Planning Advice Note 68: Design Statements

Explains what a design statement is, why it is a useful tool, when it is required and how it should be prepared and presented.

Planning Advice Note 68: Design Statements

Who should prepare a design statement?


Pre-application discussion

If a development does require a statement, and
is particularly complex or sensitive, the applicant should arrange a pre-application discussion with the appropriate planning official(s). There may also be a need to involve a mix of disciplines including planners, urban designers, architects, landscape architects, quantity surveyors, environmental consultants, energy specialists and transport engineers. Such a discussion gives the applicant a useful opportunity to discuss the scheme, and agree the level of scope and detail that will be appropriate. This potentially saves time and cost on design solutions which could be inadequate, and subsequently rejected.

The design process

The design process can be set out in 5 stages. Each stage informs the production of the design statement. More details on each stage are set out in the Annex.

> Stage 1 Site and area appraisal

> Stage 2 Identifying the design principles

> Stage 3 Analysis

> Stage 4 Design concept(s)

> Stage 5 Design solution

Depending on the nature and scale of the development, there may be a need for public involvement during the design process. This can occur at any stage, however, early consultation with the public or amenity groups should help to identify any key issues or concerns. When the design concept(s) have been worked up, it is advisable to feed these back to the contributors in order to check that nothing has been missed or interpreted incorrectly. This exercise will also help to gauge any initial reactions to the preliminary design which may help to influence the final design.

Stages in the design process

Stages in the design process

Whilst each stage is presented separately, in practice the design process is often more iterative, rather than linear. This is because the site appraisal and analysis can be reviewed by testing alternative design concepts. For example, a design concept may have implications which were not initially foreseen.

Once all the stages have been completed, the design statement can be assembled, bringing together all the thinking on the design issues.


Back to top