planning conditions

Once planning approval is granted, Western Design Architects can discharge any conditions resulting from your approval. 

1. initial contact

If, having looked at our website and you are interested in using Western Design for your project, please call us for a chat.

2. client & site meeting

We will then arrange for a no obligation free of charge consultation, normally at the prospective property to discuss your ideas, requirements and feasibility. Visiting the site should also highlight any obvious planning or design constraints as well as potential opportunities.

3. design brief

A general design brief is agreed based on your requirements, lifestyle, likes, dislikes, wants, needs and your budget. This will be accompanied by a fee proposal. It is important that any potential client has a good relationship with their architect and communication is key from an early stage.

4. appointment

As a fully chartered practice, we are required by the RIBA to have an appointment letter in place before proceeding with the commission.  Once appointed, the design process can commence. The Appointment letters set out our services to you, which can be for a part or full service and also sets out our shared obligations.   As an appointment letter can be lengthy, we will talk you through it to ensure you understand the content.

5. site survey

For most of our design work we will require an accurate, to scale electronic measured drawing in CAD format of the existing site and any relevant buildings. We can recommend one of many local independent surveyors to measure the site, allowing us to accurately draw up design proposals.

6. consultants

We can recommend relevant experienced consultants. These consultants bring a wealth of knowledge vital for a successful design process. Typical consultants include arboriculturist’s who deal with tree constraints, Ecologists who work with protected species, Flood Risk Assessors, Highway Specialists, Structural and Civil Engineers.  We will advise you which consultants you will need to appoint during the process.

7. concept/sketch scheme

We will produce a sketch scheme/s to varying levels of detail depending upon the project. The design will be site specific and consider issues such as site constraints, orientation, gradients, neighbouring properties, outlook and general layout. These outline proposals and drawings are the basic tool for initial discussions with local planning officers and or other consultants.

8. web conferencing

Regardless of your location worldwide, we are able to hold online meetings allowing us to share ideas and information with you at any stage of the design process. Our web conferencing technology is fully voice and video integrated.

9. pre application advice

Most local planning offices offer Pre Application Advice. This is normally a submission of sketch proposals at the early stage of the design to the local planning office to establish what planning constraints affect the proposals, such as roads, overlooking and flood risk. The advice given can help improve the likelihood of a formal application being approved.  Most local planning authorities now charge a fee for this service.

10. planning drawings

Once a sketch design has evolved with the client’s input, we continue to work closely with you to complete the design, focusing on spatial arrangements, setting, orientation, elevations, materials and appearance.  The result is a set of planning submission documents. We have a number of tools available to us to help the client fully understand the design of a building. These include standard CAD drawings, sketch work, artistic impressions, 3D modelling fly-through and animations, photomontages, diagrams and models. This applies to both the concept and planning drawing stages.

11. planning applications

We will complete the relevant application forms, write design & access statements and other documents required to make a planning submission to the Local Authority. 

12. planning conditions

Once planning approval is granted, Western Design Architects can discharge any conditions resulting from your approval. 

13. production information

A range of information will need to be produced prior to building work commencing. This includes a set of building regulations drawings which need to be approved by a Building Control Officer.  Then, further detailed construction drawings, schedules and specifications to convey all the building construction requirements to the builder.  Depending on the type of project and our Clients circumstances, we encourage you to get involved with the design process wherever possible and welcome your input at every stage. Each job is different so our service to you is  tailored to your particular needs. 

14. tender process

Depending on the nature of the project it may be necessary to seek competitive tenders (this allows a number of construction companies to bid to undertake the work).  Alternatively, we can negotiate a build price with your preferred builder. We can also recommend companies that we and our clients have worked with successfully in the past.

15. construction

Western Design offers a full contract administration service.  This is invaluable for complex projects.  We visit site as necessary during the construction phase to assess build quality and assist with the production of further drawings, provide advice and information, undertake regular site meetings with the Client, Builder and other consultants to ensure the project runs smoothly.  If however a project is simple, our input can be less and simply include offering occasional advice to the Client or Builder as they require. 

16. practical completion

Once your building is complete and signed off for occupation (practical completion) there follows the ‘Defects Liability Period' usually 12 months.  Once this period expires we can inspect the project (commonly known as ‘snagging’) to identify any defects that have occurred. The builder then has an obligation to put right any identified defects.