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Barn Conversion Secures Planning Consent

Friday, December 7th, 2018

In a leafy Oxfordshire village, close to the Chiltern hills, stands a barn ripe for conversion! PCMS Design worked with the homeowner to develop plans for the barn to be converted to an ancillary dwelling.

The starting point was to establish the structural integrity of the barn – and therefore its suitability for conversion. Next an ecology survey was commissioned and restrictions around when the work can be carried out were agreed with the local authority to ensure no harm comes to any potential bat roosts.

Care has been taken with the design and materials to make sure the external character and appearance of the barn is preserved, and planning permission has now been granted. When completed, the barn will have a bright and spacious open plan interior, extensive glazing with views and an external dining area.

Renewal of Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

A local homeowner recently was very pleased to have planning and listed building consent (LBC) renewed by Aylesbury Vale District Council for an extension to their home. The proposal involves demolishing a conservatory at the rear, and replacing it with a more attractive two-storey extension with a glazed link corridor. A new double garage and replacement for the porch has also been granted consent.

This application was a renewal of a previously consented application to the local authority: as the three year statutory expiry of permission was approaching without work beginning, we were able to make a strong case for renewal of the planning and listed building consent.

The homeowner was very pleased to hear about the renewal of consent and commented “Great news! Thanks so much for your help with this application.” It is hoped that work will shortly begin on the home extension project.

 

Planning Granted for Rear Extension

Monday, October 29th, 2018

Aylesbury Vale District Council has this week granted planning permission for a part two storey and part single storey rear extension for the home of a local resident, based in the expanding village of Haddenham.

The homeowner wanted to improve the internal layout of her 3-bedroomed, semi-detached home; presently there is a large but long lounge, undersized dining room and inharmonious kitchen/utility space.

Once the consented works have been carried out, there will be a larger and well-designed kitchen, enough space for an adjacent dining/family area with floor to ceiling folding doors into the rear garden, and a separate utility/WC. On the first floor, there will be an extra bedroom for the growing family.

The homeowner is thrilled with the outcome, and looks forward to making a start soon. In the meantime, we are working on the specification for her with a view to shortly inviting builders to quote for the works.

PCMS Design Helps to Raise Over £800 for Alzheimer’s Society!

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Staff from PCMS Design recently took part in the London Memory Walk. Memory Walks are held around the country, and each one raises vital funds for the Alzheimer’s Society whilst publicising the cause. The 7.5km London walk was held on Saturday 13th October – which happened to be a beautifully warm and sunny day – and the route began in the City, skirted round St Paul’s Cathedral, over the Thames, past the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern and back over the Thames again. Over 4,000 people took part and the thousands of blue T-Shirts created quite a scene along the route!

Unfortunately, Project Manager Alex Bond broke a bone in his foot the week before the walk. Alex said: “Although disappointed that I couldn’t walk the route on the day, I came along to support the team and they all worked hard to fundraise amongst our clients, friends and family. Thank you to everyone who supported us.”

Staff are very pleased to have raised a total of £805 in sponsorship so far, and every pound raised goes towards funding new research and providing support to dementia suffers and their carers.

The people taking part from left to right in the photo were: Kathleen Pratt, Maria Wilkinson, Debbie Mellor, Julia Bond

School Development Project Completes at Henlow

Monday, October 15th, 2018

A significant school development project has just completed at Henlow Church of England Academy to the delight of staff and pupils. PCMS Design was involved from the very outset, taking the Academy from feasibility stage when we examined the potential of providing extra accommodation on site, through to pre-planning, detailed design and specification and then lastly the construction management of the project.

The new building provides a modern four-court sports hall with changing areas, and six classrooms in an attached block. Pupils will be able to benefit from a range of sports including netball, badminton, basketball, hockey and five-a-side football. A giant projector with screen has been installed so the school can use the hall for assemblies and other teaching events. The facilities will be available to hire by the wider community.

Six new humanities and language classrooms provide the latest in educational technology with interactive whiteboards in each. Creating a bright and comfortable teaching environment has been a priority; the classrooms have been designed to meet the space and facility requirements set out by the Department for Education and include fibre optic links, Wi-Fi coverage as well as the latest modern security and fire systems.

This £2.4 million investment in Henlow Church of England Academy’s site was funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and the Education & Skills Funding Agency. Site construction works were completed on time and to budget by Borras Construction Limited.

Head teacher Caren Earp is thrilled with the new facilities: “A big thank you to PCMS Design – with all of their support, design skills and project management expertise we now have a fantastic new building which is going to be of huge benefit to our children, increasing the number and range of opportunities for sport that we can now offer.”

Alex Bond of PCMS Design commented: “We feel very privileged to have been involved with this exciting site development project at Henlow Academy. Effective communication between the design team, local authority staff, specialist consultants, builders and their sub-contractors was the key to its successful completion, ready for the new school year.”

Some of the partners and suppliers involved with the Henlow Church of England Academy project:
 Curved standing seam zinc roof on the sports hall by VMZinc: www.vmzinc.co.uk
 Akusto Impact resistant acoustic panelling in the sports hall by Ecophon: www.ecophon.com/uk
 Sports hall floor installation by Dynamik: www.dynamiksportsfloors.co.uk
 External cladding to the sports hall by Kingspan: www.kingspan.com
 Performance spec for M&E installation  BSD Consulting Engineers: www.bsdconsulting.com
 Main Contractor: www.borrasconstruction.co.uk

 

Planning Success for Grassroots Nursery

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Bedford Borough Council Planning Committee granted planning permission this week for a 24 place extension to a children’s day nursery in Hargrave, which is located on the Beds/Northants border. Grassroots Nursery has been given consent for a new 24-place single storey unit close to the original building, together with six new car parking spaces. Although one objection to the proposal had been received, the Committee decided that the case for the extension was acceptable.

This is the second time that PCMS Design has been involved with Grassroots Nursery. Back in 2013, we secured change of use for a residential dwelling located within the grounds of a farm into day nursery, and subsequently worked on the design, specification, procurement and project management of the build.

Nursery owner Kim How is delighted with the outcome of the latest planning application: “That’s fabulous news – PCMS Design are great at thinking through planning niggles/nuances.”

Permission Granted for Barn Conversion

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Planning permission has just been granted by Central Bedfordshire Council for the conversion of a modern storage barn into a residential annexe.

Built around 9 years ago, the barn had up until recently been used as a stable and tractor store. The homeowner approached us requesting advice on making a conversion in order to provide safe and secure ancillary accommodation for an elderly relative.

Our design incorporates a split level living room, separate dining area and kitchen, a double bedroom and bathroom. A mezzanine gallery area will be created above the living room for storage. Additional roof lights and bi-fold doors will bring natural light flooding in. However, other architectural alterations to the exterior of the building have been kept to a minimum to maintain the rustic character of the building in the rural setting. A small patio and garden area will also be incorporated.

New Modular Classrooms are Lifted In!

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

It was exciting last week to be present at the lifting in of a new modular double classroom unit at Maple Tree Lower School in Sandy. The classrooms have been constructed off-site in a specialist factory, which has considerably speeded up the construction and delivery time. From signing contracts with the modular company to installation on site has been a matter of weeks rather than months, and the two classrooms will be up and running towards the end of September.

The ‘bays’ arrive with many fixtures and fittings already installed including walls, doors and ceilings – many already finished off with their final decorated surfaces. Sinks, sanitary ware and WC cubicles are also fitted at the factory, along with external wall finishes such as cedar cladding. The bays are simply craned into position on pre-prepared foundations and bolted into place.

Weather conditions were perfect for the installation which all went according to plan. Head Teacher Cath Bainbridge was on site at the time, and was full of praise for the speed and efficiency of the installation: “These new classrooms will be used by our pre-school and nursery children, and I am thrilled by the quality of the finish, and how quickly you have delivered this project for us.”

Success for Kitchen Extension Application

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

We have recently secured Householder planning permission for a new single storey kitchen extension at a house in Milton Keynes. Because of poor design, their existing kitchen was isolated from the rest of the house and garden, and could be cold in winter. The owner felt that their 1990s house could benefit from a better ground floor layout, to create a more open-plan and family-friendly kitchen and relaxation space. We agreed, and suggested demolishing a rear section of the original dwelling to replace it with an extension which stretches across the width of the house.

Our design includes a feature glazed roof lantern to allow lots of natural light into the space, and bi-folding doors to make the most of the garden. As you can see from the 3D visualisation, when completed not just the internal layout will have been improved, but also the appearance of the dwelling when viewed from the garden.

Planning Permisson for The White Lion

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

We were all extremely pleased yesterday to hear that planning and listed building consent has been granted by Chiltern District Council for The White Lion public house in St Leonards, which is Grade II Listed. This extension and renovation project will see the historic building rejuvenated and the pub re-open for business – hopefully by 2019.

Our design details a replacement rear extension to allow the bar and trading area to be extended and refurbished, and a number of repairs to the fabric of the building to safeguard it for the future. Care was taken to retain the original charm of the building, whilst addressing some significant building condition issues.

The pub has been closed for business for some years now, and since a new owner took it on we have assisted them with securing consent – which can be a painstaking process with a listed building. Strong support for the application was also given by the local Save the White Lion campaign group and the Mid-Chilterns branch of CAMRA.

On hearing the news, owner Mandy Grimwood said: “Thank you to everyone at PCMS Design for all your hard work to get the planning decision we were hoping for. We are now looking ahead to the future with optimism, when we can start trading again.”

Picture: Robert Gladstone