Category Archives: design

Development at Henlow Academy Given Green Light

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Henlow Academy LogoFollowing months of preparation, our team was very pleased yesterday when Central Bedfordshire Council’s Development Management Committee granted planning permission for the construction of a four-court sports hall with associated changing rooms, and also six new classrooms over two storeys at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire.

This is a notable achievement for the Academy, which is seeking additional space to accommodate a temporary increase in pupil numbers over the next 3-4 years. It means that Phase II of the Academy’s site development programme can now go ahead. Phase I, which included a new link corridor and refurbishment works to several classrooms, was carried out this summer.

In addition to the sports hall, which will allow the Academy to substantially expand the range of sports on offer to pupils and the wider community, there will be improvements to the on-site car park, school bus bays and nearby public highway.

We are now looking forward to working with the Academy on the project management of the next stages, with a view to the classrooms being in operation for the 2018 academic year.

Extension Comes Under Permitted Development

Monday, August 21st, 2017

457 3D Image Screen Shot_001When 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.

Fab Games Room Completes!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

IMG_4943 ResizedLast 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.IMG_4926 Resized

Permission Granted for Extension in Green Belt

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

SODC logo pngA family in a village to the east of Oxford was extremely pleased this week to receive planning consent from South Oxfordshire District Council for a two storey side extension to their home. Because the house is situated within the Oxford Green Belt, a convincing case had to be made that the scheme complied with current planning policy for development with the Green Belt.

SODC Green Belt planning policy states that an extension should be no greater than 40% of the volume of the original dwelling. As the premises had already been extended to the rear, our design brought the total volume added since first construction to 65%. This is outwith planning policy, and our argument centred on how much the dwelling could potentially be extended using permitted development rights alone. Our convincing explanation, along with a sympathetic design, was accepted by planners.

Once extended, the house will have a new master bedroom and en suite bathroom upstairs and the added benefit of a shower room and utility on the ground floor, creating a more spacious and attractive family home.

Planning Granted for Three Local Projects

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

March Residential Projects Photo - Chearsley Rd & PotashAylesbury 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.

Permission Granted for Replacement Barn

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

DSC02433A residential client was recently very pleased to receive planning permission for a new storage barn from Aylesbury Vale District Council. Our client was seeking to demolish an existing old and dilapidated storage barn at the front of their property, close to the roadside, and replace it with a very similar structure to be used as a workshop and also for storage.

Their property is a Grade II listed cottage which is also within a Conservation Area, and so a compelling case had to be made to the local planning authority to demolish what was already there. Our case was aided by the design of the replacement building, which has an enlarged footprint, but also took great care to replicate the style and appearance of the existing ‘rustic’ structure.

Our design met the requirements of the Council’s heritage officer, and planning permission together with Listed Building Consent was granted. Our client is now intending to start works on the new building this Spring.

Planning Success for Front Extension

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

dsc02474Our 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.

Celebration at Chinnor Rugby Club!

Monday, October 24th, 2016

chinnor-rugby-club-lunch-in-oct-16The PCMS Design team was delighted to visit Chinnor Rugby Club last Saturday for a special lunch, celebrating not only the continued success of the Club, but also the recent completion of the new entrance and alterations project. Local dignitaries attending included local MP John Howell, Thame Mayor Linda Emery and Councillor Jeannette Matelot-Green from South Oxfordshire District Council.

The Club made use of our design and project management services after obtaining funding for a series of clubhouse improvements. There is a new welcoming entrance with modern stairwell, refurbished WCs and a larger kitchen fitted with catering equipment for the many functions that take place in the building.

Club president John Ashfield praised the PCMS Design team for delivering the project on time and within budget, and also thanked construction firm Classic Builders (Watlington) Ltd for their efforts during the build. This is Phase 1 of improvements to the clubhouse, and we look forward to working with Chinnor Rugby Club on Phase 2.

Dramatic New Entrance at Luton School

Friday, October 21st, 2016

img_4578-resizedDenbigh High School is well known throughout Luton; originally constructed in the 1930s, it has an impressive façade making it a local landmark.

The main entrance, however, was in need of modernising. We produced a design for the internal spaces that included installation of a new reception counter, refurbishment and extension of the main office, introduction of a new door opening for the head teacher’s PA and the creation of a dramatic modern entrance hall with tall glazed double doors and archway above.

The original entrance had distinctive dark timber antique panelling throughout. During the project, the contractor’s carpenters painstakingly removed, adapted and reinstalled the panelling in the refurbished corridor

The result is an impressive entrance hall in which to greet visitors, and improved office work spaces for staff. Staff at Denbigh, which is consistently rated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED, are delighted with the alterations.

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School building that’s made in a factory!

Monday, October 10th, 2016

img_2077-rotated-croppedPCMS Design is currently working on a number of projects for Ivel Valley School in Biggleswade, and construction work has just begun on a new two-classroom modular unit for which we created a bespoke design. Once we had administered the planning application and building regulations plan approval process, we assisted the school with procurement of suitable modular manufacturers.

Modular ‘bays’ are pre-assembled from panels in the contractor’s factory. Windows, doors, internal walls and floors are all put together in advance of site delivery. This enables the construction timetable to be far quicker than a conventional build, and also keeps costs down.

Our designers paid a visit to the factory this week along with client representatives to see how manufacture was progressing, and everyone was impressed by the speed of production. On-site preparation works have begun; we will visit the school again shortly to watch the pre-formed modular ‘bays’ being craned into position.