Trafford Design Code

Help Guide

How to comply with the code


So now you know what is expected, you are able to demonstrate how your project aligns with the Trafford Design Code. We have aimed to make this process quicker and easier for applicants to know exactly what is expected to comply with the code.


The following section outlines this process. 

Comply of Justify

The Trafford Design Code has been structured in a user friendly and accessible format that demonstrates the qualities of good urbanism to ensure that your projects are the very highest quality providing long term value. We also want to ensure that applicants are very clear about how they can clearly demonstrate how your project will comply with this code for the benefit of your project, the surrounding area and help achieve many broader objectives for improving quality of life in the Borough. 


How you can comply with a design code has been clearly explained, using examples, diagrams and further guidance whenever possible. Each design code contains information to state what needs to be done to comply with the code or justify why an alternative approach was taken. This flexible approach has been taken to ensure innovative proposals come forward and ensure Trafford’s unique context is accounted for. The approach taken is for applicants to comply or justify their design response as explained below.


Applicants must clearly demonstrate how the design of their project complies with the objective established in the design code. Sometimes there may be only one response possible for achieving compliance, in some instances there may be a variety of ways the code can be complied with. Each code contains all the necessary information, diagrams, references, evidence and links to explain how your project will align with the requirement of the design code. 


Applicants are able to justify why an alternative response was taken that will result in a better design outcome. Justifiable reasons for non-compliance may relate to a better contextual response, a more sustainable solution, an innovative idea or anything that actively benefits the local community. Each justification will be assessed on its merits by council officers so must be accompanied with explanations, plans, drawings, visualizations, models to demonstrate a better solution. 


Demonstrating how house elevations are influenced by surrounding context

In this example below the applicant must provide clear evidence to officers that the context has influenced the elevations and proportions of a house project. Here, the officer will determine if that evidence, in form of photographs, plans, drawings and visualizations has sufficiently proven this. If however, the applicant can fairly demonstrate that there is no positive precedent in the immediate context or there is a wide mix of elevations, there could be justification for a different and higher quality response. 

Comply or Justify

Applicants must demonstrate how the surrounding context has been referenced in the design of the elevation and proportion of all new houses. 

Complying with code to regulate size of window openings on elevations

In this example below the applicant must prove that all elevations have a window to wall ratio above 25%. This can be proven with elevation drawings, diagrams and visualizations, ideally supported by square metre calculations of wall space and window openings to assist officers.  

Comply or Justify

Applicants must provide evidence that all window to wall ratios are over 25% 

Complying with objective to create coherent elevation structure or justifying an alternative response

In this example the designer is given the options for either complying with the basic principles of a coherently structured house elevation. This can either involve simple solutions such as aligning windows and doors or creating symmetry for a more visually appealing facade. However, we understand that certain contexts or houses may benefit from atypical solutions that go against these basic rules. In such a case, the suitably qualified architect must demonstrate their alternative response with plans, drawings and visualizations to justify why this is a better response for the context

Comply or Justify

Applicants must provide evidence that all public facing elevations of houses demonstrate the basic principles of a coherent structure shown below. If elevations do not comply with these basic principles, there must be clear evidence to justify why and how an alternative approach will achieve better design quality.

Elevation symmetry

Use symmetry to create order within an elevation or between neighbours

Neighboring Symmetry formed between two adjoining buildings in a row can create a structure on the street

Internal Symmetry formed within a single elevation of a detached house

Window arrangement

Create order and structure through aligning windows and doors on elevations

Formal variation. There is enough alignment on the facade to bring a sense of order and understanding

Formal. There is a strict order of shapes, proportions and alignments bringing structure and formality.

Compliance documents

The Design Code has been established to try and remove any uncertainty or confusion felt by applicants regarding what type of information must be submitted alongside a planning application. Each sub-section contains clear information what submittal documents are required by applicants to clearly demonstrate to officers their project complies (or justifies why not) with that design code section. This will ensure the officer has all the relevant information and visual documentation to make the necessary decisions. 

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