A design code provides detailed design guidance for a site or area; they prescribe design requirements (or ‘rules’) that new development within the specified site or area should follow.
They can include requirements for built form (e.g. setting out a range of building types and how buildings should interact with the street), landscape, open space, and movement (e.g. access and ease of pedestrian movement), etc.
Design codes are useful where there is a desire to:
- coordinate design outcomes across large or complex sites to deliver a vision that the local community wants to see;
- ensure consistency across large sites which may be in multiple ownership and/or where development is to be phased and more than one developer and design team is likely to be involved.
You can find more information on design codes within the Planning Practice Guidance at gov.uk