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FOUR STAGE

PLANNING & DESIGN PROCESS

We passionately believe that following our Four Stage Planning & Design Process provides a greater chance of achieving planning permission at a local level.

It sets out a clear step by step route to ensuring the best possible chance of success for your project.

In creating our Four Stage Planning & Design Process we have adapted the RIBA Plan of Work to simplify the planning and design process. It provides a clear understanding of key stages and sets out a framework to co-ordinate the many facets of the planning and design process.

Our scope of service and fee proposals are set out following the same Four Stage Planning & Design Process and are tailored to each project depending on when we become involved in the process.

Clients are not obliged to use all of the services we offer. We are more than happy to assist other planners, architects or surveyors on projects and have a successful track record of doing so.

Select a SEGMENT to read more about each stage

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01

1

PREPARATION AND BRIEFING

Creating a clear, agreed brief is essential to the success of the project
We work closely with all of our clients to shape a clear design brief from the outset of each project. Our Design Brief Template provides useful starting point to ensuring that we fully understand the nature and objections of each project. This can be downloaded above, completed WS Planning & Architecture Design Brief or posted to us separately.

Involves:
Client meeting; Site visit; Design briefing; Planning policy review

Results in:
An agreed design brief; Identifying site constraints and opportunities; Scope of service; Fee quote(s) (including Preferred Partners or other external consultants as required)

02

2

CONCEPT DESIGN

Including pre application submission (if required)
The Concept Design covers the outline proposals for the project leading to a pre application submission to the Local Planning Authority where required. While projects vary, this stage ensures that the Design brief has been met before moving on to the Developed design stage.

Involves:
Feasibility drawings; addressing planning policy and site constraints.

Results in:
Client approval and/or Pre-Application submission (Usually requires a meeting with and written response from the Local Planning Authority)

03

3

SPATIAL COORDINATION

Leading to the Planning Application submission
Using feedback from the client and/or pre application process the Spatial Coordination can be finalised. We work closely with our Preferred Partners and/or external consultants to ensure that the site constraints and relevant planning policies have been addressed in order to progress with an application.

Involves:
Planning application drawings; Planning statement and/or Design & Access statement

Results in:
Planning application submission; monitoring application through to decision

04

4

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Building Regulations, discharge of conditions and beyond
Following receipt of the planning approval there may be the need to discharge conditions as well as handling the detailed technical design before construction can commence. Our services include Building Regulations drawings and submissions, detailed drawings and specifications, tendering and contract administration.

Involves:
Assessing planning conditions; Co-ordinating external consultants; Building Regulations drawings; detailed drawings & specifications

Results in:
Releasing pre commencement conditions; Building Regulations plans approval; Contract administration; Hand over

planningicon1

1

PREPARATION AND BRIEFING

Creating a clear, agreed brief is essential to the success of the project

We work closely with all of our clients to shape a clear design brief from the outset of each project.

Involves:
Client meeting; Site visit; Design briefing; Planning policy review

Results in:
An agreed design brief either prepared in house or with your own surveyor or architect; Identifying site constraints and opportunities; Scope of service; Fee quote(s) (including Preferred Partners or other external consultants as required).

planningicon2

2

Pre application submission

( if required )

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that pre application engagement and front loading applications have significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning system for all parties. Local Planning authorities should look for solutions rather than problems. However, more and more local planning authorities are resorting to the pre-application process to ensure a smoother transition through the planning process.

Many Local Planning Authorities will no longer communicate with applicants or agents during the course of an application. Not all applications require a pre-application process and they are not a pre requisite for working with WS Planning & Architecture. Timescales and costs vary between Local Planning Authorities. Smaller scale householder enquiries can often be carried out without the need to meet on site or at the Council offices and rely on a written exchange.

Larger submissions will generally require additional internal consultation and usually require a meeting on site or at the Council offices and will result in a written response setting out the main issues and way forward on a without prejudice basis.

Involves:
Feasibility drawings; addressing planning policy and site constraints

Results in:
Client approval and/or Pre-Application submission (Usually requires a meeting with and written response from the Local Planning Authority)

planningicon3

3

Planning application submission

Using feedback from the client and/or pre application process the Spatial Coordination can be finalised. We work closely with our Preferred Partners and/or external consultants to ensure that the site constraints and relevant planning policies have been addressed in order to progress with an application. Householder and Minor Applications including Certificates of Lawful Development usually take within 8 weeks to determine from submission.

Major applications (10 dwellings or 0.5ha and above for residential or 1000sq/m or above if commercial) will take 13 weeks to determine from submission. Local Planning Authorities have the right to request an extension of time to address issues that may prevent the need to withdraw and re submit applications. However, this is down to the discretion of the Local Planning Authority.

We liaise with architects and external consultants to address technical issues that may arise on site such as Highways, Trees, Ecology and Noise.

Involves:
Planning application drawings; Planning statement and/or Design & Access statement, external reports required to address site constraints.

Results in:
Planning application submission; monitoring application through to decision – Possible need to attend Planning Committee and speak in support of the proposal (subject to the Local Planning Authority rules and procedures on Speaking at Committee). While securing a permission at local level is our prerogative, where an application is refused or the Council fail to determine the application in the correct amount of time then the appeal route may be the only option.

planningicon4

4

Discharge of planning conditions

Following receipt of the planning approval there may be the need to discharge conditions as well as handling the detailed technical design before construction can commence. While the main aim is to achieve planning permission without any pre commencement conditions it is usually necessary to submit a formal conditions application where the Council require further information. This often involves further input from the architects, Preferred Partners or external consultants to address issues such as Materials, Landscaping, Tree Protection, Method of Construction, Land Contamination or Archaeology.

Conditions applications can take up to 8 weeks to determine from submission. Hence providing the information from the outset can save time in the long run albeit this will impact upon the initial cost of an application.

Involves:
Assessing planning conditions; Co-ordinating external consultants

Results in:
Releasing pre commencement conditions

1

PREPARATION AND BRIEFING

Creating a clear, agreed brief is essential to the success of the project
We work closely with all of our clients to shape a clear design brief from the outset of each project. Our Design Brief Template provides useful starting point to ensuring that we fully understand the nature and objections of each project. This can be downloaded above, completed WS Planning & Architecture Design Brief or posted to us separately.

Involves:
Client meeting; Site visit; Design briefing; Planning policy review

Results in:
An agreed design brief; Identifying site constraints and opportunities; Scope of service; Fee quote(s) (including Preferred Partners or other external consultants as required)

1

PREPARATION AND BRIEFING

Creating a clear, agreed brief is essential to the success of the project

We work closely with all of our clients to shape a clear design brief from the outset of each project.

Involves:
Client meeting; Site visit; Design briefing; Planning policy review

Results in:
An agreed design brief either prepared in house or with your own surveyor or architect; Identifying site constraints and opportunities; Scope of service; Fee quote(s) (including Preferred Partners or other external consultants as required).

2

CONCEPT DESIGN

Including pre application submission (if required)
The Concept Design covers the outline proposals for the project leading to a pre application submission to the Local Planning Authority where required. While projects vary, this stage ensures that the Design brief has been met before moving on to the Developed design stage.

Involves:
Feasibility drawings; addressing planning policy and site constraints.

Results in:
Client approval and/or Pre-Application submission (Usually requires a meeting with and written response from the Local Planning Authority)

2

Pre application submission

( if required )

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that pre application engagement and front loading applications have significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning system for all parties. Local Planning authorities should look for solutions rather than problems. However, more and more local planning authorities are resorting to the pre-application process to ensure a smoother transition through the planning process.

Many Local Planning Authorities will no longer communicate with applicants or agents during the course of an application. Not all applications require a pre-application process and they are not a pre requisite for working with WS Planning & Architecture. Timescales and costs vary between Local Planning Authorities. Smaller scale householder enquiries can often be carried out without the need to meet on site or at the Council offices and rely on a written exchange.

Larger submissions will generally require additional internal consultation and usually require a meeting on site or at the Council offices and will result in a written response setting out the main issues and way forward on a without prejudice basis.

Involves:
Feasibility drawings; addressing planning policy and site constraints

Results in:
Client approval and/or Pre-Application submission (Usually requires a meeting with and written response from the Local Planning Authority)

3

SPATIAL COORDINATION

Leading to the Planning Application submission
Using feedback from the client and/or pre application process the Spatial Coordination can be finalised. We work closely with our Preferred Partners and/or external consultants to ensure that the site constraints and relevant planning policies have been addressed in order to progress with an application.

Involves:
Planning application drawings; Planning statement and/or Design & Access statement

Results in:
Planning application submission; monitoring application through to decision

3

Planning application submission

Using feedback from the client and/or pre application process the Spatial Coordination can be finalised. We work closely with our Preferred Partners and/or external consultants to ensure that the site constraints and relevant planning policies have been addressed in order to progress with an application. Householder and Minor Applications including Certificates of Lawful Development usually take within 8 weeks to determine from submission.

Major applications (10 dwellings or 0.5ha and above for residential or 1000sq/m or above if commercial) will take 13 weeks to determine from submission. Local Planning Authorities have the right to request an extension of time to address issues that may prevent the need to withdraw and re submit applications. However, this is down to the discretion of the Local Planning Authority.

We liaise with architects and external consultants to address technical issues that may arise on site such as Highways, Trees, Ecology and Noise.

Involves:
Planning application drawings; Planning statement and/or Design & Access statement, external reports required to address site constraints.

Results in:
Planning application submission; monitoring application through to decision – Possible need to attend Planning Committee and speak in support of the proposal (subject to the Local Planning Authority rules and procedures on Speaking at Committee). While securing a permission at local level is our prerogative, where an application is refused or the Council fail to determine the application in the correct amount of time then the appeal route may be the only option.

4

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Building Regulations, discharge of conditions and beyond
Following receipt of the planning approval there may be the need to discharge conditions as well as handling the detailed technical design before construction can commence. Our services include Building Regulations drawings and submissions, detailed drawings and specifications, tendering and contract administration.

Involves:
Assessing planning conditions; Co-ordinating external consultants; Building Regulations drawings; detailed drawings & specifications

Results in:
Releasing pre commencement conditions; Building Regulations plans approval; Contract administration; Hand over

4

Discharge of planning conditions

Following receipt of the planning approval there may be the need to discharge conditions as well as handling the detailed technical design before construction can commence. While the main aim is to achieve planning permission without any pre commencement conditions it is usually necessary to submit a formal conditions application where the Council require further information. This often involves further input from the architects, Preferred Partners or external consultants to address issues such as Materials, Landscaping, Tree Protection, Method of Construction, Land Contamination or Archaeology.

Conditions applications can take up to 8 weeks to determine from submission. Hence providing the information from the outset can save time in the long run albeit this will impact upon the initial cost of an application.

Involves:
Assessing planning conditions; Co-ordinating external consultants

Results in:
Releasing pre commencement conditions

Our trusted Preferred Partners have a vital role in the planning and design process.
This is a stage-by-stage explanation of their involvement.

1

PREPARATION AND BRIEFING

We work closely with all of our clients to shape a clear design brief from the outset of each project. The site constraints often dictate the level of specialist external advice required to support a planning application. Obtaining topographical surveys, seeking highways, heritage, noise, arboricultural and ecological advice at an early stage is fundamental to ensuring the best chance of obtaining planning permission and ensuring the project can be built successfully from the outset.

Preferred Partners or input from other external consultants are not always necessary on every application, however it is becoming more important to front load applications to ensure sufficient information is provided for the Local Planning Authority as well as reducing the number of pre-commencement conditions that slow down the process after permission has been granted.

Involves:
Liaising with Preferred Partners or external consultants at an early stage.

Results in:
Obtaining necessary fee proposals from identified Preferred Partners.

2

Concept Design

The Concept Design covers the outline proposals for the project leading to a pre application submission to the Local Planning Authority where required. While projects vary, this stage ensures that the Design brief has been met before moving on to the Developed design stage. Additional reports may not be required at this stage to validate a pre-application submission, however where there are significant constraints or the high probability that one of the Local Planning Authorities internal consultees will need to comment then providing the necessary information at an early stage can secure a more positive response from the Local Planning Authority at this stage.

Involves:
Liaising with Preferred Partners or external consultants and addressing planning policy and site constraints with the necessary information.

Results in:
Client approval and/or Pre-Application submission (Usually requires a meeting with and written response from the Local Planning Authority).

3

Spatial Coordination

Leading to the Planning Application submission

Using feedback from the client and/or pre application process the Spatial Coordination can be finalised. We work closely with our Preferred Partners and/or external consultants to ensure that the site constraints and relevant planning policies have been addressed in order to progress with an application. This often involves Arboricultural reports to identify tree constraints and protection plans, Highways reports to ensure pedestrian and vehicular safety and Ecology walkovers to ensure that wildlife and protected species are not harmed by the proposal. Other reports that are becoming mandatory are Energy Statements and Community Infrastructure Levy forms setting out any necessary contributions triggered by the proposal.

Architectural Visualisation is used for all types of application and can make all the difference when conveying the impact of a proposal on the character of the area. Some Local Planning Authorities will request Architectural Visualisations to use at Planning Committee to provide additional detail for members of the public or elected members to provide additional detail.

Involves:
Liaising with Preferred Partners to ensure that the Planning Submission covers all of the constraints identified at the outset or following pre application feedback from the Local Planning Authority.

Results in:
Planning application submission; monitoring application through to decision. Liaising with Preferred Partners and/or external consultants to ensure that internal consultee comments are responded too where necessary.

4

Technical Design

Building Regulations, discharge of conditions and beyond

Following receipt of the planning approval there may be the need to discharge conditions as well as handling the detailed technical design before construction can commence. Our services include Building Regulations drawings and submissions, detailed drawings and specifications, tendering and contract administration. Our Preferred Partners and/or external consultants will provide specialist reports to aid the discharge or conditions and provide technical information such as Structural Calculations for Buildings Regulations as well as advice from Quantity Surveyors on costings to enable us to go out to tender on building projects.

Involves:
Assessing planning conditions; Co-ordinating external consultants; Building Regulations drawings; detailed drawings & specifications

Results in:
Releasing pre commencement conditions; Building Regulations plans approval; Contract administration; Hand over