Synopsis Report and a Development Plan
The final report should be presented in two parts.
Part one should develop the synopsis report and provide detailed reasons as to why the proposed development will be successful.
Part two of the report will take the form of a development plan. It should set out a plan for the design, marketing, handover and disposal of the development.
The final report should take into account environmental and ethical considerations and should identify and assess major risks or threats to the development. The
assessment should include details of any variance from the proposals in the synopsis and their impact on the overall project. It should also mention any compromises
that will have to be accepted by the developer and their potential impact on the development. The report should evaluate the proposed development against the
objectives set out in the synopsis report.
The final report will develop the synopsis report and cover all seven of the following areas.
1) Selection and measurement of the site:-
Finding a site for consideration should not be too difficult. There will be a wide range of land and / or buildings near to the students home, workplace or university
where there will be some capacity for development or redevelopment. However, some sites will be easier to research than others. It is worth checking at an early stage
that you will be able to find out the information you need to complete this project.
Students may find it helpful to take photographs of the site from a number of viewpoints. It will usually be necessary to carry out some kind of survey of the land or
buildings if this information is not directly available. A lot of survey information can be obtained from digimap (a digital mapping service available through the
digital library) or other similar sources.
Students who intend to visit sites or existing buildings should ensure that they have the permission of the owner and that they observe all Health and Safety
2) Initial appraisal and review of alternative development possibilities:-
Once the choice of site has been made, it will be necessary to decide on the form of the development to be adopted. The major influence on what can be developed on the
site is the current use and planning designation of the site. It is therefore important to look at what is likely to be allowed for this particular site. A second
major influence is the potential demand for the completed property in this area. On some sites there may be a limited range of development possibilities however the
student should still aim to provide a full justification for the proposed development. A justification should be provided for the size of the development, the height
of the development, the quality of the development or the number, size and quality of units in the case of residential development. This may take the form of a simple
calculation comparing the profitability of different developments.
3) Economic analysis / Development appraisal:-
Students may use a wide range of analytical tools to arrive at the economic viability for the scheme. It will be necessary to research into the criteria to be used in
relation to the scheme as these will vary between different kinds of commercial undertakings e.g. in yield and rental value.
Also there will be a need to research comparable resale values or rental income that can be derived from the proposed development.
4) Acceptability of proposals in light of the planner’s attitude to the site
In tackling this area students should be aware that although planning departments in some local authorities are extremely co-operative in discussing proposals and
attitudes the level of co-operation may vary significantly depending upon workload and site sensitivity.
It is therefore considered useful to carry out as much ‘desk’ research as possible before approaching a planning department, so that you can ask relevant questions in
an interview or telephone conversation. Planning departments can only offer advice about planning policies. They can’t advise about other issues such as
profitability. If they express a preference for a particular type of development on a particular site, it is a planning preference. It may not be the most profitable
option for a site and there may not even be a demand for the type of development the planners prefer. In this section the initial investigation undertaken as part of
the initial appraisal should be developed to determine what the planning constraints on the development will be. This would involve a more detailed review of planning
policies that will apply to this development.
5) Briefing the design team:-
Irrespective of the means used to procure a building, at some point people or organisations must be commissioned to provide the design for the building whether these
are located in the clients own in-house design team, in professional practices, or as part of the contractor’s organisation.
This area deals with the briefing methods and the brief itself for the building in question. The question of whether the brief is detailed and prescriptive, or open
ended, or performance specification oriented will of course depend upon the criteria attaching to the client and the project.
6) Proposals for handover, disposal and use:-
Students will have considered some aspects of this area in earlier sections as it is virtually impossible to consider the topics in 2 and 3 without reference to this
area. However this area gives the opportunity to consider aspects of handover (including commissioning) in some detail in relation to the project as well as
considering in more detail the nature of the choices for disposal of the building (whether by sale, lease etc.) or the way in which the building will be used by the
developer or some other party. If the proposal is to lease the completed development identify how important decisions such as the frequency of rent reviews and other
terms of the lease will be determined. It isn’t necessary to state the terms, just explain the process for arriving at a decision in the future.
For speculative developments, this section of the report should consider the marketing plan for the development in detail. It is important to identify the target
market and to work out the most effective way of communicating with that target market.
7) Environmental Impact
An initial assessment should be made of the environmental impact. The major impacts of both the development process and the completed building should be identified.
Alternatives that may reduce the environmental impact of the development should be identified for future investigation. Please not that this does not mean that
students should attempt to carry out a full environmental impact assessment. However, it is important that environmental issues should be considered out the beginning
of the development process rather than their effects mitigated at the end. As part of this section some possible ways of reducing the impact of the development should
be identified for further consideration and analysis later in the development process. Try and look at holistic and strategic measures rather than say a wind turbine
will be bolted on to the roof when the development is complete.