Town Planning - An Issue Regardless

After a week of ups & downs with planning applications something occurred to me. It seems that even those Designers/Architects around the world are having much the same issues hen it comes to dealing with local council & planning applications.

More often than not planning can be an interesting process to deal with & for our clients it's always a slow & painful journey. Lately this is very much the way things have been. It seems lately that Councils everywhere are taking longer than expected to process approvals & respond to applications.

It is also becoming clear that planners are making life harder for Architects/Designers to do what they do & the planners are responding with odd requests & objections to applications that in all reality have no real logic to them.

So the question begs, how do we work around the complex nature if planning & ensure our clients get what they want. Well from experience I have learnt the best way to ensure your application moves along the way it should is to work with council & not against.

Simple you might say. Well no it's not, why? I hear you ask.... Well clients often have an idea of what they want & often it is hard to make them aware that the plan they desire is not want council will accept.

My theory may seem to come unstuck here but this weeks actions from planners in relation to my applications will show you that although it seems hard working with planning can often get you the outcome you desire & in quick time.

Three applications I have been working on for some time that initially would have been refused are now days way from being stamped approved & what's even more exciting is that the plans are very close to what the clients initially wanted.

How? I hear you ask. Well in the end it was really quite simple. I listened... Yes I listened. Not only to the client but also to the council. What I'm trying to say here is that if we as Designers/Architects lose the chip on our shoulders occasionally & listen its amazing what we can achieve. An example of this is the multi level apartment above an existing shop I have just had approved by local council. The first of its kind in the Moorabbin Precinct & it will now pave the way for other clients to achieve similar outcomes.

It was all achieved by listening to the clients demanding but realistic brief & interpreting it in a way that gave him what he wanted but still allowed flexibility to let council think they were getting what they desired.

So from here on in I suggest you as Designers/Architects to do the same thing. Take a bit of time, listen & implement & take on board what council say regardless of how obscure & random it may seem. Then if you give them a little you will get a lot back.

Cheers & enjoy your planning adventures