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Preparing a design guide

The design guide will provide clear advice on the application of the design principles agreed in the previous phase of the project and on how quality standards should be used to achieve shared aspirations.

Oldham-Rochdale Urban Design Guidance

Oldham-Rochdale Urban Design Guidance
© Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design

The success of a large scale design process will be judged by the quality of the buildings, spaces and places that are developed in the area’s neighbourhoods, towns and cities. So the project partners need to be satisfied that developers and project proponents are provided with clear guidance about how to achieve this.

Project stakeholders need to agree what quality design looks like at the same time as they are developing spatial options through design workshops.

The design guide is based on the aspirations and principles that stakeholders agreed in the previous phase of the project. It contains:

  • more detailed guidance and advice on the application of the agreed design principles across a range of spatial scales, and
  • design standards that all the projects coming out of the strategy must adhere to.

Depending on the type of strategy and its scope, the design guide may be specifically developed for the projects resulting from the strategy. Alternatively, it may be developed for application across the sub-region and beyond the particular sectors and projects covered by the strategy.

How do I prepare a design guide?

  1. Review existing design guidance
    You need to review any existing design guidance against your partnership aims and see whether additional guidance is needed.
  2. Draft design guide
    Nominate people from the partner organisations with sufficient expertise in planning, urban design and architectural quality to identify what additional design guidance is needed.
  3. Develop the guide
    Further development of the guide and consultation with stakeholders should be conducted within the design workshops, alongside work on the spatial strategy.
  4. Publish design guide
    Once the consultation on the guide is finished, it needs to be completed and published.

Example of preparing a design guide