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

Greenside Place

Redevelopment at Greenside Place,
looking from Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Where should a design statement be submitted?

The design statement should be submitted to the local authority, as additional information in support of a planning application. If the planning authority advised that a design statement was desirable, and the applicant fails to produce one or the
design statement is considered below standard, the application may be refused if the authority considers the design of a proposed development unacceptable.

Some of the questions an authority may ask when looking at a design statement are:

> Was there a pre-application discussion?

> If there was a brief (either a planning brief and/or a client brief) for the project, how well has it been interpreted?

> Has there been a thorough appraisal of the site and area, with the most important issues identified?

> Have all the key design principles been identified?

> Are the illustrations easy to interpret?

> Does the design statement explain how the development will meet the six qualities of what makes a successful place?
Is it:

Distinctive - Does the development enhance the sense of identity?

Safe and pleasant - Is the space safe for the community, attractive, useable and at the right scale?

Easy to get to and move around - Have direct routes been created? Does it provide access for disabled people?

Welcoming - Have any new landmarks or gateways been created which will help people to find their way around?

Adaptable - Does the development or improvements support a mix of compatible uses? Will there be opportunities to make buildings and areas adaptable to a variety of future uses?

Resource efficient - Has the opportunity been used to create a new and exciting building in how it has been constructed? Does it minimise the use of energy through the way it faces the sun? How sheltered is it from the wind?

> Is the design solution achievable?

The existence of a design statement does not guarantee planning permission. It supports a planning application - it does not replace it.

Once submitted, if the local authority requests any amendments to the scheme, the Committee report must refer to the changes which have been made. It must also provide some indication of how the proposal has been improved due to these amendments. This will allow Committee members to monitor changes in the design process.

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