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What are you working on?

You can't put a price on good advice. We remove the hassle throughout the construction process, providing expert knowledge that will save you the time and stress of council applications, and can help avoid common costly mistakes or pitfalls in the later stages of your project, as well as designing aspirational spaces which make the most of your budget and constraints. Use our handy guide below to learn more about how we can help you.

Help & Advice

What is an architect?

Architects are skilled professionals with years of training who can help guide and their clients through the design, planning and construction process. Architects apply impartial and creative thinking to projects large and small and look after the clients interests throughout the construction process.

Why hire an architect?

There are many reasons to consider hiring an architect, the foremost being the added value they can bring to a project: whether from maximising light and space, getting the most out of contractors, or freeing the client from the time and stress of project mangement.

A good architect actually pays for themselves - more than once. You will reap the reward and the building will be hugely better and deliver much better value for it.

Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs

Time is Money

For our clients, often the greatest value from Richard Robb Architects is the long hours saved from dealing with council applications, contractors and reading through regulations. Relieve yourself of the responsibilities and headaches which can arise during the construction process.

Honest Advice on call

Richard Robb Architects provide a top level of quality and customer service via our professional and creative staff. Eliminate uncertainty with professional and accessible advice on the other end of a phone.

Knowledge and Expertise

Richard Robb Architects have an established rappor with exclusive contacts, and years of experience within the construction industry. This allows us to progress your project briskly, connect you with reliable contractors when it comes time to build, and provide careful oversight throught the build.

Creative Value

Construction can be a costly endeavour. With Richard Robb Architects, you can ensure that you squeeze the most of your budget with thoughtful, well designed spaces which maximise each penny spent whilst avoiding cut corners and costly mistakes.

Industry Regulated

Our status as a chartered architectural practice with RIAS and RIBA assures our clients of the highest level of quality, experience and professionalism.

Do I need planning permission?

If you plan to erect or alter a building, or to change the use of buildings or land you may need to apply for Planning Permission from your local council or authority. Richard Robb Architects can take the hassle out of this process by applying for you, and dealing with the council on your behalf.

What is planning permission needed for?

The local council will examine your proposal and determine if it meets certain criteria for local development. If your project lies in a conservation areas, national park, or historical interest area, restrictions may be tighter than normal.

Is my project permitted development?

Certain kinds of projects may meet the requirements for "permitted development" and may not need planning permission. At Richard Robb Architects we can look at your project and determine whether or not you need to apply for planning permission.

How do I apply for planning permission?

An application must be submitted for planning permission to your local authority. You will require scaled plans and a location plan, and depending on the project possibly elevations, sections, site plans. If you chose to hire Richard Robb Architects we will survey your property, draw up and submit the relevant drawings for you.

How much will it cost?

Application fees can vary between councils, and also change depending on the project: a new build has a different fee to alterations or change of use for example. Richard Robb Architects can check and submit fees to the council on your behalf.

How soon will I have a decision?

Although this can vary depending on project, for small-scale projects the local planning department will ususally supply an estimated date of four to eight weeks to consider your application.

What if my planning permission is denied?

Richard Robb Architects can usually test the waters and determine the likelyhood of a failed application before submission, and so avoid this outcome by either revising the design, mediating with the council to achieve a compromise, or as a last resort indicate that the project will not be likely to be granted permission in the first place.

Planning Permission FAQs

Why do I need Building Warrant?

In addition to Planning Permission, Building Warrant is legal permission to start building work and is required before any work starts. While planning permission largely focuses on how your building will look externally, for Building Warrant you must meet stringent and precise regulations set by the UK Government for the building's construction. Failure to obtain a building warrant can making selling your property difficult.

How do I apply?

If you appoint an architect such as Richard Robb Architects to prepare your application for building warrant, the process can by very simple. For most people not experienced in building work this is highly recommended

How much will it cost?

Building Warrant applications incur a fee to the council to cover the costs of processing your warrant application; This fee is calculated as a percentage of the estimated final value of the proposed work.

How long will it take?

Although this can vary depending on project, for small-scale projects the local planning department will ususally supply an estimated date of eight weeks to consider your application. If the council requires further information and clarification, this can take some time. At Richard Robb Architects we intercede with the council on your behalf to supply all information required and reduce any delay in your application being approved.

How do I obtain a Completion Certificate?

Once the works have been completed, you must send a completion certificate to the Council, and then an inspector will visit and check your property complies with all regulations, and matches the drawings submitted in the application. At this point anything which fails to comply must be corrected. Having an architect on the project can avoid any costly rebuilding at this stage.

Building Warrant FAQs

What is a structural engineer?

A structural engineer specialises in the structure of buildings, determining the strength and durability of a structure. They are required to calculate the necessary structure to make a building safe.

When do I need a structural engineer?

Richard Robb Architects can advise you if you have need of a structural engineer. When you undertake any work that involve the stability of a building you will likely need a structural engineer to provide structural drawings and calculations for building standards and warrant applications. Examples of such work include:

  • Building an extension
  • Modifying doors and windows
  • Loft conversions
  • Removing or modifying internal walls
  • New Builds

How can I find the right structural engineer?

Richard Robb Architects work with a number of structural engineers on a regular basis and can recommend an engineer based on your location and project needs. We will also work with them on your behalf.

A quantity surveyor is an expert in costing a building at all its stages, and can help provide a more accurate estimate of the cost of works for large, complex projects.

Why do I need a Quantity Surveyor?

Quantity surveyors are commonly used in commercial construction projects with a large budget where an accurate estimation of costs and materials is required.

How can I find the right quantity surveyor?

Richard Robb Architects work with a number of quantity surveyors on a regular basis and can recommend a QS based on your location and project needs. We will also work with them on your behalf.

Have another question?

Richard Robb Architects are here to help: If you have a question about a construction project just give us a ring for a no obligation chat, or drop by and visit us at our studio on the Gourock waterfront.

Get in touch

Our Process

An iterative design process focussed on the needs of the client.

Richard Robb Architects use creative people and an iterative process to produce inspiring architectural results. We build special spaces based on the needs of the client and handle every phase seamlessly in tandem with contractors and the local authorities.




Keeping an Open Mind.

We believe in active and engaged listening. We meet our clients around the table for a friendly chat with tea and biscuits to discuss their ideas and aspirations for their project. This consultation helps to identify our clients priorities and options for achieving their goals and aspirations.




Let's Get to work.

We sketch out our ideas and present ideas to the client, explaining the rationale behind each concept, Agreeing on a final proposal that meets our clien’s needs and aspirations.




Paying Attention to Detail.

Once the scheme has been given the go ahead from the client we create the drawings and technical specifications which will be submitted to the local authority for planning and for warrant. We take the stress and hassle of the process out of your hands by managing the submission on your behalf and dealing with local authorities directly.




All together now.

As the project develops Richard Robb Architects will laise with the client, contractors, engineers, local authorities, quantity surveyors and the neighbours too, maintaining an onsite presence to make sure that your project runs smoothly.




On time and on budget.

Richard Robb Architects is dedicated to delivering your project on schedule and to the brief, be it planning submission, warrant, feasibility study or otherwise.

Visit the team at our architectural studio.

Visit Our Studio