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

Protecting Existing Landscape


Existing Landscape Features help to define a place and are often well-established, mature and prominent elements. These may include trees, hedges, large shrub areas, walls, topography, streams, rivers, ponds and meadows.


These features can convey an important message about a sites character and history. In a similar vein, some valuable existing features may be hidden or be less visually prominent. They are no less important. Such features may include:


  • Geological Formations,
  • Archaeological Features,
  • Hidden Structures

At a very practical level, good quality topsoils are precious commodities and should be preserved for successful reuse.  A successful design will accommodate and safeguard worthy existing landscape features. It is expected that such features will be protected and will inform all designs.


Protecting existing landscape features

Existing landscape fatures should be considered from the outset.


The design and planning stage should be aspirational and practical and must acknowledge the ‘buildability’ of the scheme.


These considerations apply to features within the site and on surrounding land, to ensure that features identified for retention at the design stage will be safeguarded throughout the construction stage.


The entire development process should respect and allow for the successful retention of worthy existing landscape features. This must be clearly set out at the application stage.


Supporting background information

At the outset of the design process, existing landscape features of merit should be identified. This is achieved through a series of baseline technical reports which, where relevant, must be submitted with the planning application.

These reports must be carried out by suitably qualified professionals in their field of work and could include:


  • Site/Topographical Survey;
  • Arboricultural (Tree and Hedgerow) Survey Reports;
  • Archaeological/Heritage Reports;
  • Ecological Reports;
  • Soil Analysis Reports;
  • Ground Condition and Contamination Assessments;
  • Drainage Assessment Reports;
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.

It must be demonstrated within the planning submission how the above information has informed the Landscape Strategy for the site. The design process must balance the informed knowledge of the existing landscape features on and around the site with the wider development brief.


The Place, Northenden Road, Sale, Trafford:


3no. mature front boundary trees (Lime, Beech and Sycamore) were safeguarded in the new scheme, through the use of decorative metalwork joining the new sections of new front boundary stone walling, allowing the trees to remain unhindered. New front boundary wall needed specialist foundation design to safeguard tree roots.

A sites features protection plan

A site features protection plan must be prepared with any planning application submitted. This plan and associated method statements must take into account the practicalities of the construction stage.


This will include:

  • The working/construction zones around buildings.
  • Extra space required for basement or deep foundations
  • Service and drainage runs
  • Site compounds and material storage areas
  • Areas and method for stockpiling topsoil for reuse on site
  • Tree and hedge root protection area and vulnerable tree canopies

Protecting existing landscape case studies

Hortham Village

Hortham Village by Barratt Homes The Hortham Village demonstrates how to create a place by simply retaining a large amount of existing landscape within the

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Permeable paving options