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Architect Bulletin - December 2018

Published: Wednesday, 19th December 2018

Our services over the Christmas and New Year period, 2018 Round-up, Government to implement Hackitt’s recommendations, And more articles...


Please note the following availability of our services and support over the festive period.

Online planning applications can be made as usual.  Payments can be made online or by phone 24 hours a day, every day including bank holidays.

Other payments will be reconciled each working day (not including bank holidays) as usual.

Our Service Desk hours will be available on our help page, which will be updated shortly.


Since our website refresh in 2016, the old planningportal.gov.uk web address no longer exists. If you have any links on your website which lead to our services, guidance or content using the old address, they are not linking to the correct place.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have been providing a redirect facility from this address to our site for some time, but they will not be continuing to maintain the planningportal.gov.uk domain or the redirect facility from January 2019.

We have sent a number of communications on this subject over the last year, but our reports show that many businesses still use links to the old planningportal.gov.uk domain on their websites instead of planningportal.co.uk.

If you want to avoid broken links and disrupted customer experience on your website, it is imperative that any incorrect links are updated as soon as possible.

Please make sure the IT department or web content team at your business has access to this message to make any necessary changes.


Architect at work

The Planning Portal will be exhibiting at ‘Architect at Work’ UK on 31 January 2019. The event will be held at The Old Truman Brewery in London. Come and visit us in booth 47, to find out what’s new from the Planning Portal and discover how you can save money on your planning maps, using our ReQuestaPlan service.

‘Architect at Work’ has long been an international forum for exploring the most cutting-edge ideas within the built industries. This year’s London event will focus on the phrase ‘future-proof’; placing concepts which prioritise sustainability in the spotlight and stoking important conversations about the future of the trade. It promises to be a thought-provoking two days and a must-attend for all those involved in the sector.

You can register for your free visit here if you haven’t already.

BD Architect of the Year Awards

Building Design’s Architect of the Year Awards is back for 2019 and we are happy to announce ourselves as official sponsors of the event.

The Architect of the Year Awards is uniquely significant in that it honours practices based on their entire body of work throughout the year. We are pleased to provide support to such an important event, which not only bestows well deserved credit, but also inspires everybody within the industry to be bold and think innovatively.

The Awards are only open to UK-based firms and the deadline for entries is the end of January. You can enter here.

The evening will be hosted in the middle of next year, on Wednesday 1 May, at Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London. It offers fine food, entertainment and also an important opportunity to network within the sector.  You can register your interest here, to receive a notification when the tickets for the ceremony go on sale.


Birmingham City Council has become the first to adopt Secured by Design (SBD)’s National Building Approval scheme (NBA) which makes it easier for building developers to meet the security requirements stipulated in the Building Regulations.

Birmingham City Council will apply the NBA requirements to all its new social housing developments.

Launched in 1989, SBD is the name given to a group of police projects, established with the aim of reducing crime such as burglary by ‘designing [it] out’. Under its NBA scheme, SBD provides a certificate to developers who meet the security standards set out in Part Q of Schedule 1 (Security) in the Building Regulations 2010.

This certificate can be presented to Local Authority Building Control officers and Approved Inspectors as a means of proving that these regulations have been met.

NBA guarantees that all developments they work on will be fully compliant with Approved Document Q requirements. They ensure that all the appropriate security and crime prevention measures are in place before issuing certificates.

By conforming to the standards set by SBD, developers meet the Approved Document Q requirements more fully and more competently than they would otherwise. Research has shown that households built to these standards see crimes such as burglary reduced by up to 87 per cent* when compared with similar developments that do not participate in the scheme. 

By embracing this scheme, Birmingham City Council has committed itself to applying a high standard of security to all its future social housing. Robust crime-prevention features, such as strong windows, doors and locks will be built into all their new social housing developments.

Find out more about Secured by Design.

*Figures: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Birmingham-to-build-crime-prevention-into-social-housing-developments-/46475