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Town and Country Planning & Statutory Process

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The planning system in England and Wales was formed and established to regulate and govern the use of land and buildings. It is imperative to understand the planning and Legislative Policy in England and Wales, in order to achieve planning. 

The planning legislation stems from the Town and Planning act 1990, which introduced the principle of a 'plan-led' system, demanding development plans to be defined in line with the planning applications. When studying Town and Country planning, you must take into account that a project must abide by the National Planning Policy Framework, that establishes the government's framework and vision for planning, adhering to the following points determines the success of a scheme's viability within its site constraints. This framework is essential, and a 'material consideration' in the preparation of local plans and neighbourhood plans when deciding a planning application or planning appeal. 

What are the Building Regulations?


Building Regulations (BR) contain the procedural and technical rules for almost all new building work and alteration of existing buildings. It sets standards for the design and construction to ensure health, safety, welfare, and convenience.

Building Approved Document and British Standard are a series of documents that provide general guidance on specific aspects of building design, and construction to comply with building regulations. These documents are widely used in construction for good practices.

They are not legislation nor compulsory. They ensure consistently high quality, help prevent product failures and recalls, and are regarded as good evidence and reasoning if cases reach the courts.


What are the Building Control Officer?


The Building Control Officer (BCO) is a person to ensure the building works complies with the minimum standards for Health and Safety of persons in and around buildings, conservation of fuel and power, and accessibility to meet the Building Act 1984.

They work closely with the architects, engineers and builders, suggesting ways to make building projects more cost-effective, giving alternative solutions, writing inspection reports and issuing completion certificates.

Typically, BCO will be required during pre-planning consultation and throughout the construction.

There are 2 types of BCOs:

  1. From the local authority

  2. Private Certified Approved Inspector

  • Provide client with advice on building regulations

  • Ensure work complies with the minimum standard of H&S in and around the ding when starting, carrying out and completing building work.

  • Give advice regarding the info that needs to be submitted to the LPA.

  • Check and commenting proposals for compliance that has been requested

  • Inspect work as it progresses

  • Issue final certificate (building regulation completion certificate).


What is the Equality Act?


Equality Act 2010 gives legal protection from discrimination in the workplace and broader society. It consolidated three previous duties covering race, disability and gender, bringing them together into a single duty, and extending it to cover the “protected characteristics”.

The 9 protected characteristics:

  1. Age 

  2. Disability

  3. Gender reassignment

  4. Marriage or Civil Partnership

  5. Pregnancy or Maternity

  6. Race or Ethnic origin

  7. Religion or belief

  8. Sex

  9. Sexual Orientation


Types of Discrimination:

  1. Direction Discrimination

  2. Indirection Discrimination

  3. Associative Discrimination

  4. Discrimination arising from a disability

  5. Perceptive Discrimination

  6. Harassment and bullying

  7. Victimisation

In the design perspective, the Equality Act applies to the accessibility of the building that is regulated by the Building Regulation Part M: Access to and use of the building. The quality Act requires “reasonable adjustments” to be made when providing access to goods, facilities, services and premises.

Something that you should be aware of:


Equality Act (or related policy) should be written in your office’s Employee Handbook about how they deal with recruitment, complaints and other related issues.


ARB Code of Conduct Standard 12.1:

You should treat everyone fairly. You must act in compliance with your legal obligations. You must discriminate because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.


RIBA Code of Professional Conduct Standard 6.1:
Members shall provide their colleagues and employees with a fair, safe and equitable working environment.

ARB Criteria at Part 3 3.10:
Accessibility and inclusion legislation.


What is the CDM?


The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 are intended to ensure that health and safety issues are properly considered during a project’s development so that the risk to harm can “eliminate, reduce, isolate and control” (short for ERIC) to those who have to build, use and maintain in the project. 


The client should be fully aware of its CDM responsibilities from the start of the job.

CDM Duty Holders:

  1. Client
    Make suitable arrangements for managing a project, including other duty holders are appointed, sufficient time and resources are allocated, the relevant information is prepared and provided and ensure the principal designer and principal contractor carry out their duties and welfare facilities are provided.
    - If the construction work is likely to last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point, or exceed 500 person-days, a F10 notification must be submitted to HSE.

  2. Principal Designer
    Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of the project, including identifying, eliminating or controlling foreseeable risks, ensuring designers carry out their duties and prepare and provide relevant information to other duty holders. Liaise with the principal contractor to help the planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the construction phase.
    - Prepare Health and Safety File throughout the construction.
    - Prepare Pre-construction Information and distribute it to the professional team for Health and Safety measures on behalf of the client.

  3. Designer
    Preparing or modifying designs - eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during construction and the maintenance and use of a building once it is built. Providing information to other members of the project team to help them fulfil their duties.

  4. Principal Contractor
    Plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate the construction phase of the project. This includes liaising with the client and principal designer, preparing the construction phase plan and organising co-operation between contractors and coordinating their works. Also, to ensure that site inductions are provided, prevent unauthorised access, workers are consulted and engaged in securing their health and safety (ensure a suitable CSCS card is in place), and welfare facilities are provided.
    - Prepare Construction Phase Plan to manage Health &Safety risks associated and arrangement with the construction by Phases.
    - Prepare Contractor’s Master Programme, as part of the contract document which may include the critical path and other info, allow the Contract Administrator to interrogate the programme.

  5. Contractor
    Plan, manage and monitor construction work under their control so that it is carried out without risks to health and safety. For packages involving more than one contractor, coordinate their activities with others in the project team - in particular, comply with directions given to them by the Principal Designer or Principal contractor.

  6. Workers
    Workers are required to be consulted about matters which affect their health, safety and welfare. Take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions. Report anything they see which is likely to endanger either their own or others’ health and safety. Cooperate with their employer, fellow workers, contractors and other duty holders.

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