lengths.

Policy statement

Redesigning existing neighbourhoods and designing new ones to provide attractive local public spaces and more local community, educational, leisure and other facilities. These are termed 'Liveable Neighbourhoods' as they create great places for people to live and maximise their potential, increasing their health, wellbeing, and connection to their communities. Planning places for people and liveability leads to less travel overall and makes travel by non-car modes an easier, more attractive option. More local services within walking and cycling distance can help to reinvigorate local communities and achieve health benefits, whilst benefitting local economies. This should be supported with planning to improve accessibility by active, public, and shared modes of transport (Policy Areas: Active Travel and Personal Mobility and Public and Shared Transport).


Establish 'Liveable Neighbourhoods'

'Liveable Neighbourhoods' are neighbourhoods that recognise their importance as places for people, and not just their importance for the movement of vehicles. Key characteristics of Liveable Neighbourhoods include: Increasing the comfort, safety and accessibility of walking and cycling; creating space for community facilities like parks, gardens, play spaces and seating; creating attractive local environments and welcoming neighbourhoods that people want to live in; reducing the dominance of cars and goods vehicles resulting in improved safety, air quality and noise pollution to encourage more walking, cycling and social interactions.

Develop a Surrey 'Street Family Framework'

The Framework will provide a basis for identifying the different functions of roads in different places, recognising that, on many roads, place-based activities (such as walking, cycling, social interactions, leisure and retail) are more important, whilst also recognising that some roads have important movement functions. It will also help to identify these different functions on different roads and enable the most appropriate solutions to be implemented. Additionally, the Framework will link closely to our Healthy Streets for Surrey guidance, which will assist developers, the Boroughs and Districts, and communities in understanding what we will be seeing when considering development proposals.

Produce guidance on Healthy Streets for Surrey

Healthy Streets are streets which are safe, green, beautiful, and resilient. We will produce guidance on Healthy Streets for Surrey, to deliver high quality, attractive, safe, accessible and sustainable development, that will contribute positively alongside other design elements such as Liveable Neighbourhoods to achieve a sense of place. The guide will be aimed at better embedding health, wellbeing and sustainability into our street design. When complete, the web-based guide will allow a range of users – from residents to master planners and highway engineers – to access and understand design guidance that helps them to create streets Healthy Streets. The guide will set out our design principles for streets in Surrey to be used both in new build and retrofit areas.

Ensure that new development is focussed around sustainable mobility options

We will work with partners to ensure that new development is located to promote sustainable transport use. This will include development near to public transport routes and walking and cycling infrastructure to support the use of sustainable modes and ensure residents can access opportunities such as employment and education by walking, cycling and public transport.

Contribution to LTP4 objectives

Net zero carbon emissions: Most of our travel is to access opportunities, activities, and services such as medical appointments, education and work. If more of these can be provided more locally, it will reduce the amount of travel and distances we need to travel, and allow us to combine more journeys. Improving local walking and cycling environments and providing more opportunities and services locally will also encourage more walking and cycling, reducing carbon emissions from transport.

Sustainable growth: Evidence shows that areas with better pedestrian and cycling environments experience increased foot traffic and consequently see higher spend in local shops. Creating better local places and facilitating more local travel will enable local high streets to flourish. Shorter journeys also cost us less to make in fuel and public transport fares and are more predictable in terms of time taken.

Well-connected communities: The provision of local opportunities and services will increase, and the provision of community hubs and workspaces will open u employment, social and leisure opportunities within communities. Journeys will be made shorter, more reliable and more convenient, and lower-cost alternatives to private car journeys will enable more equal access to opportunities/services.

Clean air and excellent quality of life: Safer, more attractive environments for walking and cycling will enable more journeys by sustainable modes, improving health, air quality, road safety and noise pollution, minimising the effects of traffic on communities. More opportunities and services locally, including green spaces, employment opportunities, healthcare and retail will provide increased opportunities for leisure and socialising.


The County Council is not responsible for developing Local Plans but as the Highway Authority it is a stakeholder in the planning process. The County Council will seek to influence and shape future development to achieve the objectives of the Local Transport Plan.

Fully delivering Liveable Neighbourhoods will require coordination with Districts, Boroughs, developers and other partners. Significant land use changes are likely to take several years to fully develop. As such, we will focus on several quick wins to make significant differences to places, increasing the sense of local community and local activity. These will include:

  • Making land use changes to increase the range of activities available in existing areas, such as work hubs to support remote working
  • Establishing mobility hubs to support sustainable travel for onward journeys
  • Implementing walking and cycling schemes where there is demand
  • Making public realm improvements including reallocating existing road space for community use, such as seating for local businesses or pocket parks, gardens and play areas and piloting schemes that enable this.
  • Introducing 20 miles per hour zones and traffic management as default on roads identified in the Surrey Street Family Framework as having high importance for 'place'.

Successful delivery of 'Planning for Place' will require strong links with other Policy areas, particularly Digital Connectivity, Active Travel and Personal Mobility, Demand Management for Cars and Demand Management for Goods Vehicles.

Policy context


  • Community Vision for 2030: 'Everyone lives healthy, active and fulfilling lives, and makes good choices about their wellbeing';
  • Health and Wellbeing Strategy: Supporting people to lead healthy lives by preventing physical ill-health and promoting physical wellbeing; Supporting people's mental health and emotional wellbeing by preventing mental ill-health and promoting emotional wellbeing; Supporting people to reach their potential by addressing the wider determinants of ill-health. (this is currently being updated).
  • Surrey Climate Change Strategy: 'Shifting' to increased use of active modes.
  • Healthy Streets for Surrey: creating streets which are safe and green, beautiful and resilient (this is currently being developed). This is our street design guidance that, once published, will set out our principles for street design in Surrey.


  • LTN 1/20: Government design guidance for cycle infrastructure
  • Gear Change: Government strategy for cycling, with the ambition that walking and cycling become the natural first choice for local journeys, with half of all journeys in towns being cycled or walked by 2030. Includes ambition for walking and cycling to be at the heart of creating 'better places'.
  • Manual for streets 1 and Manual for streets 2: Government design guidance for streets with important functions for place