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RIBA's 10-step checklist to ease planning headaches

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The RIBA unveiled its guidance note on design stages and procedures for the preparation of full planning applications last week.

Architects are recommended to follow the 10step formula to aid planning authorities when assessing architects' planning applications. The guidance came as a result of extensive consultation within the RIBA and feedback from CABE, the RICS and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Robert Adam, honorary secretary of the RIBA, was heavily involved in drafting the note. He told the AJ that it took six months and 10 drafts to hone the checklist to the required parameters of all involved in the consultation.

'Architects should set a 'gold standard' with their planning applications, ' he said. 'If planning departments can be confident that architects will meet that standard, the applications will be easier to assess and architects' applications and designs should be viewed more positively.'

He added that it allowed an objective assessment of designs and not one influenced by personal taste. The guidelines may be updated in the future, according to Adam.

The 10 points suggest areas that should be in a planning application to avoid problems. It includes the establishment of a full project brief and functional requirements, the technological, energy and sustainability requirements of a project, and the impact of the scheme on the surrounding areas and community.

Additional information on the guidance is available at www. architecture. com.

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