The plan is beginning to come together, and all the imagination and creativity has converged onto an Architectural Concept that you will one day soon hopefully see come to life.

Stage 3 is the middle of the 3 Design Development Stages, and it offers the last opportunity to coordinate all aspects of the build so that only minimal changes are made during the Technical Design Stage 4 and the more costly stages of the actual construction phase that begins in Stage 5.

If the Architectural Concept needs to be tweaked, such as a room needs moving, then it is recommended to implement the changes under change control procedures so that each stakeholder can assess the impact and implementation can remain efficient.  Significant changes need to be assessed to determine that the project budget can afford it.  Small changes can take place as part of the Design Development and don’t need formal approval until a later stage.  

What is Change Control, I hear you ask!

You probably didn’t because it is quite self-explanatory, but I’ll explain it anyway.  We use change control extensively within the aerospace industry.  It is a fundamental principle for managing change once the design reaches a stage of relative maturity, and the same happens within the construction industry too.

Change control ensures that any modifications, alterations, or adjustments to the project scope, design, schedule, or budget are carefully evaluated, documented, approved, and implemented in a controlled manner to minimise disruptions and maintain project integrity.  Here’s a general outline of the change control process:

  1. Identification of Change: Any proposed change to the project scope, design, schedule, or budget is identified by project stakeholders, this can include the client, architects, engineers, contractors, and other relevant parties.
  2. Change Request: The party proposing the change submits a formal change request outlining the details of the proposed modification.  This request should include the rationale for the change, its potential impact on the project, and any associated costs or time implications.
  3. Impact Assessment: The project team, including relevant experts and stakeholders, assesses the proposed change’s impact on various aspects of the project, such as cost, schedule, design, quality, and risks.
  4. Evaluation and Decision: Based on the impact assessment, the change request is evaluated by the project management team.  They determine whether the change aligns with project goals and whether its benefits outweigh potential drawbacks.  The decision could be to approve, reject, or modify the change.
  5. Change Approval: If the change is approved, it undergoes an approval process.  The approval may involve discussions with the client, negotiation of terms, and obtaining formal written approval.
  6. Documentation: All details related to the change request, impact assessment, evaluation, and approval decision are documented in a change order or change control document.  This document becomes an essential reference point for the project team.
  7. Implementation: Once approved, the change is integrated into the project.  This might involve updating project plans, schedules, budgets, design documents, and other relevant documentation.
  8. Communication: The change and its implications are communicated to all relevant stakeholders, ensuring everyone is aware of the modifications and their effects on the project’s progress.
  9. Monitoring and Tracking: The project team monitors the implementation of the change, tracking its effects on schedule, budget, and quality.  Any deviations are addressed promptly.
  10. Closure: Once the change has been successfully implemented and its effects are monitored, the change control process is closed.  The project team may conduct a review to identify lessons learned from the change management process.

Effective change control is vital to ensure that a construction project remains aligned with its objectives, stakeholders are well-informed, and potential risks are managed proactively.  It helps maintain project transparency, minimise scope creep, and uphold project quality and success.

At this point in the programme the cost of any changes begins to increase while the opportunity for change begins to decrease.

The Design Team should determine that their proposed design will meet the current Building Regulations and upon confirming this the preparation of the Full Planning Application can begin.

Full Planning Application

A full planning application is a formal submission made to the local planning authority (often a local council) when someone wants to build a new house or make significant alterations to an existing property.  This process is governed by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as well as other relevant planning regulations and guidelines.

Submitting a full planning application is a crucial step in the process of obtaining permission to begin the proposed development in Stages 4-6.  Here’s an overview of what’s typically involved in a full planning application for building a house:

  1. Application Submission: The applicant, often the homeowner or a developer, submits a comprehensive application to the local planning authority.  This application includes detailed plans, drawings, and documents that describe the proposed development, its design, layout, materials, and other relevant information.
  2. Application Forms: Along with plans and drawings, the applicant completes the necessary application forms, which may be available online or through the local planning authority’s office.  These forms provide essential project details and information about the applicant.
  3. Site Plan: A detailed site plan is included, showing the exact location of the proposed house on the property, access points, nearby structures, and landscaping features.
  4. Floor Plans and Elevations: Architectural drawings are submitted, including floor plans that show the layout of each floor and elevations that depict the appearance of the building from different angles.
  5. Design and Access Statement: For more complex projects, a Design and Access Statement is often required.  This document explains the design principles and justifies how the proposed development fits within its context.  It also outlines how people will access the property.
  6. Planning Statement: A Planning Statement may be needed, providing additional context about the proposed development and how it aligns with local planning policies.
  7. Supporting Documents: Depending on the specifics of the project, additional documents such as flood risk assessments, ecological surveys, and heritage impact assessments might be required.
  8. Application Fee: A fee is typically required to accompany the application.  The fee varies depending on the nature and scale of the development.
  9. Public Consultation: Once the application is submitted, the local planning authority carries out a public consultation period during which nearby residents, stakeholders, and interested parties could provide feedback on the proposal.
  10. Planning Officer Assessment: The local planning authority’s officers review the application, considering its compliance with local planning policies, design guidelines, and any other relevant considerations.
  11. Decision: After the assessment, the local planning authority will decide to either grant planning permission, refuse permission, or request modifications to the proposal.
  12. Appeal Process: If the application is refused, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to a planning inspectorate.

The full planning application process aims to ensure that new developments are well-designed, suitable for their surroundings, and adhere to local planning policies.  It involves a thorough review by planning professionals and often includes opportunities for public input to ensure that community interests are considered in the decision-making process.

Upon a successful application, Stage 3 has now been completed.  We are now almost ready to begin building but before that there it is important to pay attention to the details so that the build can run smoothly.

Join us again for our next post which discusses the Stage 4 Technical Design.

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