What is a Design Code?
A Design Code is an important document which provides detailed guidance on the standard of design required to ensure new developments create high-quality places. A Design Code includes both images and text to describe design ‘rules’ that must be followed by developers as well as broader expectations for good design. Usually, a Design Code builds on a Masterplan which sets out the high level vision for an area, and provides more technical and precise expectations for design quality.

A Design Code is usually prepared by the Council, with involvement from communities and stakeholders. It then becomes a key document that developers have to follow when submitting future planning applications.

Why do we need a Design Code for Huncoat?
The Huncoat Design Code will set out the detail to ensure that future housing brought forward through the Masterplan will meet a high-quality design standard. By setting out design related do’s and don’ts, the Design Code will help to establish expectations early on in the planning process. The Design Code will be used by the Hyndburn Borough Council to guide and enforce appropriate design standards as planning applications for various sites within the proposed Huncoat Garden Village come forward.

The National Model Design Code
The Huncoat Design Code is being prepared based on the UK Government’s National Model Design Code (NMDC) guidance, which sets out a seven-step design coding process. In fact, the Government has selected Huncoat as a pilot project to help ‘test’ the NMDC guidance. The Huncoat project will provide valuable feedback to Government on the Design Coding process and will be used to help shape future national policy. For more information on the NMDC see here.

What will the Huncoat Design Code cover?
The Huncoat Design Code will ensure the layout and design details of the Garden Village reflect Huncoat’s special character and history, whilst also ensuring the development is sustainable and fit for the future. It will specify how the houses, buildings, streets and open spaces should be designed to make them attractive, beautiful places that the community can be proud of. Key themes running through the Design Code are the importance of community, biodiversity, sustainability and character.

Importantly the Code will also consider maintenance and stewardship helping to ensure that the new development remains well managed in the longer term.

Community Involvement in the Design Code
It is important that the Design Code captures the aspirations of the local community. Please check the website front page for details of how you can have your say.