Design Coding for Sustainable Development


Design codes based on the National Model Design Code (NMDC) are becoming one of the most powerful tools councils have to improve the design of streets and buildings in their area. The new National Planning Policy Framework strongly encourages the creation of design codes and the draft Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will mandate them. The industry is aware of the need to create places that are walkable, healthy, sustainable and contextual and which allow residents to live happy, prosperous lives.

This course sets out what you need to know about design codes (within UK and international contexts) and gives practical advice about how to create successful codes based on Create Streets’ extensive experience working with councils and communities. An introductory session will focus on the theory and purpose of design codes and how they can be used, including how they are different to design guides.

Attendees will be shown how to create provably popular design codes based on the historic context. This will be followed by an in-depth session looking at how to write design codes, with a particular focus on street design, layouts, built form and house types (identity).

After lunch, for those attending in person, a site walkaround in a historic neighbourhood will be followed by a practical workshop led by urban designers and experienced coders where attendees will start working on a design code of their own, putting their new-found knowledge into practice.

At the end of the course, attendees will have a strong grasp of how to use design codes and what key opportunities and risks they may encounter. 

This course will be delivered in a hybrid format. The morning session is being offered for both in-person and online participants. The afternoon session is offered for in-person participants only.

Programme details

9:00am– Registration for in-person attendees

9:30am– Introduction and welcome

9:45am– Session 1: What is a design code and how do we use them within communities

10:45am– Short break

11.00am– Session 2: How to write and illustrate sustainable design codes

12:30pm Online course ends. Lunch for in-person attendees

1:15pm– Site walkaround

2:30pm– Short break

2:45pm– Session 3, Practical Workshop: Coding the green, sustainable street. Creating and illustrating a design code.

4:15pm– Discussion and wrap-up

4:45pm– Day ends


Description Costs
In-person tuition £305.00
Online tuition: Half day only £145.00
Hot Lunch (in-person attendance only) £19.25


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking. 

Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email:


This course is delivered in partnership with Create Streets. Create Streets has extensive experience working with councils, landowners and residents on creating sustainable design codes. Their street design code for Surrey County Council has been called one of ‘the most progressive street design guides in the UK’.

David Milner

Course Co-Director

David Milner MEng is the Deputy Director at Create Streets and is currently leading and working on a wide range of strategic advice, estate regeneration and local government consultation projects. He led on a digital street design code for Surrey County Council and is a member of the Academy of Urbanism.

Robert Kwolek

Course Co-Director

Robert Kwolek BA is senior architectural designer at Create Streets where he is currently leading on an area-based design code for Wychavon District Council and other design codes in East and West Sussex. He has master-planned town extensions in Dorset and Wiltshire, oversaw a high street design guide in the Isle of Wight and has authored a pattern book for a rural housing association.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices with Continuing Education Residential Centre +44 (0)1865 270362, please do quote the course name as a reference at the time of booking. 

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.

IT requirements

If you wish to join the course online for the hybrid sessions only you will be offered the option to select this when you book. The hybrid sessions will be live streamed using Microsoft Teams and you will be sent a link to join the course. The course will be accessible online 15 minutes before the start time and we encourage all participants to join in good time.