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.
Haddenham Library in Buckinghamshire is situated within the heart of a rapidly growing village community. In seeking to expand the range of services that can be offered to local people, the Library Management Committee approached us to work on plans for a new extension to allow a meeting room and more social space to be created.
Our design follows the original layout and appearance of the single storey building and provides ancillary facilities such as a new DDA WC and extra storage.
We administered the planning application process with Aylesbury Vale District Council which granted permission last month. Following this success, the Library Committee is now considering their next steps, including ways of fund-raising in order to fulfil their aspirations for the building. We will be on hand to advise if they decide to move on to the next stage of the project.
Popular middle school Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire is looking to provide additional pupil places in the near future, and came to us to prepare a design and specification for an exciting site development.
A planning application has just been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council for a new four-court sports hall with associated changing rooms and a six classroom, two-storey block. The sports hall will allow the Academy to substantially expand the range of sports on offer, particularly during the colder months, and will be a valuable addition to the local community because it will be available for sports teams and clubs to hire outside school hours.
As the Academy will be have a temporary increase in pupils over the next 3-4 years extra classroom space is required, and our design incorporates the latest in classroom technology such as interactive white boards, wi-fi connectivity and automatic light and CO2 sensors.
A considerable amount of consultation was carried out before submission of the application in order to iron out any potential design issues in advance.
We are hopeful for planning approval in September.
Planning permission has just been granted this week for a new free-standing community classroom block on the site of Hatfield Community Free School.
School staff appointed PCMS Design when realised they needed a building close to existing playing fields to serve as additional classroom space, and also to provide some shelter and changing areas for the adjacent pitches. Our feasibility process identified a suitable site, a concept design was approved, and we negotiated with the Planning Department at Welwyn Hatfield District Council to iron out a number of planning issues prior to permission being granted.
Care has been taken to design a building which reflects that of the existing school, which was constructed 5 years ago. The wish is to proceed with construction as quickly as possible, in order to provide much needed classroom space.
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.
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.
A residential client recently sought help with construction of a new barn at their home in the heart of the Chilterns. There were already a couple of old timber shed structures in the paddock, but the aspiration was for a new attractive building that could not only act as a stable but also provide storage for garden machinery.
Because the property is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty planning consent was required. We were pleased to secure planning permission for the barn design, and we then went on to project manage the build for our client. The building is future-proof, meaning that methods of construction could allow the structure to be put to alternative uses if so desired in the future.
The result is an attractive new barn / stable block in a style sympathetic to the local Chilterns setting. Our client is delighted: “This is the second construction project that PCMS Design has designed and managed for us, and we are very pleased with the result.”
We are very pleased that Aylesbury Vale District Council has granted planning permission for a rear extension to a dwelling in a Buckinghamshire village particularly as the consent was received early, 10 days before the determination deadline.
Our client has an aspiration to improve the staircase in his home because it has a difficult and narrow turn making access to the first floor problematic. Unfortunately there is little scope to change the staircase without building outwards slightly, due to the orientation of the stairs and lack of internal space. Our solution was to design a modest rear extension with internal structural alterations in order to provide a staircase with a single run. The opportunity will be taken to improve the appearance of the rear elevation at the same time.
Prior to construction taking place, we are assisting our client to obtain consent from Thames Water for a Minor Diversion agreement so they can re-route a drain in the back garden. Work now begins on the construction drawings and specification of works, so that builders can quote for the project.
We are delighted that Central Bedfordshire Council Planning Committee decided yesterday to approve two separate applications for extensions to Hadrian Academy in Dunstable. The meeting took place in the Council Chamber at Chicksands, and we were in attendance to put forward the views of the Academy in support of the applications.
This means that the Academy now has consent to improve the administration block and staff room by adding a first floor extension. In addition, they now also have permission to provide improved out-of-school facilities in the form of a new classroom, and an extension to the hall to enlarge the dining area.
Both applications were brought to the Committee for a decision because of a number of local concerns about parking and traffic management. However, the Committee was satisfied that parking issues were being adequtely addressed by the provision of more on-site spaces for teachers and visitors.
The Academy hopes to start work on at least one of the construction projects next year.
PCMS Design are very pleased to have secured planning consent last month for a residential customer based in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.
We immediately spotted the potential to improve their chalet style bungalow, which is in a lovely location on the edge of the village. The dwelling had already been extended to the rear, but was very dated and in need of a complete refurbishment.
Rather than extend again to the back or side, our designers have proposed a scheme to create extra space by raising the pitched roof by around one metre. This enables the formation of three larger first floor bedrooms, one with an en suite, and frees up space on the ground floor for a bigger living room with wide bi-fold doors to access the garden. All of the internal spaces will be extensively reconfigured, and a combination of roof lights with two small dormer windows will allow natural light to flood into the first floor. The external appearance of the house will also be improved.
It is hoped that construction works will begin shortly. Homeowner Mr Cheeseman said: “PCMS took on board our initial ideas for the house and worked with us to design a scheme that was realistic to build and delivered the improvements we were looking for. We would have no hesitation in recommending them.”