Category Archives: development

PCMS Design Shortlisted for Building Excellence Award

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Our team was delighted to hear last week that we have been shortlisted for a Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Central Region Building Excellence Award 2019.

We are hopeful that our new build sports hall and six classroom construction project at Henlow Academy will achieve success in the ‘Best Educational Building’ category. The project team including Central Bedfordshire Council, Henlow Academy, Cox Clifford Partnership, BSD Consulting Engineers, Marstan BDB and Borras Construction are very pleased that the project has been nominated.

This is our eighth consecutive year of being shortlisted for an Award, and we are all looking forward to attending the black tie Awards Ceremony in Milton Keynes in April. Regional category winners are put forward to the National LABC Awards.

 

 

 

Design Brief Submitted for Residential Development

Monday, January 28th, 2019

A milestone has been reached in the project to consolidate Lord Williams’s School onto a single site. Consultants acting for the Thame-based academy have submitted the Design Brief for residential development on the Lower School site to Thame Town Council.

This stage in the process is required by the Neighbourhood Plan, and follows a consultation process in which neighbours of the school and Thame residents were shown potential concepts and feedback was sought.

PCMS Design has been involved in advising Lord Williams’s School, liaising with Oxfordshire County Council and assisting with the appointment of planning consultants Lanpro.

The Design Brief before the Council is for a compliant 135-dwelling scheme, and has responded to the feedback received. Housing that is sympathetic to existing adjacent dwellings is being proposed, and the scheme includes public open space, sustainable drainage infrastructure and retains key hedgerows. The proportion of affordable housing will be determined later in the project.

The adoption of the Design Brief will help to deliver the aspirations within the Thame Neighbourhood Plan for housing, and also for consolidating the school at the current Upper School site on Oxford Road.

New Sports & Community Pavilion Gets the Go Ahead

Monday, January 21st, 2019

Aylesbury Vale District Council has today granted planning permission for a new community pavilion building in the Buckinghamshire village of Haddenham. Located within the heart of a new residential development, the pavilion will provide both recreational and sports changing facilities for the nearby football pitches. Our design also encompasses space for other sports such as table tennis, martial arts, yoga and fitness classes, and includes a kitchen, office and plenty of storage for equipment.

This mixed use development will be of benefit to the expanding local population and also those from further afield too, when league teams visit the village. Haddenham Youth Football Club in particular are looking forward to using the pavilion.

This is a great project to be involved in as it will be a very welcome addition to village amenities!

Detached House Gets Permission for a Revamp

Monday, December 17th, 2018

We have heard today ahead of the determination date that home owners in Berkhamsted have been granted planning permission for improvements to their home. This is a good example of how one planning application can cover a number of different changes, in this case both to the main house itself and to other buildings and/or features within the curtilage of the dwelling.

There were three distinct proposals attached to this application: the first for new bay and dormer windows to the house, the second to convert the double garage to ancillary accommodation so that an office and gym can be created, and the third to construct a new timber framed ‘carriage house’ style garage with attached log store in the grounds.

All three of the proposed changes submitted as one  householder application have gained consent from Dacorum Borough Council just before Christmas, with no pre-commencement conditions. The family can now spend the festive season happily making plans and looking forward to making a start on their improvement projects!

 

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

 

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.”

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

Planning Permission Secured for Village Dwelling

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

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.

 

Helping to get The White Lion Pub Back on the Map!

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

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.”

 

Planning granted for transformative extension

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

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.