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Briefing: Design Coding using the NMDC: Introduction to design codes

Introducing: Kent Design LUNCH & LEARN – a series of online 1hr briefing events for 2021/22

The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2021) makes clear that local planning authorities should ensure that visual tools such as design codes and guides are used to inform development proposals to provide maximum clarity about design expectations at an early stage and reflect local character and preferences. Meanwhile, the National Model Design Code (NMDC) sets out guidance on the use of design codes to create vibrant, beautiful and sustainable places. However, the creation and use of design codes is new for many and there remains uncertainty about their role and delivery.

This Briefing provides an introduction to design codes, their role and how they work alongside masterplans and design guides. It will also explore the National Model Design Code (NMDC) and examples of codes and coded schemes.


  • Understand what a design code is and its role in creating successful places
  • Understand the difference between design codes, design guides and masterplans, and how they work together
  • Recognise the importance of design codes in planning policy and guidance

Online Learning events are designed for public and private sector practitioners with limited or some knowledge and experience of the topic, and those who would like to refresh or build on their existing knowledge.

The Online Learning event will include:

  • a live speaker presentation and Q&A
  • a member only resource library of ‘watch again’ content, presentations, key takeaways, and further reading

Delivered by:

Garry Hall, Design Advisor, Design South East
Ross O’Ceallaigh, Programme Manager, Design South East

Key details:

Date: Tuesday 21st September 2021
Time: 12:30 – 1:30pm (Login opens from 12:15pm)
Format: Online via Zoom

Booking details:

Kent Design member organisations:

To make sure all of our webinars are manageable we are limiting the number of participants. Bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis with a maximum of 4 places per member organisation. However, there will be an opportunity for further delegates to view a recording of the webinar.  So, feel free to provide additional names and we will be in touch to let them know how they can participate.

Kent/Medway local authority members: Please ensure all bookings are made through your key contact or representative who will be able to book places at this event on your behalf. If you do not know who that is, please email:  and we will let you know.

To book, please email the central Kent Design email address: with the following details:

  • Name of delegate(s)
  • Role/Job title
  • Organisation
  • Email address of delegate(s)
  • Confirmation the delegate(s) can access Zoom through a work or personal device

Online platforms:

We will be using Zoom as the online conferencing platform.  Prior to booking places please ensure you have a reliable internet connection and the latest version of Zoom.

Once you have successfully secured a place on this online learning event you will receive a booking confirmation email, followed by a Zoom link and programme details within 1 week prior to the event date. Kent Design Members also have access to the online resource library area where you will be able to download copies of presentations, any additional material for further reading, and a link to the webinar recording to share with your colleagues (within your organisation only). The resource login details will be shared at the end of this event, along with a short survey.

Non-Kent Design members:

There are a limited number of places available to non-members. The cost of individual places is £10pp+VAT. Please use the booking button which will redirect you to Eventbrite.

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