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.”
We have recently managed the construction of a part two-storey and part single-storey rear extension to a family home in Buckinghamshire. Our clients had already received planning permission for the scheme, but needed assistance with producing construction drawings, finding suitable builders and then administering a building contract.
On the first floor, a new master bedroom was added with an en suite bathroom. Downstairs the extension has allowed not only for a large open plan kitchen / breakfast room with folding doors into the garden, but also a useful utility and storage room.
Everything ran very smoothly and finished on time and within budget. Our clients are delighted with their larger home: “PCMS Design’s assistance in liaising with the building firm and administering the contract was invaluable, and everyone worked together really well. We could highly recommend this service to others in a similar situation.”
Aylesbury Vale District Council has this week given planning consent to extend a semi-detached house to the side and rear. This will create an additional bedroom and en-suite, taking the house from three to four bedrooms and the rear extension will allow a large scale reconfiguration of the ground floor.
The first stage will be to demolish a small single storey element which is cold and damp and of little practical use. This will be replaced by a two story side extension which will have an integral garage at ground floor level together with a utility room, and the new bedroom and en suite above. An old conservatory will also be removed from the rear of the house to make way for a new modern kitchen – the ground floor living spaces will be open plan and much more spacious. A new entrance porch will also be added.
When complete, this dated house will have become a bright and comfortable four-bed family home. Stripping away the old and dated parts can often be the only way to improve a house such as this one. The home owner has already made a start on the transformation.
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.
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.”
We were extremely pleased to learn last week that a recent project has been awarded an A-Rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Our client was the National Trust; we recently completed the design and carried out project management for an extension to their Estate Office building at Ashridge Park near Tring. This included new offices and meeting room, and extensive alterations to the existing structure to create a new internal layout.
EPCs are awarded based upon the energy efficiency rating on a scale from G (less energy efficient) to A (more energy efficient). The refurbished and extended building saw a significant improvement due to higher levels of insulation, introduction of LED lighting and a new biomass boiler which has been installed.
Fewer than 1% of commercial premises achieve an A rating so this is a very positive result. To find out how we can help improve the energy performance of your building then please do get in touch.
Henlow Academy undertook a number of improvements to their site over the summer. These included a link corridor extension to improve dining facilities, and also internal alterations to a couple of classrooms and the science laboratory.
We were brought in at the beginning of the project by the Academy’s Headteacher, Caren Earp. Our involvement included preparing drawings, administering the planning application and building control process with Central Bedfordshire Council, creating the technical design and specification, and subsequently the procurement and contract administration of the builders.
The first floor science room refurbishment presented some interesting technical and logistical challenges. A specialist laboratory furniture company was brought in to design and install a new bench configuration to increase the workstation capacity. The gas supply to the lab was also upgraded.
A new bright coat of paint has completed the refurbishment scheme, and the Academy is now well-equipped to cover the science part of the curriculum in the future.
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.
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.
Sections of the modular classroom are lifted into place
Denbigh High School in Luton has commissioned a number of different construction and improvement projects to take place, and builders are making the most of the six week summer holiday to make good progress. The School has an impressive main building which dates from the 1930s, but consequently it does need an ongoing programme of maintenance and development.
PCMS is currently managing four separate schemes: a refurbishment of the main entrance, an extension to the administration block, a new two-classroom modular unit and finally an extension to the front car park. Regular site visits are made to check on progress and answer any technical questions that the builders may have encountered.
Works are scheduled to be completed by the start of the new term in September, although the admin block project will take longer to finish due to its scale and complexity. We are looking forward to seeing the finished projects put to good use shortly.
Installation of the block and beam floor for the Administration block extension