From the outset Urban Counsel can help you:
- Define and articulate the nature of a development opportunity
- Understand the context that will influence its form and implementation
- Understand the culture of other interested parties
- Accurately evaluate the influence of local planning policies and the NPPF
- Select and brief the design team to work effectively from the outset, and first-time
- Commision contextual analysis to present a credible, robust case for development
The National Planning Policy Framework reduces, at a stroke, the volume of national policy to be considered. Whether this will reduce the scope for argument over development remains to be seen. For the time being, Urban Counsel experience of how past changes in planning policy have been accommodated will help you establish a robust position.
Open and carefully articulated expression of development objectives, in the context of national and local policy, helps secure the constructive engagement of interested parties. If their understanding of the objectives is consistent with yours, whatever their perspective and culture, opposition can be minimised.
Urban Counsel understands the diverse cultures, interests, attitudes adn expectations of the groups and individuals that engage through the planning process. We can help your development team anticipate the legitimate expectations of others, and engage with them early and confidently.
This is particularly important in relation to historic features, the setting of which will be an important component of the context of any new development, but should not be a barrier to development that is demonstrably appropriate. Urban Counsel will undertake an objective assessment of the heritage values of a place. This provides a baseline for all parties work from, informing what should be valued and why, how it should be cared for and by whom. With common understanding established, the scope for introducing new development without harming what is of greatest historic significance can be explored with greater confidence.
A site’s context is a combination of physical, cultural, temporal, social and political factors, and should inform the development brief from the outset. When understood, ‘context’ provides inspiration and stimulates opportunities for innovation in new development. It will inform the selection of the Architect and design team that will exploit best the distinctiveness of a site’s context. Urban Counsel provides independent help in selecting the team that will respond best to the brief.
Where a development proposal has run into difficulties in the planning process, Urban Counsel provides an independent assessment of the options available, and the tactics most likely to succeed given the circumstances and the personalities involved.