Diary of a Planning Intern

This week I ran a CPD talk for the Plainview Planning Team. They have an in house session once a week so that they have an opportunity to discuss and keep up to date with relevant planning policy changes, case law and topics.

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an ongoing record of what you experience, learn and apply during your career. CPD forms a key part of being a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), who actively encourage their members to continue the process of learning through planning and reflection. This helps set and maintain expectations of competency and professionalism by means of education and lifelong learning.

CPD : How to Conduct a Design Review

My session provided a thorough discussion on how to conduct a design review, which is an invaluable step in the planning process. A design review provides an opportunity to link the design directly with planning policy, checking that it meets strict criteria and should allow the planning process to run as smoothly as possible.

In order to help quickly assess a design, I produced a matrix which consists of nine different criteria such as:

  • typologies;
  • response to user needs;
  • response to context;

and assesses these on a sliding scale from ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Bad Fail’. By going through each category and determining which level the design is at, it is possible to ascertain swiftly which aspects need refining.

Objective feedback can then be given to the designer in order to create a scheme which satisfies both the original brief and planning criteria; maximising the potential for approval.

As part of my design module at university, our work is assessed against a criteria which analyses our scheme in relation to the brief. This learning process is so important for achieving and understanding good design, and by applying this tool to my analysis of projects during my internship, I have seen hands on how a design can easily be assessed to ensure that schemes are appropriate.

The built environment continues to evolve and grow, and by ensuring appropriate design, we can all work together to create something which is sustainable, has longevity and that will create urban spaces and environments we can all be proud of.


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