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How to write a good Development Statement of Intent

  Published: 20 July 2015
  Theme: Instil (DC Services & Good Practices)

A Development Statement of Intent (DSI) is a planning statement that accompanies a development application (DA). It explains the developer’s vision and intent for the proposed development and allows URA planners to have a better understanding of the design concept of proposals. A well-written and comprehensive DSI facilitates URA’s understanding of the development proposal and evaluation of the DA.

To help you in preparing a good quality statement, we would like to share with you some key features of a good DSI, as well as an example that includes these features.

Key features:

  1. Addresses all pertinent issues and presents mitigating measures
  2. Highlights waivers requested and explains the planning rationale for the requested waivers
  3. Substantiates claims with facts and figures
  4. Incorporates diagrams, especially for pedestrian/traffic issues
  5. Uses photographs with appropriate annotations
  6. Makes references to important documents in the submission

Example of a good DSI


The proposed development is a 20-storey mixed commercial and residential site along Main Street. It is adjacent to the Central MRT Station and a neighbouring condominium, Main Residences.



The height of the condominium is 72m AMSL. It is in proportion to the surrounding buildings which are up to 75m AMSL.

DSI Site


Substantiates claim with figures.

Uses photographs with appropriate annotations. Mock-up visualisations can also be incorporated.

Pedestrian Access

To facilitate access from the MRT to the development, a basement 2 Underground Pedestrain Network and an at-grade covered walkway will be built, as shown in the diagram below.

The vehicular ingress/egress and drop-off point are also situated away from key pedestrain routes to minimise conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.

DSI Floor Plan


Uses diagrams to illustrate issues, especially for pedestrian/traffic issues which require visualisation.

Waiver on Communal Planter Width

As part of our overall vision to offer unique and attractive landscaping for the development, we are proposing communal planters beyond 1m wide around the shopping centre (L2 to L3). The planters vary from 1.5m to 2m wide and will be auto-irrigated as illustrated in the document labelled Landscaping_maintenance.pdf. We hope that URA will consider a waiver for the planter width on the strength of our overall landscaping proposal.


Highlights waivers which are required and explains the merits on which the case should be considered.


The development is 20m away from the Main Residences. While the subject site and Main Residences are separated by the Left Road, our proposal also takes into consideration privacy and noise concerns that may affect existing residents at Main Residences.

DSI Building Example

To address this, the retail units facing Left Road will be screened such that patrons cannot easily look into the existing units.


Raises issues and highlight mitigating measures.


The standard requirement for our proposed GFA quantum is 150 lots. However, as the development is situated next to the MRT, we have obtained LTA's approval to apply the range-based carparking standards.

We are therefore only providing 115 lots, 35 fewer than the standards. Please refer to our correspondence with LTA in the attached document LTA_Correspondence_Dec2014 and our detailing of the carpark numbers in the DCPR17 form.


Highlights waivers obtained and makes reference to important documents within submission.


The good features outlined are by no means comprehensive. This merely serves as a guide for architects and developers who should continue to express their design scheme clearly and coherently through the DSI.

We hope that this guide will help you in preparing a considered and good quality statement.

Note: All DC.Connect articles are only for general information. We strongly advise readers to read the relevant circulars we issue to professional institutes for full and accurate information on development control matters as these will continue to take precedence.