Top three tips on planning success

CLA member and custodian at Broughton Hall Estate, Roger Tempest, provides his top three tips for planning success.

Roger Tempest: Three top tips in terms of planning, I would say, number one, you must employ the right people around you to get the best advice. Getting the best people will pay off so many times in the future. Your vision with these professional people, the right people around you, can really release the best project. If you employ the wrong people on a project, especially, architectural and design, you can get a very poor product.

It's like a painting. If you buy the best artist, it's going to retain its money and do well probably, but some Sunday artist, who doesn't really know how to paint, I would avoid that. That's the number one tip, the best team always wins. Number two tip, the relationship with the planner. There's no point in having adversity with them because it is very tempting to get annoyed, to be angry by the system or whatever.

You've got to be openhearted, and really take the right diplomatic approach, because a lot of the planners, a lot of them are of a particular mindset, which will not be the same as your mindset, and so you need to be really understanding and be diplomatic with the planning system, because there's no doubt it's not working very well, and if-- It's a bit like a fire, it can warm you or burn you, but the fire is-- You've just got to make sure you approach it in the right way, so that's number two tip really. Get the culture and the relationship right.

The third tip, I would just say what I've always been a huge believer in is, get your case really ready before you go in, do not go to a planner and say, "I've got this barn and I don't know what to do with it. How can you help?" I think that's one of the worst things you can do. The planners are there and should be there to interpret the planning law. You really need to internally work out exactly what you want of your building, and what the final mission and destination is, and really be clear about what you're going to do with it.

Why is it well thought out? Remember, if you convert a barn, it's going to be there probably for the next 50 years or something in that use, get it right. That pre-planning is worth everything to help with the final success of the project.