1.0 Our villages all occupy a unique position in the surrounding countryside, and have evolved overhundreds ofyears to suit the needs and circumstances ofthe people who lived there through the ages. As a result ofthis,we are naturally drawn to the elements that make our own village different from others, and those things that make it unique.

1.1 More recently, volume house building and standardisation has failed to reflect both the subtle and obvious elements that create this local distinctiveness. Coupled with this, political ideology, personal tastes and cultural changes have all played theirpart in the design of buildings. It is now recognised that local distinctiveness is vital in helping to integrate new development and in creating sustainable communities. This can be achieved through an understanding of local character, and ensuring that this understanding is shared with anyone considering development.

1.2 A Village Design Statement (VDS) is such a method. It is intended to explain the context or character of the village so that anyone who is considering any form of development in the village - no matter how large or small - can do it sympathetically. The VDS covers relatively straightforward work such as replacing doors and windows as well as more significant work such as building extensions and complete new buildings. It sets out the elements that make up character in orderto improve the quality of design in any new development.

1.3 The description of local character in this VDS is not intended to be prescriptive - new development should not be designed to "look old". Instead the VDS should be used as inspiration to design new modern development that is respectful to its surroundings. In this context, that means using the appropriate building materials and architectural styles, and respecting the importance of spaces, building orientation, juxtaposition and size. Overall, new development should look new, and should not slavishly copy the old buildings. However, new development should "fit in" with the context of the village.

1.4 The VDS is written so that all developers can avoid lengthy discussion in the planning application process, as the design context is clearly set out from the beginning. Where design is not respectful to the village, the VDS can be used as evidence to justify the refusal of planning permission. It can also be used to demonstrate that a proposed development is in character and may therefore support a planning application.

1.5 Therefore the Local Planning Authority welcomes early discussion with anyone considering undertaking any work so that a consensus can be achieved, and local character can be maintained.

The Riccall VDS

1.6 Riccall is a traditional Selby village set at the junction of the main Selby-York road (A19), and the Cawood-Bubwith Road. Recently bypassed the village has adjusted and reverted to its quiet agricultural character.

1.7 The traditional architecture around a wide main street and small village green remains, but more recently development has elongated the main routes into the village in a ribbon style. More recently still, volume house building has suburbanised Riccall with numerous infill developments of between 10 and 100 houses.

1.8 The character of Riccall remains very strong, and modern development should adopt those strong local features of layout, materials and details, and avoid the use of "anywhere" development styles. As such, the Riccall VDS concentrates on the traditional core of the village.