Supporting local authorities and neighbourhood planning groups to develop design codes, as part of the Design Code Pathfinder Programme.
What is a design code?
They are a set of concise illustrated design requirements providing the parameters for the development of a site or area to deliver more predictable design outcomes.
These codes are tailored to local conditions and priorities, which seek to support well-designed places by:
- Enhancing local character
- Supporting vibrant and healthy communities
- Addressing the climate emergency
Learnings and materials
Drawing on the learnings from the Design Code Pathfinder Programme, we have developed a selection of mixed-media learning materials.
These are to help coding teams understand the steps and process of developing a design code and offer advice and guidance for every stage of the coding process – including materials teams can use to bring stakeholders and communities on board.
These materials have been produced by, and feature, a wide range of experts in the field including local authorities and neighbourhood planning groups who participated in the programme. Their voices have informed the creation of our multi-media learning materials allowing you to learn about the journey of these teams.
Road to design codes
An interactive flow chart that breaks down the design coding process into a series of steps.
This tool offers a good starting place when developing a design code. It is based on the coding stages as outlined in the National Model Design Code and is therefore useful for navigating the complex coding process for teams of different scales and with different starting points.
You can also download a PDF version of the road map.
Design Code Pathfinder Programme: Conversations and Insights
We did interviews with Pathfinders who were each coding at different scales and in different contexts. The interviews cover the details of each Pathfinder’s code, the process they took, their challenges and learnings.
This series of articles covers topics critical to the coding process, drawing on Pathfinders’ coding experience to offer advice and practical steps for teams to consider. They will help you shape your coding process and approach.
Click on any of the tiles to read one of the three conversations or four insight stories.
A presentation deck on the benefits of design codes designed to make compelling arguments to bring communities and stakeholders on board.
Slides are tailored to several key audiences including local community, councillors, development management officers and planning officers, highways authorities and developers. Coding teams can amend and fine-tune the presentation to fit their particular needs and audience.
Design Code Pathfinder Programme
In 2022 the Design Council worked with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Office for Place, providing design advice and support to 25 selected pathfinders.
Made up of local authorities and neighbourhood planning groups they developed design codes to help raise the quality of the built environment in their local area.
They built on the experience of 16 previous participants who took part in the National Design Code Pilot Programme (NPFF) in 2021.
As a result of the programme we developed a selection of mixed-media learning materials to help coding teams understand the steps and process of developing a design code and offer advice and guidance for every stage of the coding process.