Trafford Design Code


Trafford's Places

A short guide to Trafford and it's unique places


Part of Trafford’s appeal lies in the diversity of its towns, neighbourhoods and landscapes. The Borough plays host to a rich tapestry of characterful streets and open spaces mixed with many fine examples of architecture.


Trafford was historically an agricultural landscape, industrialisation did not occur in the area until the late 19th century.  Trafford’s main settlements owe much of their character to suburban growth of the 19th and 20th centuries. The construction of the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway [1849] created new suburbs for the middle classes of Manchester with the construction of villa-type houses centred around railway stations. There are many fine residences constructed from red brick, the distinctive Bowdon ‘white brick’, and sandstone. Roofs are generally slate, and many buildings have  terracotta detailing. A number are by renowned architects including Edgar Wood, Henry Goldsmith, Charles Heathcote and John Douglas.


That diversity of character is something which should be reinforced through the planning and design of new development in the Borough.


New proposals should seek to enhance and draw out the qualities which make each place within Trafford unique. This should be done through well-considered and locally appropriate design responses, avoiding bland solutions.

Trafford's Places

To guide applicants when thinking about the context of their proposals we have defined Trafford through a series “Places”. These are the localities within the Borough that are recognisable as being of a different character as defined by their architecture, history, character, landscape or land uses.


Applicants should seek to understand the unique characteristics of the Place in which they are proposing development. This may include more localised characteristics that should be researched and responded to through the design of proposals.

Trafford Coding Plan

Trafford’s Area Coding Plan shows the areas within Trafford that the code will apply to along with the distribution of the area types.  The plan also identifies the location of ‘New Places’ within the Borough.


 This plan shows the area to be covered by the Code and divides this up into a series of area types as described in the key. 


Applicants must identify where their proposed development site is located and the relevant area type to determine which sections of the Trafford Design Code are applicable.  Make sure that you read ‘Which sections should you read?’

Interpreting the Place

The following sections provide an overview of each of Trafford’s Places, describing their typical characteristics and any unique design considerations. It is recognised that there are limitations to this approach as within each Place there are numerous and more detailed distinctions that can be made between sub-areas. This chapter has sought to identify some of these characteristics, however it is not practical to identify or indeed describe all these in detail. Therefore applicants are expected to conduct their own analysis prior to any design development and engage in discussion with the local authority to ensure a common interpretation of its character is agreed. Conservation Area Character Appraisals should also be read in conjunction with the details published here and will take precedence where there is any conflict. Proposals near to the boundary of an area should take into account the character of both adjacent Places. Key design cues have been set out for each Place to assist in your work.

What you should consider

  • Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the Place in which the development proposals are located. Reference the history, architecture, townscape and landscape of the site and its surroundings when planning and designing new development.
  • Look to the local vernacular for design cues (highlighted within this section for each Place), responding to the scale, form, composition, boundaries, material palette and detailing.
  • Where possible proposals should enhance and reinforce the existing character of the area. New development must contribute to the setting of existing historic landscapes and buildings.

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