Category Archives: planning consent

Green Light for Community Classroom Block

Friday, April 28th, 2017

hcfs logoPlanning 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.

PCMS Design Retained as an Accredited Planning Agent

Monday, April 10th, 2017

CBC Accredited Agent Certificate 2017-18_001For 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.

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.

New Barn Ready for Use

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

img_4631-cropped-resizedA 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.”

Residential Extension Gets the Green Light

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

417-cropped-drawing-of-rear-elevationWe 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.

Hadrian Academy Secures Planning Consent

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Hadrian Academy cropped

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.

Another Planning Consent Secured

Monday, October 12th, 2015

DSC02549 cropped for blog

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.”

Work Begins to Extend Clapham Pre-School

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

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Back in 2011, we designed and project managed the construction of a new building for Clapham Pre-School in Bedfordshire. The Pre-School currently provides 40 childcare places for 3-5 year olds in two large bright playrooms, with ancillary facilities such as a combined kitchen and staff room, office and laundry room.

Then in 2013, we were again asked by the Pre-School to secure planning permission for a large extension to the side of the building, the objective being to provide additional nursery spaces for 2-3 year old children.

We are delighted that building works have now begun, with construction administration being provided by PCMS Design. Princebuild Limited of Northamptonshire is the principal contractor.

Our design incorporates similar features from the existing building whilst continuing the interior design theme of bright modern colours, and there is also a feature corner window to provide clear views out to the green play area beyond.

The extension is due to be completed by the end of June, with new children starting pre-school shortly afterwards.

Planning Consent Granted for Thatched Cottage

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

DSC09824 CroppedA 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.”

New Permitted Development Rights for Home Extensions

Thursday, June 6th, 2013


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.

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