London design guidance

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

Click here

Overseas guidance

This area is being developed...

New Zealand design guidance

Urban Design London: Tall buildings and design guidance

Urban Design London: 5 December 2006 meeting

Tall buildings and design guidance

The meeting was attended by officers from Camden, City, Islington, Lambeth Southwalk, Westminster and Wandsworth.  A representative from CABE was also present.

The meeting focused on tall buildings, with each Borough bringing examples of current proposals to share with the group.  This proved fascinating and illuminating as a picture of tall building proposals across the central area started to emerge.  Looking at individual proposals also led into discussions on policy, how to assess schemes, different tall building typologies and London’s overall strategy, or lack of it.  Here is a short synopsis of some of the points raised:

Microclimatic modelling was an issue for many. In particular wind issues, but there seemed to be no consistency in how wind was being modelled and what level of wind creation was acceptable.  We are not seeing plinth and podium buildings where the lower plinth can protect the ground from eddies, which makes wind more of an issue for current proposals. 

Plinth and podiums seem to work best in cities with a clear grid and block street pattern, but are not so easy with the medieval street patterns and small sites seen in London.  This has led, in some cases, to proposals for canopies over the streets to stop the wind, which has a knock on effect on the public realm, and in a way ‘privatises’ the street. This seemed to be happening particularly in the City.

The issue of public access, and retail/activity on the ground floor was discussed.  There seemed to be concern over how ‘active’ places really would be in the future, and whether public access inside buildings was realistic.  A public viewing platform meant another lift, entrance and lobby. With an extra lift needed for each 10 floors, then one for public access, the cores were just too big and expensive.

Overall effects There was concern generally that no one was systematically thinking about the overall effect on areas where there was a lot of tall building proposals.  This was particularly relevant in the City, but could affect other areas too.  There was no real planning of ancillary services, from making sure there were enough sandwich bars and open spaces, to underground services, station capacity and even pavement widths!  It was quite frightening to see the ‘picture’ of all the tall buildings with planning permission, and consider the effect on the ground and underground environment in terms of the practical needs and comfort of people.  

The problem of modelling clusters was discussed. They are seen from 360 degrees so any fixed view is relatively meaningless.  Most applications seemed to come in with a very large number of visuals from different view points, but it was still not clear how views should be assessed.  There was discussion over whether it was worth considering impact in views like that from St James Park, and whether visual impact should be considered alongside regeneration objectives.  No consensus here I think, but people did say that if regeneration of places like Waterloo did not actually help local people, and ended with sterile environments, should they be used to justify altering the views?

Legibility and permeability on larger sites was seen as very important, but hard to ensure with tall buildings sometimes.  There were some odd proposals around, with ground scrapers designed by one architect, and a ‘tall bit’ on top designed by another.  Not the best receipt for quality!
The issue of residential tall buildings was discussed.  No borough thought they were getting 50 per cent  affordable housing, much lower figures where being negotiated.  There was also problems of blocks in ‘seas of open space’ to preserve views from residential units, not to create good places.  These designs, using tall buildings, were not particularly high density.  There was a bit of discussion on whether PPS3s focus on family housing and gardens would make life harder for tall residential building applications.

Poor design proposal standards There seemed to be concern that the current appetite for tall buildings, and the GLA's policy on them, was giving developers the feeling that they could justify a tall building anywhere. Some where saying, look there is a 1970’ block over there, that means this is a place for a cluster, so how about it?  The standard of some of these proposals was very poor.

There was also concern that the quality of almost all buildings along the Thames is very poor, and it is hard to justify better.
Overall the need for good local policies was stressed.  Boroughs seemed to feel it was better to rely on these than GLA or national polices or guidelines.

londonempty rprt A4

March 2005 Unlocking the potential of London’s Empty Homes

A report by the Empty Homes Agency, including a set of case studies from across the London area and with a focus on the London Empty Property Hotline and the Empty Property Charter

London - Lewisham - Residential design standards

This document includes advice on design of residential developments and their surroundings. It can be downloded in sections:

Scoping report. June 2005
Part 1: Residential development - introduction, Layout of development - safety and security, November 2005
Part 2: Access, Cycle storage, Residential Extensions. Definitions and glossary, November 2005

London - Bexley - Guidance on major planning applications

The website for Bexley includes a guide called 'Smarter Developments' to those making major planning applications. This guide aims to help prevent costly mistakes by stopping fundamental issues coming 'out of the blue' at the later stages of a development proposal.

London - Redbridge - Urban design framework: supplementary planning guidance

This framework is aimed at assessing applications for new developments. It is suggested that those going through the process should start by going through the checklist described in section 4.3 and included in full in Appendix D. For those who require a fuller understanding of urban design, it is recommended that the Urban Design Framework is first read in full.
Published October 2004
Urban Design Framework Section 1 (pdf)
Urban Design Framework Section 2 (pdf)

Urban Design Framework Section 3 (pdf)
Urban Design Framework Section 4 (pdf)
Urban Design Framework Section 5 (pdf)
Urban Design Framework Section 6 (pdf)

London - Redbridge - Unity Square - Urban Design Guidelines

Six urban design criteria have been compiled for the development of 'Unity Square' in Ilford

London - Newham - Supplementary Planning Gudiance

The following Supplementary Planning Guidance has been produced by the Borough.

Advertisements (PDF, 2188k)
Altering and extending Your Home (PDF, 440k)
Amusements (PDF, 166k)
Archaeological (PDF, 2603k)
Care For Elders (PDF, 169k)
Child Care (PDF, 4336k)
Community Safety (PDF, 970k)
Disability Access (PDF, 1519k)
Flat Conversions (PDF, 921k)
Houses in Multiple Occupation (PDF, 567k)
Homeworking in the Clothing Industry (PDF, 471k)
Hostels (PDF, 176k)
Business, industry and Warehousing (PDF, 144k)
Live/Work (PDF, 761k)
Meeting Places (PDF, 168k)
Primary Healthcare premises (PDF, 684k)
Residential Planning Guides (PDF, 699k)
Sustainability Checklist (PDF, 1601k)
Hot food, takeaway and restaurants (PDF, 142k)
Telecommunications Development (PDF, 1027k)

London - Waltham Forest - Supplementary Planning Guidance

The Supplementary Planning Guidance Notes (SPGN) produced by the borough  contain detailed guidance on various planning matters and expand on the policies in the Unitary Development Plan (UDP).The following Supplementary Planning Guidance Notes can be downloaded and viewed.
SPGN 1Residential Development Standards (Adopted June 1996) (pdf) or (word)
SPGN 2: Dwelling Conversions - Self Contained Flats (Adopted June 1996) (pdf) or (word)
SPGN 3: Dwelling Conversions - Non Self Contained Flats and Bedsitters (Including Bed and Breakfast Accommodation) - (Adopted June 1996) (pdf) or (word)
SPGN 4: House Extensions (Adopted September 1996) (pdf) or (word)
SPGN 8: Shopfront Design Guide (Adopted June 1999) (pdf) or (word)

London - Islington - the Islington Streetbook

This is a design manual for Islington's streets. It  aims to improve the quality of the street environment and to deliver a co-ordinated, consistent and clutter free environment. The Streetbook sets the standards for everyone within Islington Council who has the responsibility for the borough's streets. These standards will also assist contractors, statutory authorities and other agencies involved in street works throughout the borough.

Published February 2005

The Streetbook can be downloaded in sections from this page