Designing Trafford


Trafford Council has published a draft Trafford Design Guide for consultation, which will make sure that high-quality design plays a major role in future developments within Trafford.

However, for the Guide to be successful, we really need your views and input. Your feedback will also be used as a visioning exercise for a future Design Code.

Click here to download the Design Guide

To have your say on the Design Guide, please complete our online questionnaire here.

To have your say on the Design Code, please complete our online questionnaire here.

This is an exciting opportunity for you to help shape how future developments in the borough look so don’t miss out on playing your part in designing tomorrow’s Trafford! 

Trafford Illustration


What is a design guide?

A design guide is a document that sets out the general design principles and standards that developments proposed in an area should follow. Good local design guides are concise, positive documents that are accessible and use tools such as illustrations and checklists to highlight key design issues and possible solutions. They are most effective when used alongside other relevant design tools, e.g., design codes.

What is a design code?

A design code is a set of simple, illustrated design requirements that are visual and numerical wherever possible. Because they are visual and numerical in nature, rather than a long wordy document, design codes can provide a clearer, easier-to-understand steer on what is acceptable. They can also give developers greater certainty about what may be acceptable when seeking planning permission and can help lead to faster planning decisions based on whether a proposal complies with a code. This in turn helps to speed up the delivery of development.

What is good design?

“First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works…” Jan Gehl

Good design can lift our spirits by making us feel at home, giving us a buzz of excitement or creating a sense of delight. The designs of the places we live and work in have been shown to affect our health and well-being, our feelings of safety, security, inclusion and belonging, and our sense of community cohesion.

Good design should be inclusive, accessible, cohesive, enjoyable and sustainable. Good design should address local needs and issues and provide solutions that create attractive, distinctive and delightful places for those who use them.

A well-designed-place wheel graphic
National Design Guide : Planning practice guidance for beautiful, enduring and successful places

(Images source: National Design Guide : Planning practice guidance for beautiful, enduring and successful places - page 39)

Design Principles

Draft Trafford Design Guide Principles

The Design Guide challenges those looking to build within Trafford to propose something that is shaped by its environment, ensuring it contributes to healthy, engaged and connected communities.

With this in mind, eight design principles – core values – have been established to drive forward high-quality design. These are:

Sustainable Movement symbol
Leading with landscape symbol
Safe and Inclusive places symbol
Design with character and beauty symbol
Respond to place symbol
Embrace New and sustainable ideas symbol
Design together symbol
Sustainable Movement symbol

Sustainable movement – buildings and places will be designed in a way that makes walking, cycling and public transport the most attractive option

Leading with landscape – public spaces and landscape design will be an important consideration when planning applications are being decided

Safe and inclusive places – proposals will create buildings, places and streets that can be used by everyone

Design with character and beauty – the design of new buildings and spaces will contribute to the beauty of Trafford, delivering places and buildings
that the borough’s residents can be proud of

Respond to place – developments will respect, and reflect, the historic and contemporary character of the area they are proposed in

Embrace new sustainable ideas – designs in Trafford will embrace new ideas and approaches, delivering efficient, sustainable and useable buildings for all

Design together – designs will be a collaboration, with the local community engaged in shaping proposals

Connected neighbourhoods – developments will be designed to make people want to move there by providing safe, attractive, fun and well-proportioned streets

Comply or Justify

The recommendations within the Design Guide have been developed on the principle of ‘comply or justify, meaning all development proposals are expected to follow with the principles, guidance and requirements as set out in the Guide.

Where a proposal departs from any of the recommendations a thorough justification must be provided.

To download the Strategic Design Principles chapter of the Design Guide, please click the link below:

Strategic Design Principles


In Autumn 2019, a series of ‘design days’ and workshops were held in Altrincham, Stretford, Urmston, Sale, Trafford Park, Warburton, Partington and Hale.

These culminated in a Design Symposium, which invited representatives from all the previous design days and workshops to come together, be presented with some of the preliminary work on the Trafford Design Guide and give their views.

The feedback from the design days and workshops has informed the content of the first draft of the Trafford Design Guide.

Drop-in Events

Saturday 2nd July 2022


Partington Shopping Centre,
9.30am – 12.30pm


George Street, Stamford Quarter, Altrincham
2pm – 5pm

Saturday 9th July 2022


34 Golden Way, Urmston
9am – 12noon


Market Walk, Sale
1.30pm – 4.30pm

Wednesday 13th July 2022


St Brides Way, Old Trafford
10am – 2pm

Saturday 16th July 2022


Chester Road, Stretford
9am – 12noon

Draft Trafford Design Guide

Click here to download the Design Guide

Alternatively, you can download individual chapters from the Design Guide by clicking the links below:


Strategic Design Principles

Trafford Place

Design Requirements

Delivery & Implementation

This consultation on the draft Trafford Design Guide will run from the 1 July to 17 August 2022.

Following this consultation, amendments to the Design Guide may be made and the document will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Guidance document.

The Design Guide will be used to ensure that the principles of good design are used by developers when preparing their planning applications for developments in Trafford.  It will inform every stage of the design process, from appraisal of sites right through to the submission of a planning application and its eventual delivery.

Trafford Design Code

Following this initial consultation, the team will review the feedback received. This will inform the development of the draft Trafford Design Code.

Your input into the Design Code process is important and once a draft Code is developed, further public consultation events will take place to get your views on the Design Code and how you see the future of development in Trafford.

National Model Design Code Part 1 The Coding Process

(Images source: National Model Design Code Part 1 The Coding Process - page 22)

National Model Design Code, MHCLG 2021

(Images source: National Model Design Code, MHCLG 2021)

Design Guide cover

What happens next?

Have your say

To have your say on the Design Guide, please complete our online questionnaire here.

To have your say on the Design Code, please complete our online questionnaire here.

Alternatively, comments can be emailed to:

You can also write to the Council at Trafford Design Guide Consultation, Planning Service, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford, M32 0TH or call us on 0800 061 2281.
Trafford Illustration

Cookie Policy

This site uses Google Analytics which is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solution on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. These cookies may track things such as how long you spend on the site and the pages that you visit so we can continue to produce engaging content.

Analytics built into the website software are used to track and measure usage of this site so that we can continue to produce engaging content. These cookies may track things such as how long you spend on the site or pages you visit which helps us to understand how we can improve the site for you.

No personal data is collected or used through the collection of Cookies on this site. For more information about how we use cookies on this site, please contact us on 0113 335 0033 or