Before diving in with design proposals there is desktop research that needs to be undertaken. The depth of this research will depend on the site and the scope of the project. For example, an extension to a residential dwelling will require less research than a new build dwelling or barn conversion. Examples of information to be assessed for a potential site are:
- Planning Policy: An exploration of planning policy in relation to 1) Development. e.g. does local planning policy support the re-use of agricultural buildings as dwellings? 2) Geography. Is the site is within a flood zone, the countryside or within the boundaries of an established conurbation?
- Protections: Is the site either on protected land, such as a National Park or a Conservation Area or is it a Heritage Asset, i.e. is it Listed?
- Access: Particularly important for new developments and conversions agricultural buildings. What is access to the site like? Is it in good condition, are there visibility splays to se oncoming traffic? Can parking be accommodated? How far from public transport is the site, can refuse be stored and collected?
- The site plan: Establishing the boundaries and ownership of a site.
- The block plan: What is the established pattern of development? What is the proportion of building to landscape on the site and within the local context, or site density? This is very important both architecturally and from a planning point of view.
As always, if you would like to discuss any aspect of a site, please feel free to contact me.