Trafford Design Code

Landscape led layouts

Visual structure

Residential sites

Landscape led Layouts


As set out in our Strategic Design Principles, our guiding principle for designing a development  is a ‘landscape-led’ approach. The residential development should incorporate a layered approach starting from the strategic objectives to the site context to ensure the design  is influenced by and knits into the wider community and existing landscape successfully.

Features of landscape led layouts

  • Sustainable drainage methods
  • Street trees
  • Limited sealed surfaces
  • Permeable surfaces for parking
  • Hedgerow used for boundaries
  • Green walls and climbing plants encouraged
  • Green planting on car port
  • Green roofs
  • Grass with groundcover edging


Landscape led

Examples of landscape led residential developments

Using existing landscape to inform the layout structure of residential project; Hortham Village by Barratt Homes is an example of a residential scheme that has retained mature landscape and incorporated into the open spaces  which houses overlook

Residential projects designed around a landscape structure

Principles of open space layouts

Central park; A residential layout built around a central park

Pocket parks; A residential layout built with a connected series of pocket parks

Urban square; A residential layout built around a central park

Linear parks; layout with long linear open streets and spaces


Context and identity

Green spaces in the surrounding context

Look at the pattern and network of local open spaces and greenspace in the local area and where possible integrate this into layout of residential projects


Sustainable urban drainage solutions

Examples of sustainable urban drainage solutions

Site wide SUDs; Solutions across the site for retention, removal or recycling of water 

Permeable paving; simple permeable surface material solutions for better water drainage

Principles of sustainable urban drainage


Shallow channels that provide attenuation while also channelling water to other features such as ponds.

Soakaways & Filter Drains

Shallow ditches and trenches filled with gravel or stones that collect uncontaminated water and allow it to percolate into the ground.

Rain capture

Water butts and other rainwater harvesting systems collect rainwater for use in gardens or for non-potable uses reducing water consumption.

Rain Gardens

Containers and ditches with native drought tolerant plants release water gradually and flter-out pollutants.

Permeable Surfacing

Surfaces that allow water to percolate into the ground including, natural surfaces, gravel and low traffic volume engineered road surfaces and hardstandings in front gardens.

Basins and Ponds

Attenuation ponds that are normally dry but fill  during a rain event and then either store or gradually discharge water to the system.

Reedbeds and Wetlands

Topography can be used to create wetlands that provide attenuation capacity as well as filtering out pollutants and providing habitat for wildlife.

Street tree planting

SuDS designed into highway provision can provide dual use benefts when integrated with street tree provision.


Active travel and street hierarchy

Example of active travel and hierarchical layout

Pedestrian only homezones

Local residential streets with parking

Multi-modal public transport streets

Pedestrian only parks and open spaces


Urban greening factor (UGF)

Calculate your own score by clicking below to open the calculator

Features of urban greening score factors


Development block layout

Examples of block shapes

Block shapes should create a balance between diversity and efficient plot shapes by using a combination of formal and informal block arrangements depending on site constraints and context.




Principles of block size

Block size should be appropriate to the house types, parking arrangements and private amenity spaces. A balance should be found between ample garden sizes and the permeability of the wider area to provide numerous direct walking routes.

Privacy distance between houses

Permeability of walking routes

Overshadowing between properties

Examples of simple block geometry

Blocks should be simple geometry to achieve efficient plots and usable gardens as well as orientate towards better daylight.

Block with 90 and 120 degree corners and edges

Block with 90, 120 and 150 degree corners and edges

Block with 90 and 120 degree corners and edges

Principles of block orientation

When designing layouts consider the orientation of buildings and their amenity space. Balance the requirements for solar gain and south facing gardens whilst avoiding too many long straight streets

Block orientation for window solar gain

East to west facing blocks within 30 degrees of due south will provide the maximum number of south facing houses.

Block orientation for roof solar panels

Where north to south blocks are required, roof pitches should be orientated to allow for solar panels.

Block layout for solar gain

A rectangular block with longest elevation facing due south

Block layout for solar gain

A courtyard block with majority of houses facing towards south


Vehicle parking

Example of combining courtyard parking with landscape and drainage solution

Residential sites landscape layouts case studies

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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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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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