Design Guides

Design Guidance

Design guidance, often produced in the UK in the form of Supplementary Planning Guidance, aims to improve local standards of design and to assist applicants by clearly setting out the basic design principles a Local Planning Authority expects to see. This is applicable to a range of types of development, such as residential developments, house extensions, shop fronts, disabled access, advertisements and conservation areas, and is often published in the form of thematic design guides. Recent government focus on good design has given rise to substantial advice on 'how to do it' in the form of guides, manuals and handbooks. Local authorities have taken this up by producing a range of design guides, strategies and briefs, and other community groups are also able to benefit from the new guidelines.

What is a Design Guide?

A document providing guidance on how development can be carried out in accordance with the design policies of a local authority or other organisation often with a view to retaining local distinctiveness (from By Design, DETR, 2000).

RUDI's Design Guidance is divided into three sections:

  • Town, City and Regional design guidance (mainly Local Authority design guides)
  • Village Design Statements
  • Overseas design guidance

see full listing below ...

For an up-to-date list of general placemaking+sustainability best practice intitiatives, handbooks and campaigns, visit RUDI's best practice guides and initiatives

Town, City and Regional design guidance

Local Authority guidance

Aberdeen Footdee Design Guide (prevent further architectural erosion of the listed buildings)

Basingstoke Extending Your Home

Basingstoke Industrial Development Guidance

Basingstoke Places to Live

Basingstoke Shopfronts and Advertisements

Bath Streetscape Manual

Belfast Becoming a Better Place

Bexleyheath West End Urban Framework

Birmingham, Places for Living: Residential Design Guide

Birmingham, Places for All: City Design Guide

Birmingham, High Places: New Guidelines for the Design and Location of Tall Buildings

Birmingham Bournville Design Guide

Brighton Centre: Area Planning and Urban Design Framework

Brighton: External Paint Finishes and Colours

Brighton: Roof Alterations and Extentions

CaerphillySupplementary Planning Guidance - Building Better Places to Live: Housing Development in Urban Areas

Camden: Streetscape Design Manual

Cheltenham Shopfront Design

Chilterns Design Guide

Christchurch Shopfronts and Advertisement Design Guide

The Cotswold Design Code

The Countryside Agency, Town Design Statements

Countryside Agency Guidance


Derby City Design Papers 01

Dundee Urban Design Guide

East Meon

East Meon Village Design Statement. Article in South Talk, Issue No. 59, Dec. 1999, pp 16-17

Edinburgh Design Parameters: Alignment

Edinburgh: Strategic Aspirations

Edinburgh Tram Design Manual

Edinburgh Standards for Urban Design

Essex Urban Design Guidance

Essex Design Guide for Residential and Mixed Use Areas

Fife Design Guide

Gloucester Designing Safer Places

Gloucester Residential Design Guide - Extending Your Home

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Streetscape Guide

Kent A Guide to Sustainable Development

Kent Creating Environmental Excellence


Leeds - City Centre Urban Design Strategy

Leeds - Neighbourhoods for Living. A guide for residential design

Leeds - Vision for Leeds

Leicester City Council : Supplementary Planning Guidance

Liverpool City Centre: Public Realm Implementation Framework

Liverpool Urban Design Guide

London - Best Practice Guidance: Guide to preparing Open Space Strategies

London - Accessible London: Achieving an Inclusive Environment

London - Housing: the London plan supplementary guidance

London - Living roofs, statement and casestudies

London - Sustainable design and construction: draft supplementary planning guidance

City of London - City Street Scene Manual

City of London - Shopfront design review

Corporation of London - Designing an Accessible City

London - Barnet - Designing to reduce crime

London - Barnet - Guidance on changes to the Development Control System

London - Barnet - Planning Design Guidance

London - Barnet - Design Guide for Sustainable Design and Construction

London - Bexley - Guidance on major planning applications

London - Brent Design Guidance

London - Camden - Design guide to enhance and protect the Built Environment

London - Ealing - Supplementary Planning Guidance

London - Enfield - The purpose of this guidance is to set guidelines to promote a sustainable and carbon free development

London - Hackney - Design guide to consider the urban design character of the proposed conservation areas

London - Hammersmith and Fulham - Design Guidelines for 54-108 Uxbridge Road Sheperds Bush Green

London - Haringey - Supplementary Design Guidance (SPG) Urban Design

London - Havering - Design Guidance for Sustainable Design Guidance adn Construction

London - Hounslow - Sustainable Construction Guide

London - Islington - the Islington Streetbook

London - Kensington and Chelsea - Elderly persons' accommodation

London - Kensington and Chelsea - Housing standards

London - Kensington and Chelsea - Streetscape Guide

London - Kensington and Chelsea - Transportation standards

London - Lewisham - Residential design standards

London - Merton Design Guidance - Design Guidance for Conservation Areas

London - Newham - Supplementary Planning Guidance

London - Redbridge - Unity Square - Urban Design Guidelines

London - Richmond upon Thames - Design guidelines

London - Richmond upon Thames - Public Space Design Guide

London - Southwark - Design Access Statements Supplementary Planning

London - Sutton - Urban Design Supplementary Planning Document

London - Tower Hamlets Street Design Guide

London - Waltham Forest - Supplementary Planning Guidance

London - Wandsworth - Design guidelines for personal safety and security

London - Wandsworth - Design guidelines for the conversion of shops to residential use

London - Wandsworth - Guidance on local views

London - Westminster - Public art in Westminster

London - Westminster - Statues, scupltures and monuments

Mid Bedfordshire - Draft Design Guide for Residential Areas in Mid Bedfordshire

Newcastle: Extending Your Home-A Design Guide

New Forest District Council : Design for Community Safety

Northampton - Upton Executive Summary

Nottingham Design Guide - Community Safety in Residential Areas

Nottingham Design Guide - Extending your home

Nottingham Design Guide - Industrial Commercial and Retail Development

Nottingham Design Guide - Shopfronts

Nottingham City Centre - Streetscape Design Manual

Peterborough Residential Design Guide

Poole: Streetscapes Design Strategy Guidance Manual

Plymouth Planning and Design Briefs

Rolleston on Dove

On acquiring a taste for design. Article in Local Council Review, Volume 51, No. 6, Jan. 2000, pp 25

Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Better Places to Live in South Yorkshire: A Guide to Residential Development

Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Better Places to Work in South Yorkshire: A Best Practice Guide for Office & Industrial Development

Stafford: Virtual Stafford

Stafford: Town Centre Vision Urban Design Framework

Stirling: Durieshill New Village Design Guide

Stirling: West Sauchenford New Village Design Guide

Stoke on Trent: Design Strategy for the Built Environment

Stratford-on-Avon: Character and Design

Stratford-on-Avon: Design Guide Review

Sunderland: Supplementary Planning Guidance 3-Design

Surrey design

Surrey: Design Guide Review

Wales: A Model Design Guide

Warrington Design Statements: Supplementary Planning Guidance

Warrington Landscape Design Statement

Winchester: Local Area Design Statement Chilbolton Avenue Draft

Village Design Statements

An introduction to village design statements(VDS) giving their definition, what they are used for, how you would go about doing one and how they fit in with current UK planning legislation. This paper was published in 2001 as the Planning Green paper was being discussed. Local Development Frameworks are now part of Planning Policy Statement 12.

Village Design Statements by Phil Turner

Good practice guides, handbooks and Manuals

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Overseas guidance

This area is being developed...

New Zealand design guidance