National Model Design Code

National Model Design Code

What is a Design Code?

A design code sets out guiding principles and rules for new developments coming forward. The National Design Guide (2021) defines a design code as:

'A set of illustrated design requirements that provide specific, detailed parameters for the physical development of a site or area. The graphic and written components of the code should build upon a design vision, such as a masterplan or other design and development framework for a site or area.'


Design codes allow the design of a development to be regulated in order to ensure the creation of high quality schemes which are well integrated into their surroundings. Design codes provide clarity on what is expected of developments, setting out requirements for how the built environment will look and function. A key element of design codes is that they will have local community involvement from the earliest stages, meaning you will have the opportunity to shape the future of Newcastle.  


In 2019, the government published a National Design Guide, which set out ten characteristics of good design, these were: 


Ten Characteristics of Creating a Well Designed Place

Source: National Design Guide


The government is encouraging the use of these ten characteristics in the creation of design codes across the UK in order to raise design standards. The creation of design codes is an exciting opportunity to ensure the creation of high quality developments throughout Newcastle, giving the Local Planning Authority the ability to set out expectations of quality at an early stage. 


If you are interested in knowing more about design codes, you can view the National Model Design Code recently published by the government. 


National Modal Design Code Pilot Programme

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is the UK Government department for housing, communities and local government in England.


Newcastle City Council has been selected by MHCLG as part of the National Model Design Code Pilot Programme to prepare a Design Code for Ouseburn Central. You can view the Briefing Note by clicking this link.


If you'd like to find out more about Ouseburn Urban Design Code, you can contact us via


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