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.”
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.
In the ever changing world of technology, architectural CAD software has moved on significantly since the days of the drawing board.
The most current software has revolutionised the way we work. State of the art software forms part of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) system, which allows the sharing of design information between all parties involved in the construction process.
We can work in 2D whilst the software builds the design into a three dimensional (3D) model, giving clients a clearer idea of the design concept.
Here in the office we have gone a step further. By using a 3D printer, we are able to bring to life the 3D model by producing a small scale building model. This gives clients the chance to pick up, turn around and inspect their concept design.
The pictures show how for one client the design concept has become a reality in 3D.
Work has recently begun on a new part two-storey, part single storey rear extension for a residential client in Buckinghamshire. The aspiration for this 3-bedroom semi-detached dwelling is to create a new first floor master bedroom and a larger open plan kitchen and dining area on the ground floor, which will be achieved by removing an outdated conservatory and replacing it with a modern, light extension.
The homeowners approached us to produce the construction drawings, specification and to administer the process of obtaining and evaluating quotes from suitably qualified local builders.
Materials such as roof tiles and bricks are to match the original dwelling and there will be a zinc roof on the single storey element. Party Wall matters have also been dealt with.
We anticipate that the extension will be completed by the end of May.
We were extremely pleased to learn last week that a recent project has been awarded an A-Rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Our client was the National Trust; we recently completed the design and carried out project management for an extension to their Estate Office building at Ashridge Park near Tring. This included new offices and meeting room, and extensive alterations to the existing structure to create a new internal layout.
EPCs are awarded based upon the energy efficiency rating on a scale from G (less energy efficient) to A (more energy efficient). The refurbished and extended building saw a significant improvement due to higher levels of insulation, introduction of LED lighting and a new biomass boiler which has been installed.
Fewer than 1% of commercial premises achieve an A rating so this is a very positive result. To find out how we can help improve the energy performance of your building then please do get in touch.
We reached an important milestone last week when members of our team made the first site visit to a new development project at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire. This is following our successful application to Central Bedfordshire Council for planning permission on behalf of the Academy, to a building design we had produced.
Construction has begun on a four-court sports hall and new classrooms, which will form the cornerstone of a larger site development project. We have already overseen the construction of a link extension and internal alterations to the main building in 2017, but the Academy will benefit still further from the latest increase in sports provision and additional teaching space.
The principal contractor, Borras Construction, has made a start on foundation trenches with the first inspection completed by Central Bedfordshire Council Building Control. We are looking forward to seeing progress as we oversee the construction throughout the nine month build period.
Henlow Academy undertook a number of improvements to their site over the summer. These included a link corridor extension to improve dining facilities, and also internal alterations to a couple of classrooms and the science laboratory.
We were brought in at the beginning of the project by the Academy’s Headteacher, Caren Earp. Our involvement included preparing drawings, administering the planning application and building control process with Central Bedfordshire Council, creating the technical design and specification, and subsequently the procurement and contract administration of the builders.
The first floor science room refurbishment presented some interesting technical and logistical challenges. A specialist laboratory furniture company was brought in to design and install a new bench configuration to increase the workstation capacity. The gas supply to the lab was also upgraded.
A new bright coat of paint has completed the refurbishment scheme, and the Academy is now well-equipped to cover the science part of the curriculum in the future.
We have recently completed our second project on the site of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Caddington. The school was seeking to provide extra accommodation for some of the pupils as a break-out space. Our suggestion was a neat single classroom unit in the form of a timber lodge, with a simple internal space suitable for teaching smaller groups. Fit-out costs were kept to a minimum, and the building is kept warm with electric storage heaters, avoiding the need for expensive service connections.
In addition, the lodge is environmentally-friendly with the use of a timber frame, cladding and recycled building products, as well as low energy lighting. Construction firm JET Construction were respectful and efficient, as well as accommodating last minute requests from the client, creating a well-finished learning environment.
The school is delighted with the new lodge building, and is already seeing the benefits of having the extra independent classroom space.
One of our residential clients with a detached house in West Byfleet has recently been granted planning permission by Woking Borough Council for a new garage and workshop.
This is a slightly challenging site, as the current asbestos-clad garage (which is old and unattractive) forms part of the boundary with the next door neighbour. A good case had to be made to the local planning authority; our design has a pitched tiled roof to make it neater and more linear, and the building will be timber clad which will smarten up the appearance for both the homeowner and their neighbour, replacing the current old concrete walls.
The new building will offer superior useful storage space, and enough headroom for a modest workshop.