Parents and children were invited along to attend the official opening of a brand new pre-school building, which has just completed on the site of Clophill St Mary’s Lower School in Bedfordshire. PCMS Design has been involved in this project since its inception, working together with the school governors and management team on the design, planning application process, specification, tendering and finally the contract administration of the build.
There is a large bright playroom with kitchenette, plus a small admin area with office and store room. As the pre-school is on the site of a former Victorian school building, the design reflects some of those features with brick elevations and a slate roof, and tall feature windows at the end of the play room.
The official opening ceremony was attended by the Bishop of Bedford the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, and staff are now preparing for the first wave of pre-schoolers.
Headteacher Karen Bingley said: “We were so pleased today to officially open our new pre-school building, which is a superb addition to the school site. PCMS Design has looked after the whole project for us, and assisted particularly in the later stages with contract administration. We now have a beautiful and well-designed building for our pre-school children, and the whole community will benefit from it for years to come.”
Following 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.
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 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.
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.
This year has seen the completion of a number of site development projects at Denbigh High School in Luton, four of which we have been involved with. The latest to reach completion is the construction of an extension at the rear of the main school building to provide a larger area for the Chiltern Learning Trust administration team.
There were a number of technical challenges to overcome in order to extend out from the existing two-storey building, which dates from the 1930s and has distinctive windows, some of them arched. We therefore designed a flat-roof extension including windows with glazing bars which harmonise with those around it. We obtained planning permission and building control approval for the new block and project managed the build.
Inside, there is a new open-plan office for staff, together with three separate office and meeting rooms, new toilets and a delivery room, all of which meet the aspirations of the Trust’s expanding administration team. This is part of a longer-term aim to establish a central hub for the Trust in order to rationalise support services.
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.
The 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.