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.”
When the owners of a lovely barn conversion in Buckinghamshire approached us with a view to extending their home, we made an appraisal of how this could be quickly and practically achieved. A small (and rather inharmonious) conservatory had been added to the side elevation in the past, and our advice was to replace this with a more attractive – and larger – single storey kitchen extension.
An added benefit of our design is that because the extension is to the side elevation and does not exceed the dimensions allowed under Permitted Development (PD) legislation, then planning permission is not necessary. However, we advised applying to the Local Authority for a ‘Lawful Development Certificate’.
Aylesbury Vale District Council agreed that our design came under Permitted Development rights and issued the Certificate. Our client looks forward to moving ahead with the build as soon as possible.
If you would like advice on which types of domestic or commercial development come under Permitted Development rules, do get in touch with us.
Last week, we were pleased to be present at the final handover of a residential rear extension to a detached home in Buckinghamshire.
The original brief was to design a space large enough for a full-sized snooker table. We developed a design for a one and a half storey room with glazed doors, applied on behalf of the homeowner for planning permission, assisted with procurement of suitable builders, and then carried out project management of the build.
What we were not expecting upon our final visit was the bold interior design scheme which had been carefully chosen by the homeowner for his new games room. The green snooker table is contrasted by bright red walls, and a very fetching bar, the front of which is apparently clad in the owner’s family tartan! The room has a bright, fun feel – great to entertain and relax in.
A property in Buckinghamshire has been transformed recently by conversion from an uninspiring dormer bungalow into an impressive spacious family home.
Our clients contacted us after purchasing a house in a good village location, but in need of substantial improvement and refurbishment. The house had already been extended at the back, so instead of extending outwards we recommended raising the roof by one metre; our design allowed the awkward rooms in the roof space to be brought back into use as light and spacious bedrooms, with the added feature of an attractive landing and oak staircase.
By designing this modest upwards extension, we minimised the impact on neighbouring properties, and avoided the need to ‘nibble’ into the garden or drive.
The property has been reconfigured downstairs too; there are new bathrooms throughout, a refitted kitchen / breakfast room, separate utility room and study, and the exterior has a more modern sleek look with rendered walls and aluminium windows. Everyone is delighted with the transformation.
Aylesbury Vale District Council recently granted planning permission for three of our residential projects in the space of a week.
Two of our clients live next door to each other in a pair of semi-detached dwellings. We advised that it can sometimes be easier to apply for permission to carry out construction works together. In this case, permission was given for both to construct a two storey rear extension to their homes, larger than they could have achieved independently. There should be cost savings available if both appoint the same builders to carry out the extension works simultaneously.
Our third residential client located near our office in Haddenham would like to build a modest single storey rear extension and also convert their garage with a view to creating a larger kitchen / breakfast room. Planning permission was granted 10 days ahead of the deadline, and everyone is very pleased to have received consent so quickly.
A residential client recently sought help with construction of a new barn at their home in the heart of the Chilterns. There were already a couple of old timber shed structures in the paddock, but the aspiration was for a new attractive building that could not only act as a stable but also provide storage for garden machinery.
Because the property is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty planning consent was required. We were pleased to secure planning permission for the barn design, and we then went on to project manage the build for our client. The building is future-proof, meaning that methods of construction could allow the structure to be put to alternative uses if so desired in the future.
The result is an attractive new barn / stable block in a style sympathetic to the local Chilterns setting. Our client is delighted: “This is the second construction project that PCMS Design has designed and managed for us, and we are very pleased with the result.”
Our residential clients in the Buckinghamshire village of Walter’s Ash were delighted this week to hear that planning permission has been granted by Wycombe District Council for a two storey front extension to their home.
The homeowners were keen to gain more space upstairs for a larger master bedroom and new en suite bathroom, and also to reconfigure the downstairs spaces, including a desire for a larger entrance allowing improved circulation for their growing family. We suggested that the floorspace already occupied by a front porch could be better utilised, and that a two storey extension coupled with a modest amount of internal alteration, would allow the family’s aspirations to be met.
In parallel with the planning application, we provided technical details to Thames Water to secure a ‘Build Over / Build Near Agreement’.
Our designs have now received planning permission, and our clients hope to start work on the extension as soon as possible.
Aylesbury Vale District Council has this week granted planning permission for one of our Buckinghamshire educational clients. We applied on behalf of Oakley Primary School for consent to create a more presentable and secure main entrance for staff, pupils and visitors, improve the internal layout of the school office, and construct a new head teacher’s room.
Part of the scheme receiving consent at the same time includes external improvements to create a new footpath entrance for children and parents, and also to extend the staff car park.
PCMS Design hopes to move swiftly on to the technical specification, ahead of procuring suitable building firms on behalf of the school to carry out the construction works.
We are very pleased that Aylesbury Vale District Council has granted planning permission for a rear extension to a dwelling in a Buckinghamshire village particularly as the consent was received early, 10 days before the determination deadline.
Our client has an aspiration to improve the staircase in his home because it has a difficult and narrow turn making access to the first floor problematic. Unfortunately there is little scope to change the staircase without building outwards slightly, due to the orientation of the stairs and lack of internal space. Our solution was to design a modest rear extension with internal structural alterations in order to provide a staircase with a single run. The opportunity will be taken to improve the appearance of the rear elevation at the same time.
Prior to construction taking place, we are assisting our client to obtain consent from Thames Water for a Minor Diversion agreement so they can re-route a drain in the back garden. Work now begins on the construction drawings and specification of works, so that builders can quote for the project.