Design and Planning for Development

Although I had some prior knowledge of the subjects contained in the course, I learnt a lot of useful information for me to apply to my role. The trainer was great with presenting the information and made it easy to digest the information provided.

Attended the Design and Planning for Development course.

Conor Rumble

New Business Trainee/Assistant, Town and Country Housing


This course follows on from Understanding the Development Process, and looks in more detail at how to appoint & manage the design team and the design process, identifying typical design issues and the importance of effective design review. The course then moves on to the planning system, forward planning and development control, planning polices, the process, conditions and obligations.

This course is suitable for Development and Regeneration staff who are reasonably new to the discipline, and staff from other teams within Registered Providers who are drafted into Development project teams.

Course Plan

This course covers the following subject areas:


  1. Appointing & Managing the Consultant Team
    • Working at risk
    • Clear appointments
    • Keeping control
  2. Getting good quality designs
    • Briefing well
    • Design reviews & getting colleagues on board
    • Fixing designs & controlling change
    • Typical design problem areas
    • Developing the technical designs
    • Keeping control when on-site under D&B
  3. The Planning System
    • Planning policies – Where they come from
    • When do we need planning (including Permitted Development)?
    • Developing the local plan – The process
    • Local vs national vs neighbourhood – Which counts most?
    • Applying the policies – What is “development control”?
    • The application process
    • Outline vs Detailed (Full)
    • Conditions, Obligations, Agreements & CIL
    • Affordable Housing polices & how they (are supposed to) work


Duration: 2 days

Intensive interactive learning with exercises. This course is available in both classroom and virtual format.

Suggested Preparation

Before coming on the course please review the following documents from one of your schemes currently under development (or very recently completed), and bring a copy with you to the course:

  1. A recent letter of appointment to an architect
  2. Your organisation’s Design Brief (i.e. the document that sets out your design requirements up to and including getting a detailed planning permission)
  3. Your organisation’s Employer’s Requirements (i.e. the document that sets out your design requirements post-planning, including any areas where you specify materials, systems, components etc)
  4. A Decision Notice granting planning permission on a scheme, that you have received in the last few months

You will find it helpful to look over the relevant Topics in Developing Affordable Housing, published by the National Housing Federation. It is available here.

Entry Requirements

This course is designed to follow on from the Understanding the Development Process course. It is preferable, although not essential, that delegates should either have attended that course or have an equivalent level of knowledge.


On completion of this course you will be provided with an HATC certificate.

Neil Clements


Neil has been in the affordable housing sector for most of his career, but also has experience in the contracting market having worked for a main, national, building contractor. He has also worked in the private housing development sector, having spent over 3 years as Development Director for a developer in the South-West.