• Design Proposals and the Planning Process

    Design Proposals and the Planning Process

    We believe we excel during the design proposals phase which is key in ensuring client expectations are met and exceeded.  This is based on the combination of a proven creative ability underpinned by a strong technical background and over 17 years of experience in designing in the residential sector.  Coupled with is the quality of communication which is clear and concise and an output which results in a design proposals brochure of 4 to 5 design options.


    Each design option is explored with a 3D computer model from which both external views and internal perspective images are taken to given a real sense of the space and form being proposed.  Prior to issuing a proposals brochure to our clients a member of staff often visits a client with a laptop and explores the 3D model in real time sat alongside the Client who can ask for any image they want to be displayed and discussed.  This proves to be a very efficient and beneficial process.

    We ensure that the potential of the project is realised and once client comments from our first review are received, we then revise preferred option or options and issue a revised proposal brochure and meet once more with our clients to discuss further.  After this stage we are normally near to a preferred design option.  We then draw up the proposals in the way in which the planning department requires designs to be communicated.  Our clients will also receive the draft planning set to comment on before we issue it to the planners.


    Some projects follow the pre-app submission route.  Here we submit a range of designs via the pre-app process whereby we can receive valuable feedback form the planning authority prior to submitting the full application.  This is a short process and normally takes around 3 weeks for the planners to provide feedback.  We find this process is useful in helping to ensure a successful planning application.


    The planning process starts with the architect uploading all the relevant drawings and supporting statements via the planning portal alongside filling out the range of online questions the planning portal asks.  The application is then downloaded by the local planning authority.   The planning authority will then spend up to ten working days validating the planning application whereby they ensure that the correct information has been supplied in the correct format.  Once validated we will receive a notice detailing the target decision date, planning reference number and the name of the allocated case officer.  The planning decision should then be received in 8 weeks’ time.  The first part of the process will see the application published for local neighbours consultation, then once completed the case officer will start to review the application and will ask for any changes they feel are necessary and here there is a dialogue between architect and planning case officer.


    The planning decision granting approval will also include a series of conditions.  These are typically instructing the project to be built within 3 years of the decision and to the approved planning drawings.  Other conditions may require further information to be provided prior to works starting or else prior to the building being occupied.

    Project Name
    Kitchen and Dining area at Rugby Road



    How do Architects draw plans?


    We use a computer aided design programme for our 2D work called MicroStation.  This is a very powerful and sophisticated software.  For our 3D work we use SketchUp with a series of add-ons that help us produce photorealistic images.


    Do Architects still draw by hand?


    At Shape Architecture we draw by hand on all of our projects.  Often the first designs are typically hand drawn and they are then developed using 3D computer modelling.   This mix of design and communication methods serves to explore the design in the most efficient way possible.


    How long does it take for a planning application to be decided?


    A decision is typically given eight weeks after the planning submission has been validated.  Once validated we will receive a notice giving the target decision date and the name of the case officer alongside the planning application reference number.


    Can you start building as soon as planning permission is granted?


    This will depend on what Conditions are attached to the approval.  You may have a condition which must be discharge before you are allowed to start work which could require greater detail describing an element of the proposal.