Residential clients have recently completed a project to extend and improve their kitchen after using our design and planning application service. The old kitchen/breakfast room was relatively small and had an awkward configuration. We suggested firstly creating an opening through to the adjacent double garage to integrate some of the space, and secondly the construction of a small rear single storey extension. Though relatively modest in scope, the design scheme has allowed for the creation of a much larger usable space. Modern grey kitchen units and a combination of a marble-topped central island with cream work tops make for a stunning finish.
Large sliding doors were installed in the rear extension leading into the back garden, and the garage door to the front elevation has been replaced by a small window which gives the appearance of having always been there.
The homeowner is absolutely thrilled with the finished result and the new kitchen has already drawn many compliments from friends and family!
Aylesbury Vale District Council has this week given planning consent to extend a semi-detached house to the side and rear. This will create an additional bedroom and en-suite, taking the house from three to four bedrooms and the rear extension will allow a large scale reconfiguration of the ground floor.
The first stage will be to demolish a small single storey element which is cold and damp and of little practical use. This will be replaced by a two story side extension which will have an integral garage at ground floor level together with a utility room, and the new bedroom and en suite above. An old conservatory will also be removed from the rear of the house to make way for a new modern kitchen – the ground floor living spaces will be open plan and much more spacious. A new entrance porch will also be added.
When complete, this dated house will have become a bright and comfortable four-bed family home. Stripping away the old and dated parts can often be the only way to improve a house such as this one. The home owner has already made a start on the transformation.
Residents in a village not far from our office have recently secured planning permission from South Oxfordshire District Council for a series of improvements to their home. This is an interesting example of how a series of proposals can be conveniently rolled up into one planning application.
Consented changes include a partial conversion of the integral garage to create a new utility space, a series of alterations to the walls and doors within the ground floor of the house to open up the space, and lastly conversion of an annexe outbuilding into guest accommodation. 3-D visualisations helped the homeowners to realise the potential for each of the interior spaces.
It’s not always appreciated that a series of desired home improvements can be combined together into one application, but there are advantages as this can save on planning fees and administration time. Homeowners usually have up to three years to start on the construction works, but providing some elements have already been completed they can decide to carry out the remainder at a later stage.
In the case of this village project, it is hoped that works can begin on each of the elements later this year.
We are working hard at the moment to help get a popular Grade II Listed Chilterns pub back into operation and trading again. The White Lion in St Leonards, which is much loved by local residents in the surrounding hill top villages, has had a chequered history in the last few years. It’s been closed for business since January 2014. However, the future is now looking much brighter.
The White Lion was bought by Mandy Grimwood as a business opportunity in June 2017. Mandy appointed PCMS Design to advise on the potential for the building; it was clear that in order to be a viable business the whole building required renovation and extension. Our design proposal includes the demolition of a poor quality rear toilet block and reconfiguring and enlarging the public bar and restaurant area, whilst retaining the pub’s historic character. All areas of the pub are affected by the proposed works, including the landlord’s accommodation on the first floor.
A planning application with listed building consent is currently under consideration by Chiltern District Council. Director of PCMS Design Alex Bond said: “Everyone involved in this unique project is very excited by the prospect of the pub being put back on the map, and so far it has the support of many neighbours and several groups, including the ‘Save The White Lion’ campaign. It is rare to get the opportunity to help open a pub, and we hope to see it re-open next year.”
A Buckinghamshire client has recently completed a new for old workshop and storage barn project. There was a rather impractical old large timber shed with corrugated metal roof which formed part of the front boundary to the residential property, and our client approached us to find out if designs could be prepared for a replacement building. The challenge was to find a solution that was acceptable to planners, because the building was not only within the curtilage of a listed building and also in a conservation area.
As our client was looking for a useful workshop and vehicle parking space, we recommended total replacement due to the poor quality of the original timber building and unsuitability for conversion. This also allowed for a slightly taller roof to incorporate a mezzanine storage area accessed via timber stairs, and two sets of double doors. The eaves level next to the neighbouring property was maintained to minimise any impact. Care was taken to replicate design features from the original building, such as the distinctive windows with vertical glazing bars and horizontal timber cladding.
The owner is very happy with the result: “Thank you for finding a practical solution for my new workshop. The assistance you gave with the design and navigating through both the planning and construction process is really appreciated.”
Each year, the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Awards are held to recognise the very best design and highest quality standards in the construction industry.
For the past seven years, a number of our projects have been nominated for an Award and this year was no exception. We had projects in two categories. The first was Best Public Service Building for a project to extend the Ashridge Estate Office near Tring for the National Trust; the second was Best Educational Building for a new free-standing nursery on the site of Clophill St Mary’s CofE Lower School.
Last Friday evening, our team attended the Central Region Awards ceremony in Milton Keynes. Competition in both categories was stiff, with entries from some particularly large and high profile projects. Although not successful ourselves, we would like to congratulate all of the winners on the night, and look forward to continuing our very strong and positive partnership with Central Region Building Control teams.
We have this week received confirmation from South Oxfordshire District Council that planners have granted permission for the construction of a larger home extension under their Prior Notification scheme.
Normally, Permitted Development only allows extensions beyond the rear wall of the original dwelling by up to four metres for a detached house, or three metres in any other case.
Temporary relaxation of the Permitted Development rules (from May 2013 to May 2019) applies where the proposed works are limited to a single storey rear extension of a depth between four metres and eight metres for a detached dwelling, or between three metres and six metres for any other type of house (unless you are in a Conservation Area or AONB).
A major advantage of using this service is that it is free of charge, and it also takes a little less time than a Householder planning application (six weeks as opposed to eight). A simple form is completed, and the Local Authority then notifies close neighbours that adjoin the property to give them a chance to comment on the proposal.
If there are no objections, or planners consider that there is no effect upon the amenity of neighbours, then the application will be given permission. Currently, to benefit from these permitted development rights, the extension must be completed on or before 30 May 2019.
For further advice about planning or prior notification applications, do get in touch.
We have recently secured planning permission from South Oxfordshire District Council for a house extension project in the market town of Thame.
Our client has recently purchased the semi-detached dwelling which is in need of considerable updating and renovation work, both inside and out. The aspiration is to create an extra bedroom and a larger, lighter modern kitchen and living space.
Our design involves removing a small existing single storey extension, and replacing it with a ‘wrap around’ part single and part two storey extension. This not only delivers the required extra bedroom and stylish ground floor living space, but also improves the appearance of the house from the rear garden.
Together with a more general renovation of the dwelling, the extension will transform it into a stunning family home. Our client is going to project manage the build himself, and we look forward with anticipation to seeing the project when completed later this year.
On the last day of term, one of our academy clients received excellent news: Government funding has been granted for the construction of two permanent build new classrooms. These will replace an aging 2-class modular unit, and will form part of a large site development project which is currently under construction.
One of the services we offer is the preparation of CIF (Condition Improvement Fund) bids for academies and sixth form colleges for capital works. Bids can be made for projects such as new roofing, heating systems, windows and doors, and also for capital projects such as replacement or refurbishment of classrooms.
Bids to the Condition Improvement Fund are always over-subscribed and the priority is to address significant condition need, and particularly to maintain safe and healthy school sites. A strong case has to be made to the Education & Skills Funding Agency to guarantee success.
The next round of CIF bid funding for 2019/20 projects should take place this autumn, but we can offer advice on how we can assist with your bid year round. If you are an academy or sixth form college, please get in touch for further information.
We submitted a full planning application last week to Aylesbury Vale District Council for a new sports and community pavilion in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. The village is currently a hive of activity, as construction is underway on a couple of residential developments to deliver in the region of 500 new dwellings over the next few years.
Section 106 money from the developers is helping to finance a number of community infrastructure projects, which includes the provision of new sports and community facilities. Haddenham Parish Council appointed us to design and project manage the construction of a pavilion building next to new football pitches.
Our design for the building has taken into account the proximity of new houses, in keeping a low eaves height to the front to reduce the massing of the building. The part green sedum / part standing seam zinc roof has PV panels incorporated into the design. There’s a central glazed lobby space which splits the wings of the building into social and sports. Two changing rooms with showers are included, together with a large function space for indoor sports and activities.
The principle of the pavilion development was established at outline planning stage, but we are hopeful that full planning permission will be granted shortly by the Local Authority so that construction can begin this summer.