In a leafy Oxfordshire village, close to the Chiltern hills, stands a barn ripe for conversion! PCMS Design worked with the homeowner to develop plans for the barn to be converted to an ancillary dwelling.
The starting point was to establish the structural integrity of the barn – and therefore its suitability for conversion. Next an ecology survey was commissioned and restrictions around when the work can be carried out were agreed with the local authority to ensure no harm comes to any potential bat roosts.
Care has been taken with the design and materials to make sure the external character and appearance of the barn is preserved, and planning permission has now been granted. When completed, the barn will have a bright and spacious open plan interior, extensive glazing with views and an external dining area.
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.
For the third year running, PCMS Design has achieved the status of ‘Accredited Planning Agent’ with Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC). This scheme has been created by the Council to recognise continued regular compliance with planning regulations, and also adherence to CBC’s standard Development Management guidelines when submitting planning applications.
To qualify, all applications must be submitted in an accurate and timely manner, with the relevant amount of detail and the correct accompanying information.
Staff from PCMS Design regularly attend planning seminars and consultation sessions at the Council offices, and also have a good working relationship with officers from the local authority. We look forward to this continuing over the forthcoming months, as there are a number of planning applications in preparation for submission.
We have worked on a number of projects for Hadrian Academy in Dunstable, but the latest happened in double-quick time!
We made a planning application to Central Bedfordshire Council on behalf of the school for the installation of a modular classroom unit – the school was seeking a quick response, as they hope to have the new out-of-school classroom ready to use at the beginning of the new school year this September.
Permission was helpfully granted by Central Beds within just 5 weeks, which has enabled the school to move forward with modular suppliers to source and install the classroom. This should happen over the summer holidays.
We can offer advice to anyone thinking about seeking planning permission for a dwelling, business or public sector organisation.
A Buckinghamshire family was delighted recently to be granted planning consent for extension works to their picturesque thatched home.
Cherry Tree Cottage is a charming house with lots of character. The property has been extended substantially over the years, and the thatched roofs have been maintained across the whole property. Eyebrow dormers over some of the first floor windows add to the quirky and distinctive appearance.
The family’s aspirations included the creation of a porch entrance and boot room and also a total refurbishment and enlargement of their kitchen. Our challenge was to design an extension that not only delivered the desired space on the inside, but also blended harmoniously with the rear gables on the outside. Rather than just enlarging the kitchen, we recommended a two-storey rear extension which would also allow for a bigger bedroom on the first floor. In this way, the appearance of the rear elevation would be enhanced, and not spoiled by a single storey flat roof extension.
A modest single storey side extension was also designed to provide space for the new entrance and boot room.
Following the successful application for planning permission, the family are now very pleased to be able to get on with their improvement project: “We knew what improvements we wanted but were not sure how to achieve them. PCMS Design listened carefully to our plans, and suggested some realistic and workable ideas for extending our home. The application for planning permission went very smoothly and we are looking forward to getting the build underway.”
On 30th May 2013 the Government brought in amended planning legislation, for a temporary three year period, which relaxes the permitted development rules for certain types of extension.
A notable feature of this relaxation is that homeowners are now allowed to build larger single-storey extensions to their houses without obtaining full planning consent. In summary, if you live in a semi-detached or terraced property, you can build out by 6 metres from the original rear wall of the house, and if your house is detached you can build out by 8 metres, subject to certain constraints. Different rules apply in Conservation Areas.
PCMS has recently been involved in an interesting feasibility process for a homeowner in the picturesque Aylesbury Vale village of Brill. Grafton House is an imposing property occupying a prominent hill top location. The house has a number of brick outbuildings, and the owner would like to bring one of them – currently used as a store – back into use as an ancillary dwelling.
PCMS carried out background research on the store house and its potential, and drafted some outline designs and drawings to submit to Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) for pre-application planning advice. AVDC agreed that if a planning application was submitted, providing it was for a dwelling that was subordinate to the main house, that it would be highly likely to receive planning consent.
PCMS were approached recently by Wycombe Carpet Centre to solve a problem for them. They had outgrown the carpet storage facility on site, and needed to find a way to store additional materials in safe, secure and stable conditions.
We came up with a straight forward solution. The yard to the rear of the shop unit was carefully assessed, and we proposed demolishing the existing shed and replacing it with a purpose built two-storey unit of permanent construction. The new storage unit will be more flexible, and makes available a sizeable increase in storage capacity. This will allow Wycombe Carpet Centre to hold more stock, and consequently offer a better service to customers.