Draft Design Code consultation

Information about the background to the East Riding Design Code, and its aims, what the next steps are, and access to the relevant documents.

What is the East Riding Draft Design Code Consultation and its aim?

The council is consulting on its Draft Design Code. This public consultation runs from 11 September 2023 and closes on 22 October 2023.

This consultation is your opportunity to provide feedback on the draft code by completing the survey here. This survey covers all aspects of the code, along with the compliance checklist and the place types proposed for the allocations.

The following documents for review can be accessed here:

The Design Code, currently at draft stage, seeks to implement and reinforce East Riding Local Plan Policy ENV1 (Integrating high quality design), provide certainty to applicants as to what is required in different scales of development within different parts of the East Riding, and is intended to make it easier and faster to achieve better development.

The Design Code will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), and will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. It has been prepared to ensure the delivery of high-quality new development within the East Riding of Yorkshire at all scales. The code forms part of a series of documents, including other SPDs, master plans, neighbourhood plans, and development briefs guiding development and design.

The Design Code comprises of individual numeric and visual design requirements to provide specific parameters guiding applicants on the design and development requirements for high-quality design which will be considered acceptable, and is relevant to all new developments.

The Design Code aims to ensure that new development within the East Riding responds to its context which will ensure it reinforces identity, the requirement for sustainable choices, encourages biodiversity, and sits respectfully within its existing landscape, whether this be urban or rural in nature.

At a more local level, and in addition to the Design Code, it is the authority’s intention to produce Identity and Context documents for each settlement within the East Riding which will illustrate the typical materials and design features for each settlement. Neighbourhood Plans may also include their own design code or guide.

At the national level, the Design Code sits below the National Design Guide, within which are 10 design characteristics and its production has been informed by the National Model Design Code. Other documents which have informed the code include the Manual for Street (MfS), Building for a Healthy Life, Green Infrastructure Framework and Building with Nature.

Can I see the background to the Design Code and what has been done so far?

Work on the preparation of the code began in 2020 on the back of the Planning for the Future White Paper. Subsequent changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and changes which are proposed to come forward in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB) have set out requirements for all Local Planning Authorities to create authority wide design codes.

In 2021 the opportunity arose to apply to be part of a government pathfinder for producing design codes using the new National Model Design Code (NMDC) document. Given the variations in built form, context and identity of settlements across the Authority, coupled with the lack of existing guidance, a bid was submitted to produce a high-level authority wide Code.

In March 2022, it was announced the council had been successful in its bid to be part of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) design code pathfinder programme.

The authority wide code has been prepared over the last year and a half with a wide-ranging stakeholder engagement programme being undertaken throughout 2022. Further consultation with specialist teams in the authority has been undertaken into 2023 in production of this draft code.

Work on the code started publicly in March 2022 when an authority-wide survey was launched asking those who lived and worked in the authority to tell us, “What is special about where you live?”

The survey received over 1600 responses, with some of the main highlights being the importance of landscaping and connection with the surrounding countryside, climate change and flood risk, connectivity (to the surrounding countryside, movement and travel), homes and buildings.

Building on this survey, a series of targeted workshops were held between September and November 2022, including:

  • a mixed stakeholder bus tour and workshop
  • an East Riding Councillor workshop
  • an officers' workshop
  • a developer/agents' workshop.

A youth photography competition was also held over the October half-term, where entrants were invited to submit photos of their favourite places in the East Riding. Each of the responses were analysed and fed into the production of the code, supplementing the information gathered during the other workshops. The winning photograph can be found on page 26 of the draft code.

Various drafts of the code have been produced throughout and have been tested with a wide range of internal officers representing different areas of specialist knowledge, including the highways, conservation, planning, forward planning, trees, and public health teams contributing to place making.

During this drafting process, and as part of the pathfinder programme, draft versions of the code have also been through two design review panels which were run by the Design Council and arranged by DLUHC where feedback received has been implemented into this version of the draft code.

What are the Draft Design Visions and Design Values?

Design Vision

The vision is for green, inclusive and distinctive places, which connect landscape, people, place and nature. New development in the East Riding will celebrate the diversity of the built and natural environment and its heritage to create healthy and sustainable places for the communities of today and tomorrow.

Through discussion during the initial consultation process and following discussions, the below design values were formed. These values, also considering the ten characteristics of good design noted in the National Model Design Code, have shaped the content of the draft code. The relevant design values are noted in the key information boxes at the end of each individual code.

Design Values


New development will create, or support, a network of well-connected, walkable and legible neighbourhoods. Places should provide direct lines of movement to shops, workplaces, open spaces including countryside, community facilities, and services. Development will promote active travel and modal choice, providing safe cycle routes to create equitable and accessible movement around and between places. Prioritising pedestrians and those of all abilities is paramount.


The East Riding landscape is varied, from the rolling hills of the Wolds to the coast and Spurn Point. The local landscape should influence all new development and be integrated with drainage solutions that counter flood risk, provide appealing open space, enhanced views and biodiversity net gain proposals. The public realm, including streets, should be designed to provide multiple benefits and be adaptable for future changes to lifestyle and climate.


Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of whole-of-life design and includes environmental, social and economic considerations. Sustainable and high-performing built outcomes are better for health and wellbeing, contributing to social and economic equity by reducing resource consumption and running costs, while enhancing comfort and usability. Buildings should be designed in a way that allows them to be adapted for future uses.

Distinctive and contextual

The East Riding is made up of cultural and contextual fabrics, local character, landscape setting and identity supported by a rich heritage.

Market towns, such as Driffield and Pocklington, with compact centres offered important points for trade and along the coast towns like Bridlington benefit from a rich fishing heritage. It is the rich heritage of the authority that creates a sense of civic pride and belonging and is reflected through the built form. The character of each place across the East Riding is different, and an authentic and respectful response to the context will create distinctive places.

Context must be reflected through all aspects of design from layout and street design to landscape design and built form. Innovative design is welcomed but should still be reflective of, and work with, the local setting.

Inclusive and safe

The approach to future development should be inclusive, working in the broadest possible sense to support and nurture the health and well-being of all in our authority. Streets and public spaces must be accessible for all and be designed with public safety in mind.

The design of buildings must consider the needs of all user groups and how they can contribute to the inclusivity and safety of surrounding public spaces. New developments offering employment should be designed in a way which supports the health and well-being of the workforce and promotes ties to local communities.

What is meant by Authority-wide codes and design considerations?

As the title suggests, the authority-wide codes are applicable to the whole authority, and are broken down into the following:

The authority-wide codes are broken down into the following scales:

  • Large development (25+ units)
  • Medium development (10-24 units)
  • Small development (5-9 units)
  • Single plot/Infill (2-4 units)
  • Single plot or building extension (1 unit).

And into the following design considerations:

  • Anticipating Future Needs
  • Layout
  • Public Open Spaces
  • Street Design
  • Blocks
  • Plots
  • Buildings.

The larger the development, the more authority-wide codes will apply to that development. This is presented in table 1.3 Development Scale Summary of the Draft Design Code:

Table 1.3 from SPD pg7

What is meant by Place Types and Place Type codes?

The East Riding benefits from a unique scale, character and identity, and not one place is like any other in the authority. Additionally, within each settlement there are different character areas in terms of scale and character of development.

For these reasons it was authority-wide codes by themselves would not be sufficient to achieve the desired outcomes of the Design Code. Whilst the authority-wide codes apply across the whole authority, the uniqueness of the East Riding, and variety of place types mean that a series of more specific and tailored codes have been prepared within the draft code to better tailor development to a particular place type or setting, whether this be urban, rural or industrial in nature.

There are seven place types within the Design Code:

  • Town Centre
  • Inner Neighbourhood
  • Outer Neighbourhood
  • Neighbourhood Centre
  • Village
  • Countryside
  • Business and Non-Central Retail and Industrial.

The title and numeric reference given in the place type codes matches those used in the authority-wide codes, and are suffixed with:

  • TC for Town centre
  • IN for Inner neighbourhood
  • ON for Outer neighbourhood
  • NC for Neighbourhood centre
  • V for Village
  • C for Countryside
  • BRI for Business, non-central retail and industrial.

The above place types will be relevant to all windfall sites, and all allocations will have an allocated place type to help guide users on what place type codes will apply. The proposed place types can be viewed on the Draft Design Code information page.

For other development, a flowchart has been devised to help applicants determine which place type best suits that site. This is shown in figure 1.2 Identifying Place Types on page 8 of the Draft Design Code.

Figure 1.2 - Identifying Place Types on page 8 of the Draft Design Code

What is the difference between Codes, Required Processes and Guidance?

Within the Design Code, the codes are clearly defined as either Code, Required Process or Guidance. These are explained below:

Required Process: Requirements that are not a design outcome, but are steps applicants will need to take and evidence whilst preparing their planning application, e.g. information required to be included in a Design and Access Statement

Code: These are requirements (mainly quantifiable) that applicants can apply knowing that they will be acceptable to the authority. If these are not complied with, a robust justification will be required as to why this is.

Guidance: These are desirables, but not requirements, that will help achieve a high standard of design which the Authority would like to see demonstrated as part of applications

What is the Draft Design Code Compliance Checklist?

In order to show how the Design Code has been complied with, a compliance checklist has been created which outlines the name, number and requirements of each of the authority-wide and place type codes within the draft code document.

Users will need to filter the checklist by scale of development, and place type to return all of the relevant codes for that development in order to improve efficiency in completing the checklist.

The compliance checklist can be accessed below:

Draft Compliance Checklist (Excel 650kb)

This checklist must be completed and submitted with all applications to demonstrate how and where the codes have been complied with. If any of the codes have not been complied with, a robust justification as to why will be required.

How do I respond to the Draft Design Code consultation?

The council is consulting on its Draft Design Code. This public consultation runs from 11 September 2023 and closes 22 October 2023.

This consultation is your opportunity to provide feedback on the draft code by completing the survey here. This survey covers all aspects of the code, along with the compliance checklist and the place types proposed for the allocations.

In addition to the online survey, we are hosting a series of in-person events across the authority where you will be given the opportunity to look at a paper copy of the draft design code, read about its development, and ask members of the Planning Design team any questions you may have.

Please see details of these below:

This consultation also includes a series of workshops with planning officers, developers and agents, and Councillors. Feedback collected from these sessions, along with the public consultation will be collated and reviewed to inform further changes to the draft design code.

If you have any enquiries, please email the Planning Design team at planningdesign@eastriding.gov.uk.

Are there any other relevant documents to view?

See below for a list of relevant documents you may wish to view alongside the Design Code:

Other relevant local and national documents:

What are the next steps?

Public Consultation

6 weeks from 11 September 2023 to 22 October 2023.

Review of code following consultation

Compile all comments from internal and external workshops and the public survey, and review alongside our consultants with view to making further changes to the draft Design Code.

Adoption early 2024

Once adopted, implementation of the code will require constant review, in-terms of how it is being used, and with a view on how it can be amended to react to required changes, whether these be to reflect National and/or Local Planning Policy updates or act on recommendations to improve usability of the code.

Identity and Context Documents

Whilst every effort has been made to produce a design code which can be applied at every level, it is the intention of the authority to produce more locally-specific design guidance for individual settlements in the East Riding to ensure development can further reflect the unique characteristics of these settlements.

For any queries on the consultation or the draft Design Code, please contact planningdesign@eastriding.gov.uk.

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