Following the government guidance update made yesterday afternoon, Darrington Architects will clearly be following this and now solely working in the office at home until further notice. As someone with an underlying health condition specifically mentioned to be taking additional measures, it is something I need to take seriously, as we all do. These are clearly unprecedented and uncertain times for us all and no doubt your current or planned build project may slip towards the background of your thoughts, but I also appreciate some of the projects I am involved in are not only life-long dreams and / or at a critical stage. Set out below, under key project stages, is some guidance and an outline of my planned approach. I will contact those directly in addition who I have scheduled meetings in the diary with.
Scheduled Meetings and Surveys
For those of you scheduled for me to undertake a measured survey of your property in the coming weeks, I will no longer be undertaking this. I would be happy to place a new date in the diary for us to review nearer the time depending on the development of the situation.
For those of you who have a meeting date in the diary in the coming weeks, I will no longer be attending this. These meetings are generally design or construction information stage meetings. My intention is to email the drawings on the date that we had a meeting scheduled, accompanied by an explanation email and posting of paper copies (unless you advise you do not wish for me to post copies) and arrange a call to discuss with you.
Design and Planning Stage
I am confident it will be possible for us to still develop your schemes remotely towards the submission for planning permission or certificate of permitted development.
Pre-application Advice Process
For those of you who currently have an application in for pre-application advice, I think this will be delayed as these will be seen as secondary to planning applications. For those who have applied for written advice only, I suspect these will be issued albeit delayed from the originally set out timescale. For those who have applied for written advice and a meeting, I suspect we will be written to as no meeting will take place and a suggestion made for the fee to be reduced and to receive written advice only. These are only my assumptions.
For those of you who currently have applications in, I think those that are due in the next couple of weeks will likely be determined reasonably on time although I suspect they will be delayed. For those of you who have determination dates beyond the next couple of weeks, I suspect they will be significantly delayed as remote working by the planners will slow the process and site visits may be restricted. These are only my assumptions.
Construction Information / Working Drawing Stage
Whilst this stage requires more communication I am confident it will be possible for us to still form the detailed design information for the construction stage and for the submission for plan stage approval from building control.
Building Control Permissions
If both the architectural and structural (and any other involved consultants) information has been formed or is in the process of being formed it is likely the plan stage approvals can continue to be assessed by building control. I cannot confirm what measures any other consultants are taking following the announcements yesterday. In terms of building control inspections on site, these may be limited but I cannot confirm what measures the building control companies are taking following the announcements yesterday.
Whilst tenders can be issued, my concern will be whether visits to properties can go ahead and whether builders can realistically provide a timescale to which they can work.
I have varying appointed involvement on different live building sites. I will no longer be undertaking site visits until further notice. I am of course available by email and phone however should there be site issues to be discussed, depending on my appointed involvement.
I hope the above is helpful and answers any immediate questions you may have. As I mentioned above, those who I was due to meet with in the coming weeks I will also be emailing separately to make suitable arrangements.
If you have any questions in relation to the above or would like to discuss, please do let me know.
Wishing you all good health over the coming weeks.