Trafford Design Code


Boundaries and Edges

Protecting Existing Landscape

Drainage and SUDs


Gardens and Small Spaces

Management and Maintenance

Layout, parking and public realm

Landscape and Nature



Embracing ecology and biodiversity as a core component of the development process has never been more important.


Trafford Council is committed to delivering Borough-wide biodiversity enhancements. This can be achieved on all development sites and at all scales. Safeguarding existing habitat and priority species is fundamental. Delivering ecological enhancements is now a pre-requisite.


Every component of a landscape is a potential habitat. However, certain landscape features have a greater capacity to sustain and nurture fauna than others, e.g.:



The Code requires the design process to fully acknowledge the ecological baseline of the site and to demonstrate an understanding of the wider ecological context of the site. The design process must then embrace the successful delivery of long-term ecological enhancement.


This will be achieved through designing the correct landscape and ecological solutions, which will put forward species mixes and the habitats that these will create.


Therefore, the development process must identify:

  • A baseline position
  • Ecological context
  • Opportunities for ecological enhancement
  • Proposals
  • The resulting benefits
  • Long-term management

The degree of information provided will be proportionate to the scale and nature of a development proposal. For single dwellings, the submitted information will be modest in its extent, but still demonstrate how ecological enhancement will be achieved. For larger or more complex schemes, a suitably qualified ecologist must be engaged at the outset of a project.


The solutions will embrace a full range of measures that will be required to inform a well-considered landscape response to the site.


Biodiversity protection and enhancement can be delivered in a multitude of ways and will layer up with other aspects of the Design Code. Biodiversity enhancement can be delivered alongside considerations including:


  • Trees and hedgerows
  • Boundaries
  • Protection of existing landscape features
  • SUDs and drainage solutions
  • Gardens and small spaces
  • Exceptional landscapes
  • Management and maintenance

Healthy soils will be a vital component of a healthy landscape and nature.

Supporting background information

At the outset of the design process, a baseline site appraisal of existing habitats, biodiversity value and the presence of protected species should be undertaken by a suitably qualified Ecology professional.


This preliminary baseline assessment and report must establish:


  • The habitat types on site (or recently on site)
  • Wider ecological networks
  • The value (BNG) of the existing site
  • The presence of any protected species or habitats suitable for protected species
  • Identify opportunities and suggestions for biodiversity enhancement on site and connectivity beyond.

This baseline report should inform the design for the site before work on the design has commenced to avoid commercial pressures inhibiting a good design approach to a site.


This baseline report must be submitted with the application and evidence should be presented at the application submission stage to demonstrate how this information has fed into the design layout for the proposed development.


Additional report(s) will then also be required to demonstrate how any identified ecological constraints can be safeguarded or mitigated and how opportunities for ecological enhancement have been achieved. Refer to the Trafford Validation Checklist for further validation requirements.

An Ecological Protection and Enhancement Plan

An Ecological Protection and Enhancement Plan must be prepared with any planning application submitted. This plan and associated method statements must also take into account the practicalities of the construction stage.


This will include:

  • The protection of existing habitats and protected species
  • The composition and detail of the enhancement proposals
  • The necessary long-term management requirements to ensure success.

For single dwellings, the submitted information will be modest in its extent, but still demonstrate how ecological enhancement will be achieved (e.g. wildlife-friendly fencing, bird and bat boxes within buildings, tree/shrub/hedge planting and species).

For larger or more complex schemes, this must be a comprehensive suite of proposals, prepared by a suitably qualified Ecology professional to confirm that the site will deliver positively for nature. This should be in plan form with accompanying schedules, method statements and management regimes clearly set out.

Wildlife friendly management

It is expected that management schemes will not require harmful pesticides or herbicides, except where clearly necessary, for example, in the removal of invasive species.

Biodiversity case studies


Derwenthorpe by Studio Partington for Joseph Rowntree Foundation Derwenthorpe was one of the first large-scale low carbon communities in northern England. Its ‘green’ heating and

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Airfields, Deeside

The Airfields, Deeside Sitting at a low level, with marginal falls, and alongside the river Dee, this former Airfield site was developed through a landscape-led

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Aarhus residence, Denmark

Aarhus residence, Denmark by CEBRA  when designing these new apartment buildings in aarhus, denmark, CEBRA architecture began with one of the most important spaces for a community: the

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Permeable paving options