Trafford Design Code

Landscape led Vision

Urban Structure

Movement Framework

Mix of Uses

Density and Form

New Places

Density and Form


The creation of more sustainable places which offer a high quality of life requires a consideration of density, whilst creating an appropriate balance between building coverage, amenity space and public realm provision. This is particularly true when looking to create vibrant new neighbourhoods and communities.


The aim should not be to achieve a given density, but to create a design led solution which delivers attractive places and generates a critical mass of people in key areas, particularly, around central or sustainably located areas. All areas, including low density, low rise New Places, should consider a range of densities to create interest and diversity in the urban form and the communities who will live there.

Features of density and form

  • Focus higher densities around urban centres and sustainable active travel hubs;
  • Gentle increase in mass and density around public spaces and parks;
  • Avoid a single density model across New Places;
  • Provide a range of building types and settings to cater for different and changing lifestyles;
  • Strike an appropriate balance between building coverage, amenity space and public realm provision;
  • Create places that are suitable for a range of ages and lifestyles.
  • Consider passive environmental design and maximise opportunities for natural day lighting and solar gain.


Building coverage


Mixed densities

Principles of grading density

Supporting public transport

Higher densities at key locations can make public transport services more viable and allow people to live car free when in walking distance to public transport.

Creating townscape and views

Views, vistas and landmarks can be created or enhanced using a variance of density across a site. Use density to create townscape whenever possible.

Creating skyline

Higher densities can allow for interesting views into and out of the area. Where suitable increasing densities and creating clusters which can be viewed from afar may be acceptable. 

Responding to context

Use scale and density to step down to lower scale neighbours in the immediate context. Use higher density to step up to neighbouring uses if larger scale to create clusters of density.

Neighbourhood density and form case studies

Image shows the Roof Gardens Building in Manchester

The Roof Gardens

The Roof Gardens by Ollier Smurthwaite Architects for DeTrafford Estates. The perimeter block layout and back-to-back  dwellings delivers a site layout which responds to  the

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Timekeepers Square

by Buttress Architects for Muse Developments The development is located in the Adelphi/Bexley Square Conservation Area and the primary aim of the site was to

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Kings Crescent

Kings Crescent by Karakusevic Carson Architects and muf art/architecture Kings Crescent Estate in Stoke Newington, North London is a major estate renewal project which combines

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Portobello Square

Portobello Square, London by PRP Architects for Kensington Housing Trust (part of the Catalyst Housing Group) PRP was appointed by Catalyst Housing Ltd. for the

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Carpenters Wharf

Carpenters Wharf, Hackney Whick by Studio Egret West Carpenters Wharf is a new mixed-useA well-integrated mix of different land uses which may include retail, employment,

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Permeable paving options