December 2016, The Lead Up To A Larger Planning Submission

In December I worked largely on visual work, for a large college expansion project worth £35M in Winchester which was close to a planning submission. I worked on visual impact assessment renders to show the planners our scheme fit well within the existing context. This also helped me, as a new employee, to get to know and understand the scheme better. These images were sent to the Winchester College planning consultant, the external landscape architects who coordinated their proposed landscape arrangements with us, and the local planning authority.

As I had produced previous graphics for this project in my first week, I was in charge of making the necessary tweaks as the design changed. Because the office has a limited number of high performance graphics machines it made sense for me to work mainly on the other graphical work as well in the run up to planning. Other members of the project worked on CAD drawings and compiling necessary reports for the design access statement (DAS). My graphical work included visual impact assessment renders, elevations and the final proposal renders which were included in the final DAS.

The in house team working on this project held a number meetings in December to coordinate the scheme with all members of the project and to outline the upcoming strategies and potential design changes before the planning date. These meetings would consist of the practice director managing the project, a senior associate leading the design, another architect, a part two assistant and myself. This dynamic allows for a number of tasks to be done within the given time frame that are appropriate to the experiences and skill sets of the people involved. I

Interestingly, during the time I was working on Winchester College another similarly sized project was underway in the practice for a Winchester University scheme which had the same planning deadline. By checking the progress of the two similar schemes running alongside each other it helped me to easily compare, evaluate and understand the processes needed to finalize a planning applications for these large projects – larger schemes than I have worked on before at this stage.

The previous projects I have worked on finalizing a planning set for, prior to joining Design Engine, have been under £1M schemes. From this recent project experience I have learned that a greater deal of communication and coordination between external parties are needed for larger projects. By being involved in these larger projects I’ve become aware of the extent and range of services external parties can offer that may be utilized to help compile necessary reports by the end of this stage ie. flood risk assessments, BREEAM assessments, highways reports, noise/ vibration surveys, arboricultural reports, listed building report, etc. Some of these reports may not be needed for smaller schemes or where not appropriate. I would be keen to use this new information from this stage to progress to the next stages of design and I hope to develop more experience in the later stages of work.

Our final documents were sent off on the 16th of December to the Winchester College planning consultant The planning consultant checked all the drawings and reports for our client so we could make any changes before submitting the final application to the local planning authority.


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