Design Codes and Plot Passports

KEY LEARNING POINTS

  • Design Codes are particularly useful for developments involving ten or more homes

  • They should not be overly prescriptive – private homebuilders want to have a say in the design of their home, so Codes should not micro-manage their designs

  • A good Design Code should allow for design variation, creativity, innovation and originality; it will also specify what is mandatory and what is optional. Where possible they should be style neutral so they can deliver contemporary or traditional architecture and they should also allow for advanced methods of construction

  • Councils should promote Design Codes through the neighbourhood planning process – communities that want to encourage private homebuilding through neighbourhood plans can employ a Design Code to ensure homes are well designed and fit into the local area

  • ‘Plot Passports’ have a role to play alongside Design Codes – they are a simple way of helping private homebuilders understand what they can build on a site

INTRODUCTION

Design Codes can play an important role on private homebuilding sites. They reduce risk, provide certainty, drive-up design quality and give the private homebuilder flexibility to design the home they want by permitting freedom of design within some high-level rules. Councils and developers are increasingly using them when they bring forward new policies and projects. They are widely used internationally and are also encouraged by the UK Government as a useful tool to help deliver design quality. Their use is also likely to feature as part of the new ‘Right to Build’ policy, when this is finalised.

WHAT ARE DESIGN CODES?

Design Codes are a well-established, voluntary, tool to help achieve consistently better quality development. They vary quite a lot, but they typically consist of written and graphic rules that establish, with some precision, the two and three dimensional design elements of a proposed development. They can also advise on the preferred form and layout of new development across a wider area.

Given these characteristics, Design Codes are not policy documents, and they should not be confused with design briefs, masterplans or ‘Plot Passports’.  Neither should they be confused with land use, area-wide, zoning regulations, which characterise many planning systems in Europe, the United States, Australia or elsewhere.

Design Codes can be applied to single plots, but are most useful for larger multi-plot projects. They can be produced by either the local planning authority, or by a developer/landowner and they can be implemented through planning permissions, and Local Development Orders, as well as through neighbourhood planning.

Design Codes are becoming increasingly popular and are actively encouraged by the Government. More than one in three councils have had Codes produced, either through commissioning them (or requiring them as part of a planning application), or through developers voluntarily submitting them. Many councils also actively encourage their use in their Local Plans.

Design Codes have, to date, been mostly associated with larger development projects, to support masterplans. They are now also starting to be used for private homebuilding projects to help improve their design quality while still giving private homebuilders the flexibility they want to build an individually designed home to suit their needs. They can also help reduce the workload on a council planning department because compliance with the Code can be easily assessed using a checklist approach.

Policy Context

National planning policy and guidance proactively encourages and sets the framework for the use of Design Codes, including their use for private homebuilding projects. The key elements are summarised in Annex 1 at the end of this Briefing Note.

The Government’s consultation on the ‘Right to Build: Supporting Custom and Self Build’ proposed that sites that come forward should at least have outline planning permission and be serviced with basic infrastructure in place. It set out several approaches councils could employ to do this, including the use of Local Development Orders to streamline planning permissions. To avoid each private homebuilder needing their own detailed planning application the Government has said that, in such circumstances, local planning authorities should use a Design Code on multi-plot sites to clearly set out what form of development is preapproved.

Further details on the Government’s ‘Right to Build’ are set out in our Briefing Notes on Registers and assessing demand and How the planning system can generate opportunities.

About

This is one of many Briefing Notes that explain resourcing, planning, land, finance, demand, marketing, consumer support and various technical issues. To see the full range of guidance click here.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Toolkit made the following definitions: -

NOTE

This Briefing Note will be revised when the Regulations to support the commencement of the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 and the Government’s Right to Build policy are finalised.

WHY USE A DESIGN CODE TO HELP MANAGE PRIVATE HOMEBUILDING?

According to a survey undertaken by the industry most would-be private homebuilders want a reasonable amount of freedom to design a home that meets their needs and aspirations
 

“75 per cent of people would not choose a home built in the last 10 years”

From ‘The Case for Space : the size of England’s new homes’ (RIBA, 2011)

Research suggests that many people don’t like the majority of the new build homes available on the market. A key reason why people want to build their own homes is to be able to have real influence on the design and layout, and to have the ability to create a home to suit their individual needs and aspirations. One in three people say that design flexibility is the most important reason for building their own homes, and 82 per cent list it in their top three reasons.

Most private homebuilders also find it challenging to engage and understand the planning system.

Councils should recognise that when areas are identified for private homebuilding they should be transparent about the acceptable forms of development. This gives the homebuilder greater certainty, minimises risk and assists with project financing. It also facilitates the use of advanced or highly sustainable construction techniques.

Councils will want to be able to ensure that homes are well-designed to comply with their Local Plan, and will be keen to see a design vision for the site that ensures the new housing is well-integrated into the surrounding area. Councils will also want to avoid needing to determine large numbers of detailed planning applications for individually designed homes - particularly on larger sites - as this can have a big impact on resources.

 

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRIVATE HOMEBUILDING DESIGN CODES

Scope and content

To be effective a Design Code should be prepared in response to an agreed design vision for a site. For smaller sites this might be a design statement; for larger sites a masterplan or other form of development framework. This will ensure individually designed homes fit into the surrounding area.

Unless the development is located in a sensitive area (for example designated conservation area or local area of special character), a Design Code should be as light touch as possible, so that it does not stifle the ability of private homebuilders to build innovative and creatively designed homes. Overly prescriptive Codes will be resource intensive to prepare. They can also add to the costs of new development and undermine viability. Some private homebuilders may also be put off purchasing a plot if their scope for an individual design is too limited. Generally speaking, the more restrictive the Code, the more challenging it can be to sell plots.

 

Design Codes for private homebuilding often focus on the design parameters of individual plots, though they should also deal with the design of any public realm, highway treatments and the servicing of a site by a contractor, developer or other third party.

Councils should therefore look to strike a balance between prescription and flexibility when Codes are prepared.

Although this balance can be challenging to achieve, five key principles should be considered when deciding the scope and content of a Code: -

  • Focus on the basic design requirements that are essential to get right. Design Codes cannot address every eventuality. It is important to prioritise and avoid controlling too much detail. Key design considerations typically focus on the site/plots and the acceptable form of development (for example scale, massing, materials, height, layout and landscaping)
  • Be clear about what is mandatory and what is optional, and how these apply to the plot and/or wider site.
  • Include a menu of alternative design solutions for specific elements (for example range of render colours, roof tiles and brick colours)
  • Avoid too many aspirational statements, ambiguity and don’t repeat yourself (the shorter and more precise the better)
  • Codes can define process considerations,if needed, to help clarify requirements (for example how construction traffic will be controlled, plant and material storage and whether prior-approval is required before commencing development)

Top Tip

Design Codes should be light touch

Design Codes should not be overly prescriptive – private homebuilders want to have a say in the design of their home, so Codes should not micro-manage their designs. They are particularly useful for developments involving ten or more homes

 

The box below outlines the design considerations that typically inform a Design Code for a private homebuilding development. These considerations are best presented in a short document and schedule, possibly including illustrations of indicative designs or materials, linked to a codified plan of the site and its building plots.
bn5_4_table_1-1-01 bn5_4_table_1-1-02

Implementation

There are various ways Design Codes can be implemented to support private homebuilding. Codes linked to planning applications are common, particularly where sites are in private ownership and projects are initiated by the landowner, developer or custom build enabler. Codes can also be formally linked to development plans, Local Development Orders and neighbourhood planning. Deciding which option to pursue will depend on who is promoting the use of the Code (for example, the council, community, developer or private landowner) and their objectives.

A key consideration will be how much weight the Code should have in the decision making process. Based on our analysis it is recommended that councils: -

  • Ask for and be open to the use of Design Codes as part of planning applications, and use planning conditions to control their use
  • Set out a clear policy on when Codes will be required in their Local Plans and related guidance; they could also consider the use of Local Development Orders for larger sites, or when land is sold for private homebuilding
  • When applying Codes, adopt a simple checklist approach to testing compliance and use delegated decisions on reserved matter applications (where required) in accordance with pre-agreed timetable
  • Promote Design Codes as part of the neighbourhood planning process when they engage with their local communities

Annex 2 at the end of this Briefing Note compares various implementation approaches.

Top Tip

Codes should allow for variety, creativity and innovation

A good Design Code should allow for design variation, creativity, innovation and originality; it will also specify what is mandatory and what is optional. Where possible they should be style neutral so they can deliver contemporary or traditional architecture and they should also allow for advanced methods of construction

 

WHAT DO PRIVATE HOMEBUILDING DESIGN CODES LOOK LIKE?

Several English councils are actively encouraging the use of Design Codes and are introducing policies and guidance that sets out their preferred approaches. Some are also bringing forward Codes when they sell sites, either as part of a planning permission or in the form of a Local Development Order. Design Codes for private homebuilding vary widely. Several examples are identified below to illustrate current practice across England.

De Brus Park and Middlehaven Park, Middlesbrough - at De Brus Park, Middlesbrough Council prepared a Design Code to support the sale of five single plots for executive homes. The 0.79 ha (1.95 acre) site is open grassland and adjoins an existing housing development. Plots are being sold by open tender to individual buyers at a guide price of £150,000 plus 3 per cent for legal and surveying fees.

.

At De Brus Park a simple Design Code sets out the basic rules that will govern the five new homes that can be built on this site

The Code supports of an outline permission with access and siting committed, and is secured by a planning condition (Ref: M/OUT/0554/14/P). It includes a brief written description with a site context plan and a Design Objectives statement. The Code specifies building heights (max 2.5 storeys); building lines; roof design considerations (gable ends preferred to hipped roof); plot coverage (23 per cent specified, including garages); boundary treatments; means and location of access; parking, landscaping (including tree retention zone) and sustainable urban drainage considerations.

At Middlehaven Park, Middlesbrough Council prepared a more detailed Design Code to guide the development of part of its ‘Urban Pioneers’ site - a new mixed use and residential neighbourhood. The Code covers two serviced parcels of land for 14 plots and sets out: -

  • How land can be sub-divided on the plots
  • Permitted uses and building heights
  • Access and servicing arrangements, including entrance location, bicycle storage, bin storage and car parking
  • Building lines, including set-backs, projections, extensions and balconies and relationship to neighbouring plots
  • Fenestration, appearance and boundary treatment
The Middlehaven Urban Pioneers Design Code ensures a coherent and strong building frontage overlooking the adjoining Urban Park
Great Dunmow, Essex (Uttlesford District Council) - this project recently received outline planning permission, on appeal, for 22 privately built homes on the edge of Great Dunmow. The application was accompanied by a Design Code. The main purpose of the Code was to set out the key design principles and show how the indicative designs would be implemented. It was prepared as an evolving document to be amended in discussion with the council before any reserved matters application is submitted. The Code, which will be conditioned as part of reserved matters application, identifies five themes: spatial arrangement of homes and streets; building form, height and scale; architectural composition; public realm and privacy.
Part of the Design Code prepared for the Great Dunmow project

Allerdale, Cumbriahere the council approved a Design Code to support a proposal for 24 privately built homes on a brownfield site at the former Broughton Moor Royal Navy Armaments Depot at Derwent Forest.A developer in support of an outline application for the site submitted the Code with access, siting and scale committed, and was secured by condition (Ref: 2/2014/0858).

This requires that all reserved matters applications for homes comply with the Code. In approving the Code the council was satisfied that it would establish suitable design rules for future reserved matter applications for individual homes. This would then ensure a consistent design across the site while also providing some flexibility for people to individualise their homes.

Derwent Forrest (Phase 1 Self-Build) Code showing parameters plan, which regulates the main plot boundary and building lines

The Code includes a brief written description and a set of illustrative plans and specifications (mandatory and optional) including: -

  • Site parameters - plan showing the plots
  • Plot parameters - coverage, building lines, side spacing, boundary treatments, gates, corner plot treatment, plot layouts, access/parking/garages, landscaping and amenity space provision
  • House parameters - building footprint, massing, height, roof scape
  • Elevation parameters - appearance, fenestration, doors and windows, roof and chimney treatment, materials, walls, internal layout and daylight/sunlight considerations

Wynyard Park, Manorside (Hartlepool Borough Council) - the landowner prepared a Design Code for this development of 27 large serviced plots on a private estate in a woodland setting. The Code ensures each plot is planned to a high standard and the new homes are in keeping with the estate principles and maintain the local character of the area. Plot purchasers need to comply with a range of design constraints relating to scale, mass and form, building aesthetics, materials and other features.

Plot purchasers have to submit their designs to the landowner as part of this Design Code

The Code also specifies the approval process and other requirements, including the need for private homebuilders to: -

  • Consult the landowner at an early design stage, and to submit designs and materials to them for approval within three months of plot purchase (a consultation fee is payable). They also need to apply for full planning permission to the council within six months of purchase
  • Ensure construction materials, plant and site accommodation is stored within each plot. They have to start building work within 12 months of purchase, and they have to submit a construction programme to the landowner to reassure them that the build will be completed within nine months
  • Ensure shared avenues and roads are maintained in clean condition with construction waste and litter stored in a controlled manner

A similar approach has been taken with the Durham Gate Design Code (a project that forms part of a £100m mixed-use regeneration scheme by Carillion and Arlington Real Estate at Spennymoor), and at Charles Church’s Newcastle Great Park, with its Self Build Design Guide. 

Homemade@Heartlands, Trevenson Park South, Cornwall - this Carillion-Igloo project will deliver54 custom build homes on a former HCA site. Outline planning permission was granted with matters reserved for scale and appearance (Ref: PA14/06411). The Trevenson Park South Design Code supports the project and it was developed in consultation with Cornwall Council, English Heritage and UNESCO, and the six home manufacturers that will build the homes.

The Design Code covers a custom build development that adjoins a UNESCO World Heritage site
The Code describes and illustrates the plot parameters and the quality standards expected, along with key features of the wider masterplan. Building set-backs, boundaries, car parking and corner plots are specified along with expected building heights, scale, massing, building relationships to neighbouring plots, building projections, corners and end plots, cladding materials, colour palette, roofs, doors and windows.
Extract from the Design Code for the Trevenson Park South site

The Code is secured by a planning condition to inform the detailed appearance of proposed homes with final home designs being determined through a reserved matters application process. Having a Design Code in place has also enabled the developer to agree with Cornwall Council that it will determine reserved matters applications within five weeks of submission. Given that the development is adjacent to a World Heritage site, the Council withdrew ‘permitted development rights’ for the development. For further information on this project please see our detailed case study on Homemade @ Heartlands.

Graven Hill, Cherwell - the council’s development company prepared a Design Code in 2015 which will be implemented through the ‘Graven Hill Phase 1 Local Development Order.’ The Code and Order will guide proposals for the first phase of the 1,900 home Graven Hill development. The Order grants planning permission for the 200 homes in the first phase. The Code specifies the land covered by the Order and sets out what development is permitted, along with relevant conditions relating to the construction of the new homes, including access and landscaping, and future home extensions or alterations. It also specifies the prior-approval procedure for Code compliance.

An extract from the Graven Hill Design Code

The Code has been developed from the masterplan for the wider site. It focuses on the expected character of the new housing and the design rules applying to 12 ‘character treatments’. It includes an overview of the design approach, the self-build process and a description of the ‘Plot Passport’ documents that will be available for each plot when released for purchase. Each identified area has a limited set of design rules that apply ‘off-plot’ (for the developer delivering the public realm) and ‘on-plot’ (for the private homebuilders that buy the plots).

A key principle the council has adopted is to maximise design freedom for private homebuilders. This is achieved by applying a ‘hands off’ approach to all the ‘on-plot’ features that the private homebuilders are responsible for. Only seven baseline design constraints are specified: -

  • build zones
  • sustainability
  • maximum building heights
  • boundary heights
  • vehicular access
  • parking
  • waste management

Plot purchasers are expected to submit information to the development company at each stage in the self build process and to complete the activities required within the timescales provided.

For further information on this project please see our detailed case study on Graven Hill, Bicester.

PLOT PASSPORTS

Although Design Codes set out what form of development is permissible on a site, they can be quite technical, and sometimes they are difficult for private homebuilders to understand. ‘Plot Passports’ were developed to overcome this challenge.
A typical Dutch Plot Passport
Cherwell Plot Passport

Top Tip

Who can draw up a Design Code?

Design Codes can either be drawn up by the council, or by the developer/landowner. There are various ways to do this, such as by including a Condition as part of a planning permission, through the introduction of a development plan policy, a supplementary planning document or Local Development Order

 

A Plot Passport is a simple and succinct summary of the design parameters for a given plot. They add value by acting as a key reference point for the purchaser, capturing relevant information from the planning permission, design constraints and procedural requirements in an easily understandable and readily accessible format.

Most are between one and four pages long and form part of the marketing material available for the plot.

The passport clearly shows the plot location, the permissible building lines and side spacing requirements, proximity constraints to neighbouring buildings and the part of the site where a new house can be constructed (ie. the developable footprint). There is usually also a building height restriction.

Passports are very clear about the number dwellings that can be built (generally only one) and any other pertinent details, including car parking and access location etc.

The choice of finishing materials, fenestration and roof shape is usually left to the plot owner. Most are kept as simple as possible so that people can evaluate the various potential plots and work out which suits them best.

Although they are widely used in the Netherlands they are not prescribed by the Government under planning law. Some English councils are now also starting to use passports. For example: -

Teignbridge District Council – is asking developers to supply at least 5 per cent of dwelling plots for sale to private homebuilders where sites are larger than 20 homes. As part of this policy the council is actively promoting the use of Design Codes and Plot Passports. On developments of more than ten plots the council asks for a Design Code to be prepared in partnership between the council and the provider or the plots. The council also asks for Plot Passports for all private homebuilding plots on larger sites. The council’s Custom and Self Build Housing Supplementary Planning Document includes a ‘template’ for a typical Plot Passport. 

Cherwell District Council – is preparing Plot Passports for all the plots it is selling at Graven Hill.

One of the early Draft Plot Passports for Graven Hill

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE OF DESIGN CODES

Design Codes are widely used in Europe, Australia and the United States. In Germany and the Netherlands, they are seen as a key tool for managing development via the planning system.

The German Bebauungsplan (B-plan) is internationally recognised because it consistently delivers high quality housing. It is a legally binding development plan that is widely used to support the release of building plots, and it is normally prepared when new areas are designated for residential use.

The B-plan is similar to a design coded Area Action Plan. The B-plan is usually prepared by the council or by a third party (such as a consultancy) on behalf of the local authority. It must be developed in accordance with a ‘preparatory land-use plan’ (Flächennutzungsplan– FNP) which all German councils have to prepare, and which cover the whole of the council’s territory. FNPs outline the future use of land to meet the needs of the community.

B-plans are design coded and their content is prescribed in Government legislation. They set out the mandatory design requirements in plan and text form, and are supported by a written justification. Drawings may accompany a B-plan but don’t form part of the legal document.

There is considerable flexibility over how they are applied locally. They typically set out permitted uses, acceptable building heights, spacing between buildings, building lines, plot ratios etc. Sometimes the plans also identify the type and slope of roofs and details like parking and plot access.

The same scales, colours and symbols are used consistently. For example different colours identify certain land uses and particular line styles identify where buildings must, or may be located. The advantage of this approach is that B-Plans are easily understood.To enable architectural freedom and reduce costs for private homebuilders councils increasingly keep the design specifications in the B-plan to a minimum.

A typical a suburban neighbourhood B-Plan. The box below describes the common notations typically used
The notations used on B-Plans

A B-PLAN IN ACTION – ERKHEIM, GERMANY

bn5_4_img14_erkheim

This new private homebuilding development in the village of Erkheim, Germany was facilitated by the council through the use of a B-plan. The plan controls the building heights, the plot widths, and the building line relative to the street, along with environmental requirements, such as the use of photovoltaics. It shows how private homeowners have been able to create an attractive residential neighbourhood with a distinct character while building a wide variety of high quality homes of varying styles

The Netherlands has a similar system where a ‘Bestemmingsplan’prescribes the design considerations that apply to specific sites and areas.

Design Codes are also widely usedin Australia. In many cases they form part of Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) prepared by councils as part of their ‘Local Planning Schemes’ (local zoning plans). R-Codes typically include standards for plot sizes, required set-backs from boundaries, private open space provision and the proportion of built form permitted on each plot (plot ratios), among other things. Special provisions are also included for multi-unit developments. In many cases design guides and Codes are prepared by landowners as part of new estates.

B-plans are design coded and their content is prescribed in Government legislation. They set out the mandatory design requirements in plan and text form, and are supported by a written justification. Drawings may accompany a B-plan but don’t form part of the legal document.

There is considerable flexibility over how they are applied locally. They typically set out permitted uses, acceptable building heights, spacing between buildings, building lines, plot ratios etc. Sometimes the plans also identify the type and slope of roofs and details like parking and plot access.

The same scales, colours and symbols are used consistently. For example different colours identify certain land uses and particular line styles identify where buildings must, or may be located. The advantage of this approach is that B-Plans are easily understood.To enable architectural freedom and reduce costs for private homebuilders councils increasingly keep the design specifications in the B-plan to a minimum.

AUSTRALIAN DESIGN CODES IN ACTION– EYRE, ADELAIDE

bn5_4_img15_adelaide

The Code, which follows the masterplan for the estate, ensures that each home adds to the quality of the neighbourhood. It also protects other private homebuilder’s investments. The Code encourages individuality and the use of all styles of architecture by setting out a simple envelope plan (the area a house can be built on - see above). Alongside this there is an extensive register of approved colours and materials. It also gives guidance on the approval process and council planning requirements.

ANNEX 1: POLICY CONTEXT

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) asks local planning authorities to use Design Codes where they could help deliver high quality outcomes (Para 59). However, it also says that design policies, and by implication Design Codes, should: -

  • Avoid unnecessary prescription or detail and should concentrate on guiding the overall scale, density, massing, height, landscape, layout, materials and access of new development in relation to neighbouring buildings and the local area more generally. (Para 59)
  • Not attempt to impose architectural styles or particular tastes and they should not stifle innovation, originality or initiative through unsubstantiated requirements to conform to certain development forms or styles; it is, however, proper to seek to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness. This also applies to planning decisions. (Para 60)

The NPPF also sets out a number of other policies that should be taken into account when councils prepare their Local Plans, and by implication Design Codes, so they can create opportunities for promoting private homebuilding. These include: -

  • In determining applications, giving great weight to outstanding or innovative designs which help raise the standard of design more generally in the area. (Para 63)
  • Refusing permission for poorly designed developments that fail to take the opportunity to improve the character and quality of an area, and the way it functions.(Para 64)
  • Not refusing permission for well-designed buildings or infrastructure which promote high levels of sustainability because they may be incompatible with the existing townscape. (Para 65)

The Government’s Planning Practice Guidance provides further advice to councils on the use of Design Codes and it makes a specific reference to private homebuilding (see box below).

“A Design Code is a type of detailed design guidance that is particularly useful for complex scenarios involving multiple parties in long-term development. A Code can be a way of simplifying the processes associated with new development to give more certainty to all those involved and help to make high quality places. Code preparation can allow organisations and local communities to work together more effectively, helping to build consensus about what kind of place everyone wants to create…”

“…Design Codes seek to capture the specific requirements of a place and encourage interested parties to think together about each development in its entirety as a unique place.

Local planning authorities and developers should consider using Design Codes where they could help deliver high quality outcomes where for example: -

-they wish to coordinate design outcomes across large or complex sites to deliver a coherent locally agreed vision;

-  wish to 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;

Codes can also be used by applicants when submitting a planning application, if there is a need to retain some flexibility on the final design of the development (for example if the development is a self/custom build housing scheme where the final design of homes depends on the preferences of future home owners)...”

Extract from Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 036 Reference ID: 26-036-20140306)

The Guidance also flags several other housing design issues that are relevant to Design Codes, including the need to: -

  • Secure well-designed places where affordable housing is not distinguishable from private housing by its design or banished to the least attractive part of the site
  • Give careful consideration to the storage of bins and bikes, access to meter boxes etc. to ensure they are discreet and can be easily used in a safe way and avoid damaging the visual amenity of an area
  • Consider the approach to car parking design

Alternative, innovative and advanced methods of construction

Timber frame, kit homes, use of advanced housing techniques such as structurally insulated panel systems (SIPs) and alternative build systems such as straw bales are very popular with private homebuilders because they are simple, fast to build, relatively risk free and can be very sustainable. Some 10,000 pre-manufactured houses are built in Germany every year, equating to one in eight detached or semi-detached houses built there. This form of building is also gaining popularity in the UK private homebuilding market.

It is therefore also important to note what the Planning Practice Guidance says with regard to advanced manufacturing techniques:

“Local planning authorities should give great weight to outstanding or innovative designs which help to raise the standard of design more generally in the area. This could include the use of innovative construction materials and techniques”

Extract from Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 005 Reference ID: 26-005-20140306)

ANNEX 2: COMPARING DESIGN CODE IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES

bn5_4_table_2-01 bn5_4_table_2-02

Top Tip

Plot Passports summarise what can be built

Plot Passports have a role to play alongside Design Codes – they are a simple way of helping private homebuilders understand what they can build on a site

Further Reading

The following Case Studies offer useful insight into the issues discussed in this Briefing Note:

CREDITS

The NaCSBA Research & Development Programme is funded by the Nationwide Foundation and aims to promote the self-build and custom build sector as an affordable route into housing for a greater number of people in the UK.

For further information, please visit:

www.nacsba.org.uk or www.selfbuildportal.org.uk