Urban Design & Masterplanning 2017-01-31T21:07:10+00:00

Urban Design & Masterplanning

Wichelstowe Urban Deveoplment


During the past couple of decades, urban design has become a much more important element of the planning decision-making system.  Clear demonstration of the site evaluation and appraisal combined with appropriate masterplans and design and access statements are now required to accompany most planning applications for development.

Our particular approach is to use a comprehensive design process that links urban design to architectural detail in a co-ordinated response.  The inherent qualities of a site and the surrounding context provide a firm basis for an informed design solution.

The Design Process

Our guiding principal is to consider the environmental, social and financial responsibilities whilst producing places that provide value-for-money.

We have wide experience of brownfield and greenfield development ranging from infill within conservation areas to the extensive growth of major urban areas.  The three main areas of the development process that urban design influences are development plans, planning applications and competitive bids.

We also have a large portfolio of public realm regeneration and improvement schemes within commercial and retail centres, and sensitive conservation areas.

We pride ourselves on our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with the communities involved with developments that concern them and have a strong track record of carrying out a wide range of constructive and rewarding public consultation exercises including public meetings, focus group workshops, targeted surveys and informative sessions.

We also have experience with producing urban design related policy and design guidance for local authorities assisting in producing place shaping documents such as design codes and character area appraisals.

Development Plans – The promotion of land through the development plan process is key to producing sustainable expansion.  The planning arguments can be supported by well-considered plans that are founded on robust design principles.  Feasibility plans progress to masterplans or flexible frameworks to guide sensitive development of land.

The vision we have for a site is supported by practical application.  This gains credibility from public and private development teams, facilitating future implementation.

Planning Applications – Urban design in the planning system calls for planning applications to be accompanied by design and access statements.  We have produced many documents that highlight context, principles and recognition of creating distinctive places.

We have experience in producing design guides, area development frameworks and development briefs that aim to establish elements of area identity, connectivity, legibility, variety and developing the right conditions for vital public spaces.

Competitive Bids – We have a successful record in securing land for clients as part of a competitive tender and promoting ourselves through an accomplished track record.  Our approach is to produce seductive design proposals balanced with financial viability.


DPDS has been responsible for producing a number of large masterplans that have successfully guided development through the UK.  The number of different disciplines within the company allows a more balanced and practical approach to realising the principles upon which plans are based.

The format of masterplans can be either a comprehensive document that comprises of various elements to form a whole or a single regulatory plan.  They are flexible enough to be interpreted by the designers within the company or external consultants.

Stages of Masterplanning – The masterplan process evolves gradually through a number of stages with a continuous vision forming part of each.  It is an important part of promoting land to reveal development opportunities and describing potential qualities.

An initial site appraisal identifies physical and environmental constraints that form the basis of a feasibility plan.  This leads to a general allocation of land uses and developable area that can be used as a focus for discussion between members of the consultant team.

The emerging plan begins to define the physical, spatial and environmental strategies that are needed to create a new place.

DPDS believes that masterplans are a means of conveying technical and graphic information to support the overall vision.  They are believable solutions that produce a sensitive framework for growth to cities, towns and villages.