Design Codes

The Localism Bill and Neighbourhood Planning came into being because, too often, adopted planning policies do not deliver their intended outcomes. 


We believe it is time to move our attention towards the effectiveness of planning and design policies - their clarity, detail and legal teeth – to ensure they deliver what local people worked on, and indeed, often voted for. A well-run design workshop or charrette is a very effective dialogue and co-design process. It allows many different brains to work together in an open and inspiring environment. 

In our view, design codes are the tool and design workshops/ design charrettes are the co-design process. Both are essential in delivering a Localism that is genuinely collaborative and effective.


Design codes are planning policy tools with more teeth, firming up place and building quality standards by making them legally binding.Neighbourhood Development Orders and Local Development Orders are the natural fit for site-specific design codes in our view. 


We have co-developed design codes with our clients through design workshops, tested the draft codes through the use of interactive 3D models, and provided the necessary link to planning policy or detailed design stages. 



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"I commend the quality and the clarity of aspirations set out in the Design Principles and Code - it is some of the best design guidance         I have seen and is particularly well illustrated." 

John Slater | Independent Examiner

Civic Centre Opportunity Sites Masterplan,Design Code Testing and Charrette with Look!      
St Albans and CCOS Development Partnership, St Albans
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