Use the drop-downs to find out more about design guidance.

What is design guidance? 

Many of our clients come to us with fully-fledged development proposals, but not all. If your development is still in its early stages, we offer bespoke design guidance to help steer it in the right direction. 

Our guidance is bespoke which means it can be as detailed or generic as you need it to be. Get in touch using the button below to tell us exactly what design guidance you require and we’ll adjust our quote accordingly. Our initial advice is always free of charge.

Design guidance is mostly relevant in the case of new housing schemes but it can apply to other types of development, especially where the historic environment is affected.

What does Planning Direct’s design guidance cover?

Our design guidance will seek to reconcile your own desires or requirements with all relevant planning policies and guidance. For new housing, this will normally require us to take account of local density policies, the nationally described space standard, local design codes and good practice guidance on daylight/sunlight.

We provide bespoke design guidance. This means you can tell us exactly what you want to know and we’ll adjust the contents and cost of our report accordingly.

In the case of new housing schemes, our design guidance is able to cover all of the following matters:

Amount & density

How many houses overall and how many houses per hectare. Generally speaking, higher densities will be possible and preferred in built-up urban and suburban areas.


The height, width and length of buildings.


The arrangement of buildings, roads, open spaces etc. within the site.

House types

This includes size/housing mix (how many 1, 2, 3 or 4+ bedroom houses), tenure (market or affordable, rent or sale) and type (detached, semi-detached, terrace, maisonette etc.).

Architectural style & appearance

At the highest level, the choice is normally between traditional or contemporary style. Our advice can also cover detailed design such as the form, position and style of openings (windows and doors) and use of local design features/materials like chimneys, brick plinths and weatherboarding.


This includes both hard and soft landscaping. Hard landscaping covers things like fences, gates and hard surfaces. Soft landscaping covers things like trees, hedges and green spaces.


This includes the point of access to the site (its position, width, surface etc.) plus roads and pathways within the site.

If you need design guidance for a commercial development or a design issue not listed above, please get in touch. In the unlikely event that we can’t assist you, we can probably direct you to somebody who can. Our initial advice is always free of charge.

You will always be free to make design choices about your development that are contrary to our guidance. So that you can make informed decisions throughout the design process, we will always be upfront with you about the risks and rewards of doing so. Ultimately, it’s your development! Our design guidance simply aims to give you the tools and information you need to make the best choices.

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