Design Briefing in Towns

carey baker
17 November 2005

Design Briefing in Towns

By Drew Mackie, Alastair Methven, Percy Johnson-Marshall Associates, Edinburgh, Scotland




August 1978

Study Team:




64 The Causeway, Duddingston


© The Scottish Office


The information provided on the RUDI system is done so in good faith. Neither RUDI Ltd nor any of its respective information providers, licensors, employees or agents accept any liability for the accuracy of any information so provided, and no warranty is given, either express or implied that the information contained therein is accurate or can be relied upon for any particular purpose. The information provided on the RUDI system is not available for re-dissemination.

Introduction by Prof. John Punter

Introduction by Professor John Punter
Department of City and Regional Planning - Cardiff University

My copy of Design Briefing in Towns is probably similar to many still circulating in professional practice and academia. It is a poor photocopy of a photocopy, the original from the London Borough of Camden Urban Design section having spawned numerous offspring that grace at least three university and two department libraries. It is still on my lecture reading lists (not necessarily an accolade) largely because there has been no adequate substitute, despite the best efforts of the RTPI in 1990 or even the DETR in 1998.

The manual occupies a special place in the history of design guidance and control, being published for the urban design unit of the Scottish Development Department when proactive planning and design initiatives were dead in England. In the Department of the Environment there was neither an urban design unit nor an active development agency, and planners were starting to fight a rearguard action against the housebuilders and the architects. The former, in particular, had orchestrated a telling attack against design intervention (and especially the 1973 Essex Design Guide) in the proceedings of the Eighth Expenditure Committee in 1977. This was to lead to Circular 22/80 and the famous Heseltine attack on the "planning officer and the amateur on the planning committee", and to twelve years of retrenchment for design in planning.

The role of development briefs had been recognised by the DoE who had advocated their use in conjunction with the Community Land Act. A government-commissioned study of design guidance in 1976 suggested that 80 per cent of English local authorities prepared design briefs for particular sites, though closer reading suggested the actual design content was minimal. However, the DoE clearly had little faith in guidance or briefing as control mechanisms and did nothing to improve their content, leaving the market open for Drew Mackie and Alastair Methven's manual.

The manual always had important strengths and weaknesses. Like British urban design of the period, it was strongly locked into the townscape tradition and its analysis of site and context was largely visual. It did have a good grasp of issues of morphology and the grain of the townscape, and it was able to prescribe suitable dimensions for frontages and the overall building envelope. It understood the importance of not being overprescriptive about forms and design details, though planners would undoubtedly want to go further today in considering vertical and horizontal emphasis, modelling and materials. It is a testament to the validity of the methods that Edinburgh City Council were still using them into the 1990s - the marketing brief for the award-winning Saltire Building behind Usher Hall being a prime example of minimal but effective design advice.

Where the manual fell down was in its understandings of pedestrian circulation and activities in towns, and the need to reinforce natural patterns of movement and create attractive, intimate and usable spaces with active frontages, good footfall and microclimate. There are occasional mentions of interlinked spaces and pedestrian routes, but they are not emphasised - it was, after all, several years before Ian Bentley's team enshrined social use traditions in British urban design thought.

It would be nice to report that design briefing was alive and well and prospering in the wake of John Gummer's Urban Design Campaign and the much more positive design advice in Planning Policy Guidance Note 1 (1997). But the recent DETR publication, Planning and Development Briefs. A Guide to Better Practice, displays all the design negativism so prevalent in England in the 1970s and 1980s. The few paragraphs of the report devoted to design briefs are remarkably unenthusiastic about their use, suggesting they should only be developed where there are grounds for modifying policy or guidance, or where there are resources in and around the site which need protection.

This lack of enthusiasm is undoubtedly due to the inadequacies of the briefs that the consultants reviewed - too much detail, too often missing key design issues, clearly having too little impact on the housebuilders' standardised housing layouts or on the overall quality of the development. Certainly the new DETR manual on Good Practice Guidance on Design in the Planning System, due out in the next three months (don't hold your breath), will much more fully endorse design briefs as a control tool, and it will remind all parties in the development process that the briefing process is something developers and the community can beneficially engage in, both individually and collectively, in shaping better designed and more sustainable development.

In the 1990s briefing has to integrate townscape analysis with functional/activity/social use analysis of the public realm. Techniques of space syntax might be married with pedestrian flow analysis on larger complex sites, with behavioural analyses of space and street use. Even the smallest sites have to consider energy efficiency and resource use, and often biodiversity and environmental capital. Mackie and Methven's methodology was surpassed by Responsive Environments in 1985, and this in turn needs to be updated with sustainability criteria (e.g. Hugh Barton et al's Sustainable Settlements), but it remains an important document in the development of British design practice and one which will be welcomed on to the pages of RUDI.

John Punter
February 1999


In the course of preparing this manual we interviewed the following authorities and developers. whose assistance we gratefully acknowledge:

  • Highland Regional Council
  • City of Aberdeen District Council
  • Falkirk District Council
  • Stirling District Council
  • Perth and Kinross District Council
  • West Lothian District Council
  • Midlothian District Council
  • East Lothian District Council
  • Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council
  • Kyle and Carrick District Council
  • Cunninghame District Council
  • Kilmarnock and Loudoun District Council
  • Eastwood District Council
  • Clydebank District Council
  • Bearsden and Milngavie District Council
  • City of Glasgow District Council
  • City of Edinburgh District Council
  • Gordon District Council
  • Scottish Development Agency
  • Brodero (Scotland)
  • Vivian Linacre Associates


  1. Our original remit required us to prepare a desk manual , illustrating from actual case studies. a step by step process through the analysis of quality and character in what exists to the derivation of well based urban design 'rules', aimed at controlling new development so that despite current financial restrictions the end product is sympathetic to its surroundings and acceptable to the public at large. Introductory and background material will be minimal - the value of the manual being the direct guidance it gives and the practical hods it advocates for the preparation of urban design briefs.'
  2. The manual is aimed essentially at planning staff in local government offices who will be responsible for the preparation of urban design briefs. The manual should demonstrate ways in which briefs can be reduced which will be easily understood by the public. private and public developers, local authority departments as well as being a useful tool for development control staff. Part of the exercise therefore will be to identify the needs of local authority planning staff in this respect so ensuring that the presentation is tailored to the practical requirements of the development control system and that it relates to current market and financial limitations. An essential element of the study will be the analysis of briefs and aides at present in use and the selection of suitable examples to be included in the manual.
  3. During the course of the study, in consultation with the Urban Design Unit this brief changed in detail while still preserving its main aim of providing useful information for local authorities. The major change was the decision to use hypothetical worked examples rather than case studies, because there were so few examples to be had of long running design briefs.


  1. This manual has been prepared for use by local authorities in Scotland. Me hope that it will be useful to other individuals and organizations concerned with the quality of development in Scottish towns. This is not a highly theoretical treatment of design briefing - it describes the role of design briefs in day-to-day development control and the methods which are available. A large part of this manual is, therefore given over to worked examples of briefs in action.

  2. In preparing the manual we collected design guidance documents from all over Britain (a list of these is given in Appendix A) and have sought the views of district authorities together with relevant regional or quasi-governmental organizations. From this investigation it is clear that the range of terms used in design control is extensive and inconsistent. Confusion between the terms “design guide” and “design brief” and uncertainty as to the precise function and audience for which these documents are prepared is widespread. The implementation of such controls, their use at appeal, and the effects they will have on the financial aspects of town development are little anticipated.

Chapter 1: The working context

What are design briefs?

1.1 The purpose of development control is to ensure the best use of land and the enhancement of the quality of our surroundings. However a distinction should be made between the quality of our urban environment and the quality of the architecture of which that environment is composed.

1.2 URBAN DESIGN is the general term for the design of groups of buildings and for the development of management policies for urban physical environment. Its concerns overlap with those of architecture but it focuses on three dimensional problems at the scale of the local plan - half way between architecture and the more abstract concerns of planning. As such it is the area which the general public most readily identifies as 'planning'.

1.3 The term which we will apply to all design control policies put out by local authorities is DESIGN GUIDANCE. within this general title there are two subsidiary forms of document - the DESIGN BRIEF and the DESIGN GUIDE.

1.4 DESIGN GUIDES ARE GENERAL DOCUMENTS HHICH SPECIFY THE RANGE OF ARCHITECTURAL FORMS AND TREATMENTS HHICH HILL BE ACCEPTABLE T0 A PLAN- NING AUTHORITY OVER A HIDE (REA. They attempt to control. therefore, the architectural characteristics of development. The Design Guide for Residential Areas (1) produced by Essex County Council is an example.


1.6 He have identified three broad categories of brief in use: the urban design brief. the site planning brief and the developers brief.

1.7 An URBAN DESIGN BRIEF co-ordinates the visual policies of a planning authority over a well-defined area of town centre or even over the

whole town centre. It brings together all those recommendations on the form of design acceptable within that area and illustrates the visual policies with which urban design qualities are to be co-ordinated and reinforced. within this brief certain sites will be earmarked as being especially important in urban design terms. These will become subject to individual SITE PLANNING BRIEFS

1.8 Both brief types will establish a framework of dimensions, materials etc. within which the developer may design. These may be restrictive or not depending on the importance of the site or area to the urban scene. The minimum amount of control compatible with promoting a visual policy for an area should be applied. The intention is not to restrict the creativity of the architect, rather it is to provide him with a springboard of general principle as to the form of development which will be appropriate.

1.9 The DEVELOPERS BRIEF will consist of the financial and volumetric criteria which an authority may wish to apply to development in which it may also have an interest. This brief may be used in the process of competitively selecting developers for large sites and requires close cooperation between brief writer and Estates Department. We have concentrated on the first two brief types. This is not to say that the developers brief is less important but only that its design component is the same as a SITE PLANNING BRIEF.

Why are design briefs required?

1.10 Few would disagree that the development control system has failed to produce a satisfactory built environment. Created to control private initiatives in the community interests, it has made little positive contribution.

1.11 Some planning authorities however consider that positive action on their part is needed to improve the quality of design submitted to them. Dobry (2) recommended a more constructive approach, believing that design guides and briefs could make a major contribution by enabling an architect to design knowing what the local authority preferred. This view is echoed by the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland, who have advocated “an urban design component in each local plan and far better and more comprehensive briefing in terms of visual concepts, so that the architects can design confidently and with reasonable freedom within a disciplined framework”. (3)

1.12 Much of the controversy associated with design guidance has centred on design guides (the Essex Design Guide approach in particular) rather than on the concept of design briefing.

An imposing civic space - Kelso

An imposing civic space - Kelso

1.13 The case for design control rests on the premise that the character and appearance of our built environment is important. A concern for these matters is implicit in our concept of planning which is increasingly the only safeguard. Good design is important and should be encouraged within a proper framework of urban design ensuring that in sensitive areas, and especially town centres, scale and character are respected. This aim would be helped considerably if planning authorities know what they want and succeed in communicating their intentions to developers. Design briefs facilitate this by:

  1. Encouraging a planning authority to set out their visual policies for areas and sites in a form that is appropriate for including in a local plan or associated documents.
  2. Enabling the planning authority to influence the designer during the conceptual stage of a scheme: before time and money have been expended and before attitudes have hardened. This should lead to fewer abortive submissions.
  3. Allowing the planning authority to concentrate on those aspects of design which they consider to be most important. This does not imply an increase in the amount of control exercised on a site; the aim is to coordinate the controls into a cohesive and logical package.

1.14 How successfully particular planning authorities can overcome the important question posed by Dowry, 'why should lay members of a planning committee or officers who are surveyors or land use planners by training, be able to decide the fate on aesthetic grounds of proposals drawn up by a qualified architect?' (4) depends to an extent on the quality of the staff they are prepared to employ. It is, however reasonable that local communities should be able to influence the overall policies. including visual policies. which are likely to influence development in a particular area and this of course is possible if design briefs are considered in the context of a local plan.

Who prepares design briefs?

1.15 Few local authorities in Scotland have much experience of writing design briefs. The reasons given for not doing so are invariably lack of suitable staff skills or time or both. There is, however. agreement that briefing is a useful tool and most authorities say that they would use it where possible.

1.16 It is largely the skills present in a particular authority determine whether briefs are prepared and, if they are, determine their quality and effectiveness. The problem of appropriate staff skills is ultimately rooted in the education system which underpins the professions of planning and architecture. A qualification in either field does not ensure an awareness of the problems of urban design. It is possible at present to go through both an architecture course and a planning course without dealing with the subject in any depth. The courses an urban design recently set up under the guidance of the R.I.B.A. may help to alleviate this gap in skills.

 A comfortable  space, Montrose, Scotland
The "comfortable" space of many Scottish small towns - Montrose

1.17 We have therefore written this manual for those who have little training in urban design. In the long term, however, the employment of urban designers in development control Should be considered essential.

1.18 There is no common pattern of organization for brief writing - no one location within a planning department which undertakes this task. In some authorities it is the development control section itself which prepares briefs, in others it may be design and implementation or local plans. What seems to determine the origin of the brief is the location of the brief writing skill. Briefs tend to be prepared because a particular staff member has an interest in this field. The group in which he works then becomes the brief writing group and its projects the ones for which briefs are written. The system is somewhat arbitrary.

How do briefs interact with the planning system?


1.20 A design brief is only one component in the general array of local management devices available to an authority. The decisions made in the brief will thus affect and be affected by the other levers which may be used in controlling or encouraging development. Thus design briefs should be seen as complementary to other aspects of local planning particularly in terms of movement (both pedestrian and vehicular) and land use. The brief writer must be in constant contact with other departments within the authority to ensure that his recommendations do not have unexpected repercussions on other local authority activities.

Insensitive commercial development ignoring surroundings - Nairn, Scotland
The Threat of insensitive commercial development which ignores its surroundings - Nairn



1.23 While the aim should be to incorporate the design brief into a local plan , the preparation of a brief for a vulnerable area need not be postponed until the local plan as a whole is ready. It can be adopted by the planning authority as an interim development control policy, and later be included in the draft local plan made available for public comment. In all cases, policies for design control should have the approval of elected members and should be made public. The presentation of a brief to councillors may usefully provide a vehicle for informing them of visual problems and opportunities. .

1.24 A planning authority must have good reasons for preparing a particular brief and a clear idea of what that brief is trying to control if the brief is to be successfully upheld at appeal.

1.25 An ambiguous brief is a double edged sword. If a developer manages to comply with the provisions of the brief and yet produce an unsympathetic building. the planning authority's case at appeal will be considerably weakened. A CLEAR STATEMENT OF THE URBAN DESIGN INTENTIONS OF THE AUTHORITY AND THE CRITERIA FOR PLANNING PERMISSION ARE THEREFORE VERY IMPORTANT.

How do briefs interact with the development process?

1.26 Briefs will only be successful in securing the quality of development if they take account of the financial, legal and practical processes whereby a developer initiates and implements development. A major criticism levelled at development control is that it is costly and time-consuming in its interference with development - that it inadvertently controls processes of which it has no detailed knowledge.

1.27 Few development control staff have a working knowledge of the building industry - of the normal sequence of financial and constructional operations which produces development. This is readily admitted by staff themselves. Lack of knowledge or, probably more importantly, of “feel” for the problems of the developer and designer leads to an over-strict application of controls in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Control tends to be exercised according to a mental check list of scale, materials, colours, proportion etc. which appear in most briefs even when the applicability of that concept to a specific site is doubtful. At the same time urban design opportunities are missed because staff are not trained to see them or to understand that a particular development type may present particular opportunities.

1.28 Opinions vary as to whether briefs should be prepared in direct response to a planning application or whether they should be prepared for important sites well before an application is received. Those who favour the first course argue that the planning authority cannot lay down design restrictions until it knows the requirements of the development - that in effect each building deserves a unique brief which may be constructed in negotiation with the developer.

Fig 1/1

Fig. 1/1 indicates the activities a developer undertakes in securing and developing a site. There are several stages at Which design briefs might intervene.

1.30 The establishment of an early urban design brief for an area Will assist both developer and control officer. By setting broad controls as to the height. alignment, materials, etc. of buildings throughout an area, the planning authority is indicating to prospective developers the criteria which it will use to judge development. Important sites can then be earmarked for special treatment when a development application comes in. This process implies a degree of anticipation by the authority of the scale and commercial characteristics of future development. The way in which a brief is likely to affect the economic performance of a site by restricting the volume of development possible on it must be studied and this requires a high degree of cooperation with the Estates Department.

1.31 There are three possible situations which may arise when dimensional controls are applied to specific sites.

  1. THE RESTRICTIONS MAY DEFINE A BUILDING WHOSE FLOOR AREA IS HELL BELOW THAT REQUIRED T0 GENERATE A COMMERCIAL RETURN FROM THE SITE. In such a case. the site will be “sterilized” and development will not occur unless the authority lifts the restrictions, changes the land use of the site to one which suits a smaller volume of development, or takes over the development of the site itself.
  2. THE RESTRICTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL OF THE SITE MAY MATCH IN TERMS OF BUILT VOLUME AND DUALITY OF DEVELOPMENT. In this case the brief is performing its ideal function of controlling the character of the site without interfering with the commercial return.
  3. THE RESTRICTIONS HAY DEFINE A BUILT VOLUME MUCH LARGER THAN THE COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL OF THE SITE COULD MAINTAIN. Thus the local authority must choose between accepting a building of a scale which is inappropriate to the urban area in which it is situated or attempting to create extra development on the site by non commercial means.

1.32 We have said nothing in this manual about the application of briefs to sites acquired under the provisions of The Community Land Act. The Act is, at least for the time being, unlikely to affect town centre development where base values are high and therefore site purchase under the Act not so profitable as on green field sites. The change of use required to generate the increased land value is less likely to occur in established town centres. Also, many Scottish authorities possess considerable amounts of land acquired without the use of the Act.

1.33 We consider the Act to be merely another instance in which the cooperation between brief-writer and estates department is of the utmost importance and we have tried throughout the manual to emphasize this aspect in all design briefing.

The identity of the small town - Falkirk, Scotland

The identity of the small town - Falkirk


  1. Essex County Council Design Guide for Residential Areas. 1973.
  2. Dobry, George. Review of the Development Control System. Final Report, HMSO, February 1975.
  3. Report of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland, 1 Jan. 1973 - 15 May 1975.
  4. Dobry, George. op. cit.
  5. SDD. Planning Advice Note No. 14. The Approach to Development Planning. November 1976.
  6. SDD. Planning Advice Note No. 16. Local Plans Form and Content. November 1976.

Chapter 2: The preparation of design briefs

The decision to prepare a brief

2.1 The reasons for preparing a brief must be carefully examined and justified. In each case possible alternative methods of handling development control should be assessed and only where a brief provides substantial advantages should its use be considered.

2.2 The following questions should be asked:

  1. Why has a brief been suggested? What are present policies?
  2. What is the present character of the area to be covered by the brief ?
  3. Is this character changing and if so, is this change rapid or gradual? Does this change improve or impair the existing character?
  4. What kind of development is anticipated?
  5. What volume of development is anticipated?
  6. Are elected representatives and other departments fully aware of the character and quality of the area?
  7. Is it possible to use existing planning controls to handle applications?
  8. If a brief is not prepared: what problems do you see arising?
  9. What staff skills do you have to prepare and implement briefs?

2.3 A brief should be used where it may perform one or more of the following functions:

  1. It may be used directly as an instrument of development control, available to prospective developers before design starts.
  2. It may be directed at the development control section itself, providing guidelines for those officers who have no urban design training.
  3. It may 'focus' the visual policies for an area, gathering the many ad-hoc principles which have been formulated over a period of years into one rational package.
  4. It can be used to bring visual matters before elected representatives - this has been explored by at least one authority.
  5. It may give the developer's architect a 'lever' in persuading his client to erect a more appropriate building than at first intended. by demonstrating strict conditions for planning permission.
Fig 2/1

Fig. 2/1 indicates the requirements that different individuals or groups may have for information in a brief.

Types of brief

2.5 The type of brief to be prepared will depend on the scale of development.

a. Small Extensions
These are additions to buildings which do not alter substantially the general form of the building, but which will alter its detailed character. A document controlling these is really a form of design guide although when applied to a well-defined area of a town centre it becomes closer to a brief. It should only control those aspects of building which affect overall street facade, or other matters of townscape. Except in conservation areas the precise detail of the buildings themselves is less important. Elements to be controlled might be dormers, eaves lines, gables, shop fascias, etc.

Destruction of grain and scale - Aberdeen, Scotland
Destruction of grain and scale - Aberdeen

b. Gap Sites
The gap site is the fundamental unit of development of most Scottish towns and villages. It is within the existing site boundaries that most development will take place. The need for an individual site planning brief will be identified by the urban design brief during preparation of a local plan.

c. Street
An urban design brief can be prepared for a single Street. This would indicate the visual contribution which buildings would be expected to make to the street, and would indicate those sites (on corners or changes of direction) where further special briefing might be necessary. A street brief should also include those surrounding areas which service the street and the boundaries should be selected carefully with this in mind.

d. Block
In cases where a whole block of development is proposed a brief may be prepared which attempts to coordinate the visual aspects. The brief 'will indicate general rules derived from the surrounding area which it is intended to apply to the new development, and any special requirements of massing or skyline. This is effectively a very large site planning brief.

Out of scale modern building dwarfs adjacent building and provides poor foreground for highly articulated skyline - Inverness

Out of scale modern building dwarfs adjacent building and provides poor foreground for highly articulated skyline - Inverness

e. Conservation Area
A brief for a conservation area will probably be stricter than that for other areas. As a conservation area will contain many individual buildings of architectural merit it is likely to include a substantial amount of design guide material.

f. Town Centre

The urban design brief should be prepared from a town centre assessment and should cover all aspects of visual control (even decontrol) in the area. These should be related to any other planning or special requirements.


Fig 2/2 Fig 2/2

A recommended format

2.6 Each briefing situation is a unique combination of local factors. It is, therefore, not our intention to produce a standard check-list of items to be included. A brief-writer must identify the important components of his own situation and tailor his brief to them.

2.7 A brief should be divided into three sections - Analysis, Objectives and Controls.
Each section has a function in allowing the brief to operate effectively in different situations.

a. Analysis
This should deal with the reasons for preparing a brief , the quality of the existing area, the pressures for change etc. It should justify the writing of the brief if used in evidence at a planning appeal. The analysis of an area may lead to the abandonment of the idea of writing a brief - perhaps there is a no common quality or perhaps the pressures for change are insoluble within the present physical framework. No matter - this section of the brief is most important in examining the 'rules" of the area which must then be ignored or reinforced. It is the basic groundwork upon which both the decision to brief and the brief itself will be based. It may also be used to demonstrate the visual qualities of an area to the planning commitee.

b. Objectives
The long-term visual policies for an area or site should be set out. The opportunities for achieving good urban design should be stressed. Views, lines of pedestrian movement and spacial containment should be indicated. The presentation should be sketchy and should concentrate on communicating ideas and concepts. The less quantifiable aspects of design control should be included in this section, as should statements of intent as to the harmonization of building character. The purpose of this section is to convince both the committee and the architect of the opportunities within the area - of the way in which buildings may contribute to the appearance of the town centre.

c. Controls
In all briefs there will be conditions which an authority will wish to enforce rigidly. Often these will be dimensional res- trictions, or they may be the strict specification of materials. Such controls should be clearly and unambiguously stated and to avoid confusion should in most cases be kept to the absolute minimum. there dimensional rules define a building envelope, this should be illustrated in both plan and section so that designs may be easily compared with dimensional criteria.

A recommended notation


Fig 2/3

Fig. 2/3 - A notation for brief map work

2.8 In preparing the various recommended stages of a brief, illustrative material represents the same elements from brief to brief. A standard system of representing these would perform two useful functions:

  1. The notation itself would serve as a check-list of elements which would normally be considered at each stage of the brief.
  2. A standard notation would allow the direct comparison of briefing material produced by differing authorities. Thus the growth of briefing technique may be helped by this common "language" with which developers and their architects would quickly become familiar. Fig. 2/3 indicates such a notation for use in brief mapwork.


2.9 All design briefs should be tested before being put into operation. The writing of any set of rules may have quite unpredictable results, and it would be a mistake to expect a draft brief to 'work' first time. Moreover the writer of a brief is bound to be blinkered in his interpretation of its results. We have found that the most effective method of testing a brief is to pass it on to some other individual who then attempts to design unsympathetically within it. This reversal of role will always bring to light loopholes in the brief which can then be modified.

2.10 The method selected for testing briefs should be one which can be accomplished quickly on several different solutions. Testing can be simply achieved by drawing; it can, however, be facilitated by the use of models, constructed from traditional materials such as card and balsa wood, which is a time consuming exercise, or from polystyrene, or preferably "modulex" (a miniature form of 'lego") which can be quickly assembled and modified. Models should always be used in conjunction with a rough model of the surrounding area, ideally town models such as are in the possession of many local authorities.

2.11 He have found the best simulation technique to be 'modulex' solutions viewed through a modelscoqe. This can be achieved with the naked eye or very successfully with the assistance of closed circuit T.V. This equipment is held at present only by a few teaching establishments who have in the past agreed to its use by skilled outside parties. Still photographs can also be taken through a modelscope. These latter two techniques are particularly suitable for demonstrating the potential of a site to planning committees or at appeal.

Design principles

2.12 It is not our intention to give a potted course in urban design to indicate the precise aesthetic elements which you might decide to control in any given circumstances. We have, however, thought it necessary to illustrate some of the principles which can be used in design briefing. The writing of appropriate controls is not an activity for which there are strict rules. Skill and experience are required to gauge the precise effect upon development. The brief-writer will gradually build up his own technique.

2.13 The first principle of brief writing is to apply the minimum of control to achieve the maximum effect - a sort of 'environmental ju-jitsu'. Often the rules which have controlled the historic development of our towns have been very simple and basic indeed.

2.14 Let us take, as an example, the city of Amsterdam. widely acclaimed for its beauty and cohesive 17th century character. The major impression of the old canaleside town is one of coherence and vitality. Historically, because space on the canal was a valuable and sought after commodity, the common form of building was the narrow gap site - often very deep but only a few metres wide. Due to the structural limitations of the time, few buildings could rise to over 5 storeys, while for economic reasons, it was unlikely that any building would be less than 2 storeys. Thus building took place within this very simple dimensional framework.

2.15 Looking at the individual buildings one sees a great diversity of style, proportion, material and colour. In fact, as these were commercial buildings, merchants would vie with each other to erect a building which expressed a prestige and dynamism unique to its sponsor. Yet the overall result is a marvellously complex but coherent piece of urban design.

2.16 This type of controlling framework can be demonstrated in a sample exercise. Cut strips of paper into pieces about 200mm in height and 60mm in width. Ask a selection of people to sketch elevations on these. each taking one piece of paper. General preferences are stated about the pitching of roofs and the use of materials, but the only mandatory controls are the height and width of paper. A standard scale of 1:50 is stated.

2.17 The strips are now randomly composed into a street facade, redrawn in a consistent style. constructional junctions between buildings being the only additions. The result is always a picturesque and dynamic facade. An example is given in Fig. 2/4

Dynamic facade - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Fig 2/4

2.18 What does this simple exercise tell us about design control in Scottish town centres? Firstly it indicates that the historical gap-site structure of most of our towns is a very robust aesthetic framework which can accept many differing styles of development. Secondly it warns us against over-preciousness in design control - the very difference between the various buildings is the secret. Thirdly it shows how multiple site acquisition can destroy the system.

2.19 This exercise demonstrates that design briefing may, in certain cases, result in a decrease in design control. What matters is the identification of appropriate rules of relationship, rather than a stultifying overall control.

2.20 We tend to control in a blanket fashion. By controlling thing we tend to miss those very values which are fundamental to the character of urban environments.

2.21 In preparing the analysis for an urban site, the natural size and shape of site released by the existing grain of the surrounding area should be investigated. If the size and shape are appropriate to the functions which create development demand, there will be little real pressure for fundamental change. Often, however, the requirements of say, modern retailing, demand a radically different "slot' in the framework. The brief-writer should, therefore, always be on the lookout for such changes and be aware of how the controls in his brief may affect them.

2.22 The idea of dimensional frameworks within which design may take placeis central to design briefing. There is a rather old-fashioned control which is now experiencing a revival. The building envelope - the three dimensional form created by plotting all dimensional or angular controls on a site was traditionally used in towns and cities to indicate the acceptable mass of new development. Normally this envelope indicated the maximum permitted extent of development. We have recently suggested a slightly modified form of building envelope, which combines a minimum and a maximum envelope to form a skin of varying thickness within which the building must fall. Where the skin is thin, control is strict, where it is thick, control is loose.

2.23 This system allows great flexibility in design while guaranteeing the appropriate mass of building. Also, with practice, it is possible to express urban design considerations very adequately through this system while controlling the detailed design only slightly.

2.24 Thus we are suggesting, as a general principle, that design briefs should create frameworks within which the architect can design and that these frames are largely dimensional. The analyses of the area to be briefed must therefore concentrate on the existing dimensional framework.

2.25 Of course there will be certain areas within which loose frameworks will not be the most appropriate control - where the strict specification of a particular building design may be required. However, the general character of most Scottish town centres is not of this type and it is our contention that most authorities have little trouble in handling conservation type areas. The problems arise when strict control of detail is applied to the varied environments described above - a process which gradually deadens their vitality.

Identifying frameworks

2.26 In most Scottish towns a constant pattern of growth and change can be identified. This pattern occurs within a dimensional framework which has existed for centuries and which modern development is tending to ignore. The streets of most of our towns are composed of gap sites which tend to be narrower in frontage than they are in depth. Buildings of considerably different volume may be accommodated within the gap-site framework with comparatively little disturbance to those adjacent. Historically such sites have developed through seven stages, and an existing building may be described as being at one of these.

Fig 2/5 Historical Stages in Development of Gap Sites
  • STAGE 1: Initially a house is built at one end of the site unit as part of a terrace facing onto the street.
  • STAGE 2: The ground floor of the house becomes a shop. Entrance is gained from the street and the shopowner probably lives over the shop, using existing internal access up to his living accommodation.
  • STAGE 3: The shop grows. A requirement for storage forces the owner to build outhouses in the garden space. These usually run lengthwise to maintain rear access to the property.
  • STAGE 4: The shop takes over the upper floors of the house as storage. Rear storage outhouses are expanded.
  • STAGE 5: Ground floor retailing space becomes inadequate. The shop extends into the storage area at the rear. more outhouses are built across the rear if the site and upper floors are opened for retailing.
  • STAGE 6: A change in shopping methods occurs. Shop owners now want to minimise stock held in the store and maximise retail space, prefering to have maximum retail space at ground level to display a large range of goods. (This pattern varies for different shop types and becomes more established for large consumer durable retailers.) Upper f loors are used less for storage or become vacant.
  • STAGE 7: New shopping methods become constrained by the existing building. A new shop is built which again requires maximum ground floor space but there is no requirement for upper floor space.

2.27 The brief writer should identify the size and shape of unit which exists in the town centre - its grain - and decide whether this is appropriate to future development. If it is, then the brief will reinforce this in its dimensional requirements. If not, the changing size of development site must be considered in its effects on the town centre as a whole and a new dimensional framework considered. In many cases the functional requirements of a developer can be met within the existing framework provided a little architectural ingenuity is employed.

Traditional assembly of gap sites - Ayr High Street, Scotland

The Traditional assembly of gap sites -Ayr High Street
Pressure for Large scale development within the gap site rhythm - Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

Pressure for Large scale development within the gap site rhythm - Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Gap site rhythm broken and scale reduced - Perth, Scotland

Gap site rhythm broken and scale reduced - Perth.

The grain destroyed. Low level development sets up a non-traditional rhythm - Kirkcaldy, Scotland

The grain destroyed. Low level development sets up a non-traditional rhythm - Kirkcaldy.


2/6 Plan of skyline

Fig 2/6 .These are straight lines drawn on the plan of an area which connect the most salient points of the skyline. A series of foreground and background elevations can be drawn on these lines. This method, although by no means foolproof, gives a good working picture of a town's skyline.

2.29 The bulk of new building can be superimposed on the various elevations, giving an indication of the effect created. Generally, buildings which intrude into the skyline will be important in terms of their shape and bulk, whereas buildings seen against a backdrop of the existing skyline will be important in terms of the colouring and contrast of materials.

2/8 Skyline planning

McEWAN HALL AREA" - Report to Edinburgh University by Percy Johnson-Marshall & Associates

2.30 Skyline sections can be used to study the views from a distance into the area under consideration. Within a closely built up area, the assessment of skyline becomes a matter of examining roof lines and the gaps between buildings. From street level, the projection and recession of a facade contributes to the intricacy of skyline. The pitch of roofs, however, so important when viewed from a distance has less impact unless the gable of a building is being viewed.

2.31 The control of Skyline in large urban areas may fall out with the local plan area. In such cases the adaption of such control at structure plan level should be considered, perhaps in the form of a high buildings policy.

Insensitive siting of a high building - Melville St., Edinburgh, Scotland

Insensitive siting of a high building - Melville St., Edinburgh.


2.32 Although we have discussed the way in which development"slots" into the street facade, there is obviously a need for the special treatment of corner sites. It is at corners that many of the 'special' buildings in towns occur - the buildings which by their eccentricity and impact give that part of the town its identity. Traditionally, the tower, the gable,and the turret have been used in Scottish towns to emphasise the corner. Typically these devices can be used to divide the scale of development on one street frontage from a different scale on another. Much modern building, however, ignores the corner site as a special case.

2.33 The urban design brief should identify those corner sites which, by their position, articulate the sequences of movement through a town centre or which act as the 'visual stop' to views. Particularly sites at 'Y' shaped junctions should be carefully considered. many of these sites will be indicated as cases for individual site briefing.

Good Victorian corner building poorly integrated into modern Street facade - Irvine, Scotland

Good Victorian corner building poorly integrated into modern Street facade - Irvine

Chapter 3: Worked examples

  1. The most effective way of illustrating the problems of design briefing and the possible solutions to these is to give examples. The following are fictitious but, in all cases, combine the characteristics of several real situations in Scottish towns.
  2. These worked examples concentrate on design aspects of the brief. We fully accept that, in many situations further briefing may be required in terms of site valuation etc. The examples given assume that the relevance of any other such material will have been considered during the preparation of the brief, and the design implications incorporated - the planning or financial aspects will be covered in additional documentation.



3/1 Dundron 
Fig 3/1 Dundron

3.1 Dundron is a town of 40,000 people which has recently expanded because of its proximity to some of the major operations of the oil industry. This expansion has brought about an increase in shopping floorspace and particularly for the establishment of larger retail units. Although there is at present available unused floorspace in the town centre it is either too small, the wrong shape or not at ground level - all characteristics which would deter the retail operations which it is hoped will establish themselves in the town.

3.2 The Regional Council (there is no independent District Planning or Estates function within this region) has not, hitherto, used design briefs to control development. Development control staff are mainly "pure" planners and recently qualified. The senior posts in the planning department are held by geographer planners. Day to day development control has been very much a case of insisting on the "lining through' of new development with the features of adjacent buildings.

3.3 If brief writing is undertaken it will be done by the plan implementation section of the planning department which is the only group with the necessary skills. Briefs will therefore have to be accompanied by a set of clear instructions to the development control section as to how they are to be operated. The planning committee is eager to prepare briefs and has just instructed the department to prepare briefs for two commercial sites upon which development is expected. brief will be writing is done by the ender- plan

3.4 The first of these is a gap site in the Church Street area of the town - a most picturesque street with largely Victorian commercial frontages grouped around the Baptist Church which separates the Cornmarket and Fishmarket squares. The rear of this site faces the Dundron Water and is very visible from west Dundron. Sitting as it does on the turn of Churth Street the site is also important to street views from the south and northeast.

3.5 There have been indications from the Estates the Department that commercial return potential from the site will probably not allow the developer to build more than a two storey building at the most. The problem of single and two stored replacement of existing four and five storey buildings is seen to be one which will recur in the future, and therefore the planning department wishes to treat this site as a 'test case'.

3.6 The other site which the Regional Council wishes to be briefed is a large (0.75 hectare) site at the north end of the town centre on land which it has accumulated over the last 20 years. The Council plans to establish a large shopping complex which will increase the retail floor space in the town by 12,000m2. The site is very central and is close to the existing main shopping street, the bus station and the railway station. To the south there rises a steep escarpment which runs through the town centre and which forms a major skyline feature in the town. The houses on top of the scarp overlook the site and have wide views towards hills 5 to 10 miles away.

3.7 The road system is to be radically re-organised as part of the new development. This will, it is hoped, alleviate present problems of through traffic in narrow streets. The proposed traffic scheme is shown in figure 3/4.

3.8 The Region is proposing to go out to developers to provide the finance and 'client package" for the scheme although they are negotiating with one major retailer (the nationally famous Stains & Saveser group). Without doubt, the securing of this multiple on the site will establish the viability of the scheme in the eyes of other retailers and will ensure the success of the development. The authority is, therefore, reluctant to impose too many restrictions on the design of the development until the financial package is resolved. It has been decided, however, that a design brief will be prepared for inclusion in the second stage of the competition in which a short list of developers will be asked to submit detailed designs.

3.9 The following brief has been prepared as an addition to the functional and economic brief which will form the basis of this section of the competition. The detailed developers brief is not included here although the provisions of the design brief have been calculated from the floorspace requirements of the developers brief. It is assumed that the resultant controls do not restrict these requiments in any way - that the brief and the commercial requirements of the site are therefore compatible.

West Port block site


3.10 The West Port site, which is large in relation to the existing town centre, effectively doubling the length of Market Street, lies adjacent to Dundron Conservation Area No. 2, which was designated in early 1975. Figs. 3/2 & 3/3 illustrate the primary urban design characteristics of the site and its surroundings.

3/2 West Port Block, Dundron
Fig 3/2 West Port Block Site
  1. The site is important to the visual structure of Dundron, being visible from Market Street, College Street and from the escarpment to the south. It offers the first impression of the town centre when approached from the west, an effect which will be accentuated by the new road system.
  2. Long views from Market Street towards West Port are focussed through the narrow gap at the visually important bank building on the Anne Street/Market Street corner, making the Dander Inn gable and the disused granary prominent visual stops. The slight curve of West Port emphasises the existing shop fronts on the south side so that they become an important enclosing element in the view from Market Street.
    At present there is a limited view into the site from College Street, but this could alter if the former ecclesiastical building (B listed) on the James Street/Anne Street corner, with its prominent rose window on the College Street gable, were removed. The north east corner of the site would then be exposed to view from the whole length of College Street.
  3. The escarpment rises approximately 20m above West Port offering views down into the site from Queen's Terrace and Edwin's Brae. Viewed from the site, the escarpment has a variegated outline due to the predominantly residential properties which stand upon it.
  4. The buildings on the west side of Anne Street form a visually cohesive group, although the James Street frontage has a dilapidated appearance.
  5. Existing buildings on the south Side of West Port are not of great architectural or historic merit. They do, however, provide a continuity with the scale and character of Market Street. Their primary visual characteristics are:
    • Narrow plot width, varying from 8 to 12m
    • Frontage treatment varies from plot to plot
    • Building heights vary from two storey to three storey with attic
    • Frequent vertical emphasis provided by chimneys and windows
    • Projecting string courses, gables, dormers, ballustrades and shop signs
  6. The eastern end of the site partially overlaps the conservation area and has a firm boundary of existing buildings; it is, therefore, visually more sensitive.
  7. Buildings in the town centre are generally constructed natural stone with slate roofs. Several frontages on south side of West Port are harled and painted.
3/3 Dundron - West Port

Fig 3/3 


3.11 Figure 3/4 illustrates the broad urban design intentions which the proposed development should fulfil, and which have been drawn directly from the preceding analysis. These should be regarded as defining the "spirit" of the new development.

Fig 3/4 Urban Design Intentions
  1. Massing
    Certain parts of the site are more sensitive in terms of scale than others. The general principle should be to fix the height and bulk of a building where necessary to bring it into scale with the surrounding buildings. The buildings on the south side of West Port should be used as a reference for the massing of new building, to achieve a continuity between old and new. It must be appreciated that underdevelopment would be as inappropriate as overdevelopment on West Port.
    The foregoing does not preclude an increase in building height on those less sensitive parts of the site.
  2. Scale
    Unless sensitively handled, redevelopment can destroy the character and scale of an area. Choice of materials is important in this context, but the most damaging effect is the frequent disparity in scale between the new and the old. This is not created merely by the size of new building, but rather by the failure to break up and model the building mass into roughly the same size of unit as the surrounding buildings. Care should therefore be taken to minimize the bulk of development and ensure that it is well articulated, particularly on the West Port facade.
  3. Elevational Modelling
    The scale of development will depend much on the degree and character of elevational modelling adopted. Long horizontal facades and large plain surfaces should be avoided, especially at roof level. Intricacy should be achieved by modelling.
  4. The formation of a new junction on Anne Street will unfortunately result in the demolition of the former chapel, for which listed building consent is required.
    The, exposed gable of the adjoining property, suitably treated, will, however, provide an acceptable substitute as a visual stop to the view from College Street. A further consequence of pedestrianisation is the difficulty of servicing the existing shops on the south side of West Port. Since rear access is not feasible, perhaps front servicing on a restricted time basis is the only solution.
    Large open areas or piazzas for pedestrian use would be alien to the urban form of Dundron, and, due to the nature of the Scottish climate, entirely inappropriate. Smaller, linked spaces should be created which are sufficiently intimate to be in keeping with the character of Dundron and attractive and sheltered for pedestrians. A feature might be incorporated as indicated on Fig. 3/4. The satisfactory enclosure of this area will entail the retention of the Dander Inn. Edwin' s Brae should be retained as an attractive route from the escarpment into West Port for pedestrians and service vehicles.
    Points which are visible from outwith the site are shown on Fig. 3/4. To emphasize these, restrictions on height should be relaxed; development at these points might be of greater height to take advantage of glimpses from surrounding areas. The architect should resolve the corners of the development where the building steps back into the site from two faces in such a manner that it takes account of the major views.
    The Dander Inn should remain to act as an effective visual stop seen from the east, as at present.
    The development will feature prominently in the view from the escarpment. It is, therefore, important that the design advice contained in 1 (Massing) is implemented, in order to achieve the necessary reduction of scale and to promote an interesting skyline. The development should avoid dominating the Dundron skyline and should not result in an uneasy visual relationship with the escarpment. The sight of untidy service areas and large numbers of parked cars at upper level is undesirable; their impact should either be reduced by screening, or preferably eliminated by careful planning.
  6. Materials
    The materials selected should be limited in number and should reflect the character of surrounding buildings. The appropriate use of slates and stone could prove particularly effective. The materials in which the development is constructed will contribute to its obtrusiveness. A light coloured building will stand out against the more sombre buildings and in this case the escarpment, which forms its backcloth; a darker finish will blend more readily.


Fig 3/5

3.13 These guidelines establish a three dimensional framework - the building envelope - within which development may take place. Great care has been taken to impose the minimum amount of control necessary to promote a cohesive development. The intention is not to restrict the creativity of the architect rather it is to provide him with a springboard of general principle as to the form of development which is considered appropriate.

3/6 West Port block, Dundron Controls
Fig 3/6
  • The building envelope consists of inner and outer "skins", indicated in plan and section by hatching, The outer skin is the maximum extent of development, the inner skin the minimum.
  • The zones reflect the need for tighter control at the eastern end of the site. In zone 1 development may rise above the standard building envelope up to a maximum height of 28m, provided it does not exceed 30% of the area of zone 1.
  • The circles in figure A4 denote the general areas within which height restrictions have been relaxed; development may rise above the building envelope t
Scale and Elevational Modelling
  • An interval of approximately 10m horizontally must be expressed in elevational treatment. No run of facade may be over 12m horizontally without a break back or forward of 1m minimum.
  • Projections up to 5 x 5 x 5m above the standard building envelope will be permitted.

Church Street gap site


3/7 Church Street Gap Site, Dundron
Fig 3/7

3.14 This large gap site (the Church Street facade is over 30m in length) in the centre of Dundron is exceptionally important in visual terms. Situated on an inside bend of Church Street, it is prominent when approached from either the Cornmarket or Fishmarket directions. The rear of the site is a riverfront gap site, being visible from the opposite bank of the Dundron Water and the pedestrian North Bridge.

3.15 Property on the west side of Church Street is generally 3-4 storeys high, and is Victorian in character, although the adjacent building to the north, one part of which has fallen into disrepair and is due for demolition, is of Georgian proportions. Buildings opposite the site and to the east of Church Street, being older, are more traditionally Scottish in character. Cornmarket and Fishmarket are historic, and highly effective spaces. Back Wynd is intimate in scale and has recently been pedestrianised. Plot width is narrow throughout, except where redevelopment has taken place. The predominant use for upper levels is as storage facilities for the shops below, or offices; few upper levels are in use as residential accommodation, for which there is little demand in the centre of Dundron.

3.16 The site boundary to the south is partly formed by the graveyard of the 'C' listed Martyrs' Church, while that to the north is the long established Dundron Springs lemonade factory, which has an interesting, if poorly maintained, gabled elevation on the riverfront. Vehicular access to the factory is currently inadequate, and is frequently the source of serious traffic congestion in Church Street.

 Fig 3/8


Fig 3/9 

3.17 The street facade must be of sufficient height to reflect the urban nature of Church Street and to complete the street elevation. Development must not, however, dwarf the attractive Georgian building adjacent and to the north. The change in direction of the street should be accommodated it might be appropriate to emphasise this prominent inside corner by incorporating a vertical feature as a focal point. The bend in Church Street is responsible for the change in direction of "grain" at the site; the Council intend that the redevelopment will express this.

3.18 The mass required on Church Street need not be continued through the site to the riverfront, where a reduction in scale - in keeping with the intention to create attractive pedestrian spaces along the river - would be desirable. Thus, the District Council wish the developer to consider accommodating pedestrian movement between Church Street and the river as an integral part of the scheme. It is important that the river elevation should not have a "rear end" appearance, and that the view from North Bridge to Martyrs' Church should be maintained.

3.19 The access to the lemonade factory must be improved.


Fig 3/10

3.20 The building envelope illustrated in Figs. 3/10 and 3/11 is derived from the need to achieve an urban scale on Church Street while permitting a reduction in scale towards the river

  • Projections up to 5 x 5 x 5m above the building envelope are permitted
  • Above the selected eaves level, roofs on the Church Street frontage must pitch a vertical height of 2.5 - 5.0 metres. The majority of roofs should pitch back from the street with a pitch similar to that of surrounding roofs (45 approximately). The exception is the projection of a gable on to the frontage.
  • While the building lines on Church Street continue the street frontage, the resolution of the inside corner is left to the individual architect.
  • The riverfront facade must be parallel to the river within the limits of the maximum building line (set to maintain the view of Martyrs' Church from North Bridge and to encourage the formation of a pedestrian space an the riverfront). The maximum permitted unbroken run of facade at this riverfront elevation is 12.5m.
  • An interval of approximately 10m horizontally must be expressed in the treatment of the Church Street facade.
  • Ridge and eaves heights between the north end of the Church Street facade and the change in the direction of the building line must match those of the existing Georgian building adjacent. Shared pend access to the lemonade factory and the new development should be provided along this length.
Fig 3/11


3/12 Corbiehill, Dundron
Fig 3/12

3.21 Corbiehill is a small picturesque village which has recently been declared a conservation area. Situated close to Dundron, it has become increasingly attractive to commuters to that town, and several housing estates have grown up on the outskirts of the village. The influx of new families has brought about pressure for change in the village: already shops have changed hands and the character of the village is at risk as applications come in for extensions.

3.22 Two years ago a new road was completed which by-passes the narrow central street although the east end of the village still takes through traffic. Several sites have recently become vacant due to long-term dilapidation or to the road scheme. It is felt that all these factors are combining to impair the character of the village and you have resolved to use a design brief to control future development. The councillors and chief planning officer are not particularly sympathetic to the problems outlined above and have seen the conservation area as a "holding" action and not as a positive policy. The brief is therefore seen as a device for putting over both the problem and a policy to the planning committee and the chief officers.

In some cases, particularly in conservation areas, the detailed control of design may be required. The following brief is included to illustrate this type of document which explores the grey area between a design brief and a design guide.

Conservation Area

3.24 The legislation pertaining to the Conservation Area and how it affects the individual proprietor is described in the separate publication entitled "Corbiehill Conservation Area: Planning Guidelines", which also contains information on grants and loans and is available on request from the District Council.
Planning Policies

3.25 In seeking to maintain and improve the character of Corbiehill the District Council will apply the following policies:

    protecting the physical fabric from neglect and decay and preventing unsympathetic development or redevelopment
    ensuring that its predominantly residential use is not eroded, e.g. by changes of use from residential to commercial
    reducing the type and volume of vehicular traffic to a level in keeping with the amenity of the area: to co-ordinate pedestrian and vehicular movement with adequate car parking facilities; to avoid development which would generate more on-street parking.

Fig 3/13

3.26 Corbiehill is a fine example of 18th century village planning, containing many well-preserved examples of that period's domestic architecture. Many of these buildings are listed as being of architectural or historic merit. This has not, however, prevented the decay and subsequent destruction of buildings which, although not within the listing category, were nevertheless valuable contributors to the structure of the village. For this reason the village was designated as a Conservation Area in 1976. The village has also been eroded by recent demolitions which attended the re-alignment of St. Andrews Road. the narrow enclosure of James Street being particularly affected by this.

3.27 Corbiehill represents a subtle blend of urban and semi-rural spaces. James Street forms the "backbone" of the village, its junction with E. and W. Methven Streets creating a village "core" recognised in the past by the construction of important corner buildings at this junction. The Buttermarket is also a good example of a tree lined square and forms the first impression of the village when entering from the North. The Mackle Terrace/S. Methven Street junction on the other hand has a much more rural character at present spoiled by the gap created on the N.W. corner by the demolition of Fullarton House in 1967. This gap allows views through to the rather dilapidated rear elevations and outhouses of James Street.

3.28 The character of building within the village is largely formed by limited use of materials · rendering and stonework on the vertical surfaces together with the invariable use of slates, often with decorative patterns on the roofs. The projection of dormers from these roofs is an important part of this character. Most buildings are two or three storeys in height. James Street is the shopping core of the village. The character of these shops has however changed in recent years towards the image of national concerns, this change being represented by the fascist and advertising now being used. Historically, building within the village was largely dictated by the availability of materials and their structural qualities, the limited building technology and the climate. The result is a pleasing architectural unity which does not suffer from monotony, since each building was constructed in response to individual need.
 Fig 3/14

3.29 It is in the residents' interest to protect the environmental qualities that create the attractiveness of the Conservation Area, and consequently the value of their properties. This is best achieved by simply respecting the established architectural vernacular. New development should seek to complement the existing by being sympathetic in terms of materials, scale, massing, elevational treatment and colour. Thus it may not always be possible to adopt the cheapest solution for external works.
Fig 3/15

3.30 Fig. 3/15 illustrates the objectives to be attained by the operation of Conservation measures. Generally the purpose is to safeguard the historic structure of the village by reinforcing the important corner and gap sites which effectively articulate the existing form and which, especially on the west side of James Street have been severely damaged in recent years.

    The general objective is to complete the enclosure of James Street, particularly the junction of James Street and W. Methven Street. The bulk of building should reflect the existing plot widths and heights. The underdevelopment of sites must be guarded against. The replacement of existing two or three storey buildings by a single storey should be discouraged.
    Appropriate scale is probably the mast important quality to be achieved in new or altered development. New building should not dominate existing, nor should it be of a much smaller scale. The human scale of Corbiehill is its most unique visual characteristic.
    Elevational Modelling
    The intricacy of elevational modelling is a major factor in establishing the scale of development. New development should, therefore, avoid the use of large blank surfaces and the long horizontal run of shop fascias. Window patterns should be similar to the traditional. (For further details see Design Guide.)
    In the long term James Street will be pedestrianised, probably using a time-servicing scheme. This will allow the bringing forward of the building line at the junction of New St. Andrew Road to provide a greater enclosure to James Street. Existing on-street parking and parking which has occupied derelict sites along James Street will be relocated to the west of the village centre.
    The major views within Corbiehill are illustrated on drawing 3/14. Generally these are short channelled views which end in some street feature - an imposing facade or a subtle change of street direction. The objective here will be to re-establish the channelling of such views and ensure that future building an certain sites takes full account of the emphasis required.

Guidelines and controls

3.31 The following guidelines and controls will apply generally throughout the village. Where a site is considered to be especially important the Regional Council may issue a site brief which will contain additional information an the form of development which the Council consider to be appropriate. (Fig. 3/16 indicates where such site briefs will operate.)
Fig 3/16

    extensions generally
    Extensions or series of extensions must not become the dominant architectural statement, The vertical extension of single storey buildings will be discouraged except where the available space in a pitched roof is being utilised. Extensions must not detract from the character or setting of existing buildings. (Fig. 3/17)

3/17 Corbiehill, Dundron
Fig 3/17

    2. roofs
    Fig 3/18
    Roofs should be pitched within the limits 35° to 55° (Fig. 3/18) and should be covered with blue/grey slates. (This requirement may be relaxed for roofs of garages, outhouses and other similar buildings in appropriate cases - refer to section 6). The majority of roofs in any one street, site, or multiple site should pitch back from the street, the exception being the
    occasional projection of a gable on to the street frontage. (Fig. 3/19)
    Fig 3/19
    Ridge caps etc. should be formed with lead, zinc or galvanised metal. Gables should finish flush or by means of skewstones; deep fascias, barge boards or metal parapet trims should be avoided. All chimney stacks and pots should be retained even when redundant, and maintained in a good state of repair. Roof clutter in the form of wires, aerials, extract vents etc. should be avoided. Rainwater and soil goods should be cast iron or other suitable material provided traditional patterns and colours are maintained.
    Fig 3/20
    To maintain individuality, the Council does not consider it essential that the eaves of new buildings should line through with their neighbours (Fig. 3/20) Maximum eaves height will, however, be restricted to 9 metres above pavement level, unless a relaxation is considered appropriate on a specific site. In such cases the Council will issue a separate site brief. (Fig. 3/16).
    Traditional forms of dormer will be preferred to contemporary "box" types and roof lights. It is expected that where a new dormer is to be set into a roof which already has one or more of the original type, it should be similar in appearance, should line through, and should follow as closely as possible the established spacing of those existing. Dormers should (Fig. 3/21)
    Fig 3/21

    a) be of a scale appropriate to the building
    b) collectively occupy no more than 50% of any roof elevation and
    c) not rise above the existing ridge line.

    Additional dormers and roof lights will normally be discouraged on front elevations.

    3. walls
    The external finish of extensions should match the existing. Walls should generally be smooth cement rendered and painted, or roughcast with white or other subdued coloured chip, except where natural stone finish exists or is intended. Painting of existing stonework is not permitted; artificial stone, pebble dash or other incongruous dry chip will be discouraged. Underbuilding or base courses should not normally be treated differently from the external finish of the rest of the wall, although a smooth cement base may be acceptable in certain cases.
    Freestanding walls should be finished in a material compatible with the surrounding buildings and should have a traditional cope. Contemporary "ranch-type" horizontally boarded screen fencing will be discouraged.

    4. windows
    Fig 3/22

    Existing window openings should not be enlarged. All wall openings should be vertical in proportion, the solid to void ratio being in favour of the solid (Fig. 3/22). If frames are other than white painted timber, the advice of the planning department should be sought. Traditional sash and casement windows with a minimum 150mm reveal are preferred. Smooth cement render bands, at least 175mm wide and painted to contrast with the wall colour, will be appropriate on roughcast and rendered buildings - this, however, should not be overdone but should be carefully considered to achieve the desired effect e.g. emphasis, unity. Sills should be substantial, formed in precast concrete or stone; good detailing is important, particularly where sills are used to maintain the band effect round windows (Fig. 3/23).
    Fig 3/23

    5. doors
    Fig 3/24 & Fig 3/25

    Existing dears and door openings should be retained where possible, especially on original front elevations. Doors should be of traditional design, panelled (Fig. 3/24) or vertical timbered. Accessories should be kept to a minimum. (Fig. 3/25)

    6. garages, outhouses, stores
    3/26 Corbiehill, Dundron
    Fig 3/26

    These should De well related to existing or proposed new buildings in order to achieve a unified group. External wall finish should match or be in keeping with the adjacent buildings. The requirement that roofs be pitched and slated may be relaxed on these structures, provided the alternative is appropriate. Timber doors and windows are preferred, in openings of vertical proportions. The scale of garage doors tends to be harmful in historic areas; designs should be chosen which reduce the scale and minimise the effect of horizontality (Fig. 3/26).
    Greenhouses and garden sheds should be sited unobtrusively.

    7. shop fronts
    Fig 3/27

    The form and design of shop fronts greatly influence the character and quality of Corbiehill. Shopkeepers compete with each other to provide commodities and services; they also need to make their whereabouts known and to display their merchandise. All this helps to create the busy atmosphere associated with shopping areas. The District Council, while recognizing these commercial requirements, has resolved that new and altered shop fronts must be designed in sympathy with their historic street setting and the architectural character of the area (Fig. 3/27).
    Fig 3/28
    It is important in shop front design to emphasise the relationship between the shop and the building of which it is a part, rather than try to achieve uniformity of design with adjoining shops (Fig, 3/28) There should be a variety of fronts with differing stallriser heights, window designs and fascia boards which will greatly contribute to the complexity and interest of the Conservation Area (Fig. 3.29). Where existing shop fronts are of no special merit, total renewal is acceptable, if sensitively handled.
    Fig 3/29

    Large expanses of undivided glass, which are alien to the scale of surrounding buildings, should be avoided (Fig. 3/30) Windows can he divided into more traditional proportions to achieve architectural harmony while maintaining overall display space. It is preferred that window and door framing should give a solid appearance to achieve a feeling of permanence. Stallrisers of traditional design will be encouraged.
    Fig 3/30

    The design and location of shop signs should be carefully considered. Nationally known shops should be prepared to adapt their standard sign if it is out of character with the Conservation Area. Fascia boards should be designed as an integral part of the shop. Reflective materials, fluorescent or other "loud" colours must be avoided; colours and lettering should be appropriately subdued. Illuminated signs would detract from the fine architectural quality of the area and will be discouraged. Certain premises, for example banks or public houses, may wish to consider the use of traditional painted timber projecting signs. This type of sign can be spotlighted, and can serve a useful purpose in advertising premises which are open to the public at night, such as public houses or restaurants. The Council will restrict their use to buildings of this nature.
    The continued use of upper floors for business purposes is desirable because added vitality which is imparted to the Conservation Area.
    Owners of premises where the upper floors are used for storage space should maintain the attractiveness of their property by considering the view from the street - the sight of stacked up cartons close to a window is extremely deleterious. In the few premises which on upper floors accommodate businesses other than that on the ground floor, lettering should be in black or gold and applied directly to window panes. All advertising above ground floor level should relate solely to the use an that floor rather than to commercial uses below.
    It will be Council policy to seek the removal of existing signs which detract from the character of the Conservation Area.

    8. street furniture and surfaces
    Careful attention should be paid to the design and appearance of street furniture and surfaces (e.g. lamp standards, traffic signs, litter bins, bollards, paving, etc.) which should reflect the characteristics of the Conservation Area. Where reasonable such existing items of street furniture or floorscape which are unsympathetic should be removed and replaced and existing features which are characteristic be retained. The Council will encourage the removal and re-routing of telephone and other overhead wires, underground where possible. New overhead lines will not be permitted. New street lighting, or replacement of existing, should, where possible, be mounted on buildings where agreement can be reached between the owners and the Regional Lighting Authority.

    9. trees
    The Conservation Area is protected by a Tree Preservation Order, which prohibits the felling or lapping of trees unless authorised by the Council. New planting of a suitable nature will be encouraged where appropriate.

    10. plot width
    The scale of the village is largely determined by plot width, which is narrow throughout. In order that new development will respect this, an interval of approximately 10 metres maximum horizontally should be expressed in elevational treatment.

Mandatory Controls extracted from design brief


  • roofs should be pitched within the limits of 35° to 55° and should be covered with blue/grey slates.
  • the majority of roofs in any one street, site or multiple site should pitch back from the street
  • flashings, ridge caps etc. should be formed with lead, zinc or galvanised metal
  • gables should finish flush or by means of skewstones
  • deep fascias, barge boards or metal parapet trims should be avoided
  • all chimney stacks or pots should be retained
  • rainwater and soil goods should be cast iron or other suitable material
  • maximum eaves height to be 9.0 metres above pavement level
  • dormers should
    (a) collectively occupy no more than 50% of any roof elevation, and
    (b) not rise above the existing ridge line
  • walls should be smooth cement rendered and painted, or roughcast with white or other subdued coloured chip, except where natural stone finish exists or is intended
  • painting of existing stonework is not permitted
  • existing window openings should not be enlarged
  • all wall openings should be vertical in proportion, the solid to void ratio being in favour of the solid
  • sills should be substantial, formed in precast concrete or stone
  • existing doors and door openings should be retained
  • doors should be of traditional design, panelled vertical timber or simple flush
shop fronts
  • large expanses of undivided glass should be avoided
  • window and door framing should give a solid appearance
  • nationally known shops should be prepared to adapt their standard sign
  • fascia boards should be designed as an integral part of the shop
  • lettering on upper floors should be in black or gold and applied directly to window panes
  • all advertising above ground floor level should relate solely to the use on that floor, rather than to commercial uses below.
  • new overhead lines will net be permitted
  • street lighting should, where possible, be mounted on buildings
  • an interval of approximately 10 metres maximum horizontally should be expressed in elevational treatment.


Fig 3/34

3.46 Inverderran is a city of some 300,000 people which lies at the centre of a large rural catchment area of a further 500,000 providing retail, professional, and other services. The city is a major tourist resort and is particularly famous for its historic centre built on a dramatic slope which gives it a most distinctive skyline.

3.47 The City of Inverderran Oistrict Council has, as part of its Planning Department, an Urban Design Group of four. The function of this group is to handle all visually controversial planning submissions giving advice to the development central section. At the same time, the group is developing design briefs for important sites. At present there are two sites of major interest for which briefs are to be prepared.

Fig 3/35

The Hill Street site (Fig. 3/35) is corner site situated on the historic axis of Loch Street and Johnson Terrace, a medieval and Victorian part of the city which has fallen into considerable disrepair in the last decade. Of particular interest is the highly intricate roofline of the buildings on Hill Street itself. The use of buildings within the area varies from residential in Johnson Terrace and Marshall Street to a mixture of residential , retail and largely derelict storage on Hill Street itself. The site has been acquired for speculative office development for which planning permission in principle has already been granted.

Fig 3/41
3.49 The other major site (Fig. 3/41) poses quite different problems. It is proposed to release fpor development the now disused railway land on Station Road. The total area is 4.9 hectares. The District Council envisages a mixture of office, cultural and hotel accommodation.
3.50 The demand for site use has been considered by the Estates Department who have suggested that the following uses would be financially viable in this location:
  1. High quality flatted housing
  2. Hotel with Conference Centre
  3. Exhibition Complex
  4. Offices and retail units
  5. Large department store
  6. Multi-storey car park

The site at present forms a large and unsightly gap in the frontage of Station Road and many conservation and amenity groups have expressed concern over its treatment.

Hill Street corner site


Fig 3/35

3.51 This site is on a busy junction just outwith the centre of Inverderran. As a corner site it is important visually, being especially prominent when approached from Marshall Street to the south. Hill Street rises steeply towards the north; the buildings on either side effectively channel the long view to the crest of the hill and a glimpse of the town centre beyond.

Fig 3/36

3.52 The area is urban in scale and character. The surrounding stonebuilt Victorian buildings are generally 4-5 storeys high; their fenestration, numerous dormers, gables and chimneys, varied shop fronts and stringcourses, together with a rough regularity of plot width (10-15 metres) accentuated by their stepping uphill, all combine to produce highly articulated urban design. Turrets frequently appear as corner features, thus the skyline is particularly intricate. Roofs are slated.

3.53 To the east of the site lies the 'B' -listed St. James R.C. Church, which presents a good facade to Johnson Terrace from behind a screen of trees. The church steeple is an important town landmark. The facade to the site, being a rear elevation, is insignificant visually, although daylight must be maintained to several windows.


Fig 3/37

3.59 New development should recognise the urban scale of the area. This entails achieving a suitable mass of building far the site under-development would be inappropriate. The opportunity exists to emphasise the visually important Hill Street/Johnson Terrace corner by the incorporation of same form of feature.

3.55 While it is important that the correct mass of development takes place, this should be reduced to a scale in keeping with that of the area, which is determined by narrow plot width and modelling of elevations. Long horizontal facades should, therefore, be avoided, especially at roof level.

3.56 Development should continue to channel the long view up Hill Street this might be facilitated by the rhythm of elevational treatment. Roofscape, which will be prominent from Marshall Street, should be carefully considered - a large expanse of unrelieved flat roof would be undesirable.

3.57 Development should not dwarf the adjacent Church or churchyard which forms an attractive space at the front.

3.58 While materials will be a factor in determining the application far planning permission, it is not considered to be an item which should be subject to strict control. The appropriate use of materials traditionally used in the area, such as natural stone and slate, could prove effective. The materials selected should be limited in number: their weathering characteristics should be carefully considered.

3.59 The Highways Department has long been aware that the junction at the foot of Hill Street cannot cope adequately with the volume of traffic using it at peak times Marshall Street/Johnson Terrace is a busy crosstown route, while Hill Street leads directly to the town centre. The Department has therefore proposed a road widening scheme which will effectively determine the maximum extent of development consistent with visibility distances at the junction.


Fig 3/38

3.60 Maximum building lines on street frontages have been determined by the visibility distances required by the Regional Highways Authority.

  • Eaves height may be constant for a maximum length of 12.5m only.
  • Above the selected eaves level, roofs must pitch a vertical height of 2.5-5.0 metres.
  • The majority of roofs should pitch back from the street with a pitch similar to that of surrounding roofs (500 approximately). The exception is the projection of a gable on to the street frontage.
  • An interval of approximately 12.5m horizontally must be expressed in elevational treatment. No run of facade may be over 12.5m horizontally without a break back or forward of 1m minimum.
  • Maximum permitted building height is increased on the Hill Street/ Johnson Terrace corner to encourage the formation of a vertical feature.
  • Vehicular and service access should be provided along length XY an Johnson Terrace.
Fig 3/39

Fig 3/40

Station Road town centre site



Fig 3/41

3.68 This flat site consists of 4.9 hectares of disused railway land in a prime central location. It is dominated by the medieval Inverderran Palace, the rear of which overlooks the site from a rock outcrop to the west. The western boundary is formed by Station Road itself, a major traffic route which separates the site from the 'B'-listed Lorimer Hall opposite, the copper dome of which is a prominent city landmark. Land to the north is part of the Central Conservation Area.
Fig 3/42
3.69 Station Road, comprised mainly of 3-4 storey Georgian buildings, is a major shopping street which links the commercial and shopping area to the north of King Street with the secondary shopping centre at the Station Road/Johns Street junction. The recent demolition of a warehouse has exposed the north side of the C-listed Holy Trinity Church, the Art Nouveau facade of which is a fine early example of Gilbert Reid McGregor's work. The 'B'-listed Station Hotel (1903) is a large and highly detailed Edwardian style building; .its mansard roof which extends through 3 storeys, dominates the Station Road/King Street junction, while its southwest gable is prominent to the observer travelling northwards along Station Road. The gardens to the north and northeast are the rear of the high quality Georgian property which form the attractive York Square, a former residential area, now in great demand for prestige office accomnodatlon. The unremarkable but obtrusive 1Z-storey office block to the east was built in 1969. The decline of the mixed use area to the south is reflected in the generally poor condition of the property, some of which is In an advanced state of decay. Several thriving small businesses are, however, located in this area. Central Park, popular with office workers at lunchtime, is visible from the site.
Fig 3/43

3.70 The site constitutes at present a large and obtrusive gap in the fabric of Inverderran. Redevelopment should be sympathetic and imaginative, and should complement the widely acclaimed qualities of the city. Massing, scale and modelling must be carefully considered in order to avoid an amorphous appearance. Successful integration with the existing will entail the creation of an appropriate infill of streets and spaces. Fig. 3/43 indicates the general locations where pedestrian areas might be formed:

    The major space is opposite the Lorimer Hall and should relate to the visually strong corners of the adjacent Station Road blocks. Station Road will remain for the foreseeable future as a major traffic route: pedestrians must unfortunately cross it to reach the Lorimer Hall, since a grade separated crossing is not economically feasible.
    The two more minor spaces to the south and east should provide visual and pedestrian links with the Broad Street and South Douglas Road . areas. They will pull the centre of gravity of development towards those parts of the site and provide incentive for regeneration. Much of the decaying property an Broad Street will respond favourably to treatment.

The generous distribution of open space has the added advantage of permitting a higher proportion of development to have commercially attractive frontages an to significant public areas.

3.71 Development should relate successfully to:

    The large, but well articulated Station Hotel, especially its prominent southwest gable and the rhythm facade.
    Lorimer Hall and the urban character of the adjacent buildings on Station Road.
    Holy Trinity Church and the more domestic scale property to northeast and south. The privacy of the rear gardens of the Douglas Road houses should be respected.

3.72 It is important that development does not present a "rear elevation" to south and east. The opportunity exists to provide emphasis at points especially prominent when approached from the surrounding streets. It is possible that a carefully considered build-up in height towards the south east may provide a welcome foil to the multi-storey office block at that corner.

3.73 The developer will be encouraged to exploit the Views to Central Park and Inderderran Palace. Vehicular access will be From Broad Street and Douglas Road.

3.74 These controls are intended to provide the developer with a series of rules whereby a "building envelope" may be constructed for any specific plot or group of plots on the Station Road site.

3.75 The site is divided into plots by a grid. The size and proportion of plot varies according to its position on the site (designated A, B, C, or D on Fig. 3/45). Maximum heights of building are also indicated within each of these areas.
Fig 3/45
3.76 Development will take place on single plots or multiples thereof. The following restrictions apply to each plot.

    a. No developed plot may have adjacent development on more than three of its sides. At least one site must be open to a street, pedestrian or service access or open space.

    b. No development may project beyond the 45 angle drawn from existing development or from open space as shown in Fig. 3/48s.
    Fig 3/48s

    c. The only exception to rule 'b' is that a projection of maximum dimension 6m will be permitted beyond the building envelope created by the angle and the maximum building height.

    d. At least 75% of the building envelope must be taken up by buildings volume.

    e. Plots designated with a cross in Fig. 3/45 may be used as open space. The number in each such group of plots indicates the minimum number of sites in that location to be so used.

    f. Each plot or group of plots must be capable of service access from within the site if not directly from any of the perimeter roads.

    g. The areas of open space shown must be connected by pedestrian routes. The shaded plots in Fig. 3/44 are those through which such routes may pass.
    Fig 3/44

    h. Vehicular access to the site will be situated between the points P, Q and X, Y as shown an Fig. 3/44. The precise location of access points to buildings and servicing routes will be determined in discussion with the District Authority.

    i. In plots designated with a circle in Fig. 3/45 the maximum height restrictions may be relaxed in consultation with the District Planning Department. Developers will be encouraged to emphasise the height of buildings on these plots.
    Fig 3/44s

3.17 Additional controls applying to those plots which lie adjacent to the site perimeter are indicated in Figs. 3/44s, 3/45s, 3/46s, 3/47s.

    Fig 3/45s
    Fig 3/46s
    Fig 3/47s

3.78 All buildings on the site shall be subject to the following controls on elevational treatment.

    a. No continuous run of facade may be over 12m in horizontal length without a break back or forward of 1m minimum.

    b. Buildings will be clad in natural stone or an equivalent colour of dense concrete coursed block. The use of large panel exterior cladding will be discouraged.

    c. Where pitched roofs are used, slates, black asbestos tiles or similar will be used.

Appendix A

We have collected the following design guidance documents during the course of this study. They are placed under issuing authorities, which are arranged in alphabetical order. Those which fall loosely within our definition of a design brief are marked with an asterisk, which does not necessarily indicate that we consider such documents to be good examples of their type, or that we agree with their form or content. A high proportion of these refer to housing, and were thus outwith our remit.

City of Aberdeen District Council * Housing at Seaview Terrace, Cove Bay, Kincardineshire July 1975?
Aberdeen Central Comp. Development Area May 1975
Corporation of the City of Aberdeen Dormer Windows Design Guide as a Basis for Planning Applications (pre-reorganization) April 1974
Brodero (Scotland) in cooperation with City of Aberdeen Aberdeen Central Development Area August 1975
Berkshire County Planning Dept. * Beansheaf Farm Feb. 1975
Borders Regional Council * Tweedbank Private Housing Area Development Brief April 1976
Calderdale Conservation in Calderdale (ore-reorganization) March 1974
Planning Policies and Standards April 1974
Development Control August 1974
Environmental Improvement: Trees and Tree Planting May 1975
Development Control Policies Advertisements June 1975
Camden Belsize and Ebsworthy Environmental Improvement Scheme March 1976
* Planning Brief Swiss Cottage Centre Site (pre-reorganization) April 1973
Hampstead Conservation Area Shopfront Policy Guidelines July 1975
* Planning Notes on 94 Goldhurst Terrace (pre-reorganization) May 1974
Planning Brief Maiden Lane
ex York Way Freightliner Terminal
March 1973
Planning Brief Maiden Lane Public Open Space March 1975
Planning Brief Children's Playground August 1974
Planning Brief Montpelier House public Open Space April 1975
City of Canterbury * Building Heights (Pre-reorganization) May 1972
Spaces Around Buildings May 1973
Land for Council Housing June 1972
Tree Planting A feature of the urban environment October 1973
Stour Street September 1972
Planning for Industry August 1973
Riverside Area March 1973
Comprehensive Development Area No. 4. Central Area Redevelopment. Outline Planning Brief May 1976
City of Cardiff * CDA No. 4 Central Area Redev. Outline Planning Brief
* Planning Brief; St. Mellon's Area 1 Stage 1
* Planning Brief; St. Mellon's Area 2 Stage 1
* Planning Brief T.A. Centre, Ely March 1975
* Planning Brief the Crystals September 1974
* Planning Brief Clydesmuir Rd. January 1975
Cheshire County Council Guiding Design The Cheshire Way
Eyesores at Car Service and Filling Stations October 1973
Open Space
What a Site. The use of site potential in housing layouts
Clydebank (pre-reorganization) * Planning Brief; Dumbarton Rd.
Nairn St. Triangle
November 1975
Clydebank District Council * Planning Brief, N. Bank St./ N. Douglas St. Housing Dev March, 1975
* Planning Brief; Development of Kirkton Site, Old Kilpatrick June 1976
City of Coventry (pre-reorganization) Design standards for use in Development Control October 1973
Coventry * Planning Brief, Tanyard Farm October 1975
Cumnock Town Council (pre-reorganization) * Private Housing Development at Auchinleck Rd. Proposed layout & Design Control June 1971
Revised May '72
Dumfries & Galloway Regional Council * Stranraer Town Centre Redevelopment George St., Castle St., Bridge St. + Church St. November 1975
City of Durham Planning the new city of Durham: Introduction June 1975
Reprinted May 1976
House Extension Design Guide June 1975
The Design of shop fronts within the historic centre December 1975
Eastwood District Council * Development Brief, West Polnoon, Eaglesham June, 1976
The Planning & Adoption of Open Space April, 1976
Eaglesham Conservation Area Planning Guidelines June 1977
East Herts District Council A Guide to the Design of Residential Areas in East Herts.
A Guide to the Design of Farm Buildings in East Herts
A Guide to the Design of Windows and Openings
A Guide to the Design of Garage Extensions
A Guide to the Design of Shopfronts in Conservation Area
A Guide to the Design of Industrial buildings in East Herts.
A Guide to the Design of Side Extensions to Houses
East Kilbride Strathaven Conservation Area
Development Control in Busby
East Lothian District Council Conservation-3 May, 1977
* North Berwick Gap Sites Quality St/Kirk Parts Planning Brief April, 1976
* N. Berwick Gap Sites, Forth St. Planning Brief (Market Pl. - Auld Hoose Public House) June, 1976
* Preston Cross Cottages; Planning Brief June 1976
Planning Brief: Dunbar Ashfield Site 'C'
Lime Grove, North Berwick: Planning Brief August, 1976
East Lothian County Council (pre-reorganization) E. Linton: Review of Dev. Plan - Consultant's Brief for Mill Wynd CDA

March, 1969

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