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bournville estate design guide


Location Client Completion
Birmingham, UK Bournville Village Trust 2021

Project details

Bournville Village Trust commissioned BDP’s urbanism studio to produce a new design guide for the iconic Bournville Estate, to guide homeowners in how to pursue alterations and sustainability enhancements whilst conserving their properties’ historic character. 

Led by the Cadbury brothers, Bournville is the pioneer development that inspired the Garden City movement. The Cadbury’s legacy of creating healthy communities that prioritise social wellbeing remains pertinent today. Since 1900, the Trust has managed the appearance and amenity of the Estate, providing services to 8,000 homes and 25,000 residents.

The design guide is an important tool through which the community and the Trust manage local development, in parallel to the town planning process. The Estate is famed for its arts and crafts heritage, and contains two conservation areas and many listed buildings.

Extensive community engagement on the production of the guide gave local residents a strong voice in how its sustainable development policies were prepared.

The guide introduces area-based policies that reflect the Estate’s 20th century phases of development. It is richly illustrated to improve the clarity of guidance and user experience for homeowners, and describes each neighbourhood’s history and distinctive character.

Launched in July 2021, the Bournville Estate Design Guide was recognised for its achievement in balancing heritage and sustainability considerations by the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2022.


  • A design code for an existing suburb with world-renowned historic neighbourhoods
  • Extensive review and interpretation of the Estate’s unique character
  • Consultation with Birmingham City Council and local community engagement


  • Bournville Estate Design Guide, adopted in 2021
  • Planning Awards – Shortlisted for RTPI Award for Design Excellence, 2022

Integrated services

town planning, urban design, conservation architecture, sustainability