Shaping Salford Design Guide


CABE helped Salford City Council to produce and adopt a design guide which is rooted in local character and promotes well-designed development in Salford.

Salford City Council has developed a practical, accessible design guide to support the regeneration of the city, including Central Salford, an area which contained some of the most deprived wards in the UK. The council wanted to influence future planning applications by adding a local flavour to established national design guidance, and show how a development approach could respond sensitively to the city’s existing character.

The two-year project produced a document which sets out clear policy and standards in relation to design, learning from the experiences of neighbouring initiatives. It was adopted by the council in March 2008 as the ‘Shaping Salford’ Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) within its local development framework.

For prospective planning applicants, Shaping Salford:

  • sets expectations on quality of design
  • interprets and prioritises national guidance
  • gives succinct and well-presented information on the local context, area-by-area.

CABE played a major part in making the guide happen, working with council officers and members to help them to see how the design guide could be an invaluable tool for promoting design quality, for officers to learn through the process and for communities to be involved in talking about the present and possible future qualities of their places.

A CABE enabler was also part of the project’s steering group, adding a national perspective to the discussions and ensuring that the project was focused on a good quality, practical outcome.

How CABE helped

  • discussed initial aspirations for design quality with Salford City Council and Central Salford URC
  • ran a stakeholder workshop to set out the options and discuss what the city would need in order to promote a high level design quality agenda
  • advised on the brief and procurement for a design guide
  • attended project steering group meetings
  • commented on emerging drafts, including a formal design review of the final draft
  • attended stakeholder events
  • advised on embedding Building for Life requirements brought the document to CABE design review.

Key lessons

  • Salford created a practical and accessible document which placed national guidance in a local context.
  • The use of a steering group ensured a wide range of views.
  • The process strengthened the council’s commitment to design.
  • The creation of the guide was also a useful internal learning process for the council.
  • CABE enabling helped the council to channel, define and prioritise its design aspirations into a well managed project.