Successful Planning Application for Launton

Friday, August 12th, 2022

Members of Launton Parish Council were delighted to hear that their planning application for improvements to the Parish Hall has been granted permission by Cherwell District Council.

This gives the green light for substantial improvements to the hall to bring it up to modern standards, providing new facilities and enhancing the energy efficiency of the building. An old side extension will be demolished and replaced, to provide a new catering style kitchen. The building will be re-roofed with zinc, a tough, natural and recyclable material. PV Solar panels will generate electricity with the potential for battery storage. And replacement windows and doors will help to stop drafts and keep in the heat.

We have guided the Parish Council and Hall Working Group through the steps towards achieving planning permission, and look forward to being of further assistance when funding is available to carry out the improvements.

3D Visualisation of Improvements to Launton Parish Hall

Work Begins at Winslow Public Hall

Thursday, July 28th, 2022

Work has begun this week on a new extension and programme of improvements at Winslow Public Hall in Buckinghamshire. These will encompass a smart new entrance and lobby area, together with a modern catering kitchen, WCs and plant room. The existing large meeting hall will have enhanced public accessibility, a fresh decoration scheme and built-in storage facilities amongst other changes.

Renewable and sustainable energy solutions are always at the forefront of our thinking during the design phase. In this case, the hall will have two ranks of roof-mounted PV panels to generate electricity with battery storage to conserve the power.  As a finishing touch, the area around the new extension is a popular thoroughfare, and this will be attractively landscaped at the end of construction.

We are delighted to be working on this project on behalf of Winslow Town Council, and in conjunction with principal contractor JET Construction (Milton Keynes) Ltd.

Work begins at Winslow Public Hall
Visualisation of new extension

More Developments at Henlow Academy

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

Our long-term project to extend and redevelop the site at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire reaches its latest phase, with the addition of a new passenger lift to replace an old platform lift. This will enable pupils, staff and visitors with impaired mobility to access the first floor classrooms and facilities, and is a very welcome addition to the Academy site.

Also in this development phase was the refurbishment of the design & technology room and art rooms, refreshing the spaces and giving them a renewed lease of life. A new corridor leads to the Henlow Hub. Two existing rooms were knocked into one to create a larger library/hub space, with a moveable library shelving system to give more flexibility. The interior design scheme for the room combines the four colours that have been used throughout the extension and refurbishment of this block.

New Passenger Lift at Henlow Academy

Why your educational construction project needs a project manager

Friday, July 15th, 2022

Nothing stays the same for long these days, and so it’s almost inevitable that at some stage, your school accommodation will need to either change or grow (or both!). Perhaps a forthcoming increase in the school roll means that additional classroom space is required, or improved facilities (new science labs or DT rooms, for example) are needed to help deliver the national curriculum.

Of course, you are getting on with the important task of running your school and teaching children, and so appointing an experienced project manager in conjunction with suitably qualified architectural designers at the very infancy of a site development project is key to its success.

PCMS Design is such a firm, and our expertise in this field is broad and deep. There are many ways in which we can add value. At feasibility stage, we can properly assess the potential of your building (against DfE guidance) and make recommendations as to how it can be cost-effectively and practically expanded and changed.

Project Manager site meeting with client and site agent

We will carefully guide you through all of the various stages involved in a construction project.

We understand the planning process, and have strong links with many local authority planning and building control departments. We will handle the procurement of suitable building contractors, the contract administration and detailed project management of the build.

Accurate cost control is obviously vital for public sector projects and this is a major benefit of using a project manager. And with our emphasis on sustainable construction, we will ensure that the build uses the best, most environmentally-friendly materials and has features such as renewable energy generation as standard.

In essence, using a project manager can save you time and money, ensuring successful and stress-free delivery of your school building projects.

Listed Building Transformation Progresses to Next Stage

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Work is progressing well on the renovation of and extension to a Grade II listed dwelling – which is a former shop – in the historic heart of Haddenham.

The main part of the building is constructed from witchert, which is a common historic building material in the Haddenham area. With a plinth of rubble stones known locally as ‘grumplings’, the earth wall was constructed above with a lime render finish. The programme of works has also involved repairs to the roof structure, floor strengthening and re-plastering with lime plaster.

A new rear extension will allow space for an extra first floor bedroom with en suite and a larger kitchen, with bi-folding doors opening out onto the rear courtyard.

Completion of this interesting project is due at the end of the year.

Play Canopy Receives Approval

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

We were delighted recently when Greenleas School in Leighton Buzzard was granted retrospective planning permission for a play canopy on their Kestrel Way site. The large 123m2 canopy comprised of 35mm thick opal polycarbonate roof panels was installed a couple of years ago.

An oversight meant that permission had not been sought prior to construction. Our retrospective application to Central Bedfordshire Council argued that the structure is acceptable in planning policy terms: it aids children with their outdoors learning and supports delivery of the National Curriculum, it has an empathetic design that blends well with the existing school building, and also presents no harm to the neighbouring residential amenity.

Greenleas School happily now has a compliant play canopy for the children to enjoy, and the school also uses it for breakfast and after school clubs.

Play Canopy at Greenleas School, Kestrel Way

Social Housing Refurb at Croft Court

Friday, May 27th, 2022

We’ve recently completed a phased refurbishment project for Thame & District Housing Association, a Registered Social Landlord providing rented accommodation in the Thame area.

The works at Croft Court, which is a residential block with eight single bedroom flats for the over 60s included replacing the kitchens and bathrooms in each, removing a sliding door into the kitchen and enlarging the opening to create a more usable and modern space. The works also incorporated the replacement of the roof. We provided drawings and specification and following a procurement process, principal contractor JET Construction (Milton Keynes) Ltd was appointed to carry out the building works. By paying close attention to the project programme, we ensured that the flats were refurbished in a phased way, so there was the minimum of disturbance to existing residents.

Thame & District Housing Association Facilities Manager Mick Hancocks said: “We have appointed PCMS Design to carry out the project management and architectural design for a number of our properties. We have found that they are sensitive to the protection and privacy needs of our residents, which is very important to us. I would not hesitate to use PCMS Design again.”

Crane on Site

Friday, May 20th, 2022

Our sports and community pavilion project located on the Haddenham Airfield Development is progressing well. A crane arrived on site today to lift in the steels to support the roof structure. In spite of the rainy May weather, six steel beams in total were successfully craned in, plus two posts.

When the roof is installed, it will be clad in a combination of zinc plus some sections of environmentally friendly green sedum.

Following completion later this year by main contractor Marlow Builders, the new pavilion will provide changing facilities for the adjacent football pitches, and rooms available for community use such as meetings and parties. The facility will be maintained by Haddenham Parish Council, and has been funded partly by Section 106 money contributed by the developer, CALA Homes.

Crane lifts steel beam into position at Haddenham Airfield Pavilion

This is a great local project to be involved with, and we are thrilled to see our design taking shape!

PCMS Design Relocates!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

PCMS Design is pleased to announce that we have recently relocated! We’ve moved our office premises by only a few miles from Haddenham to Long Crendon, a nearby Buckinghamshire village. Our new office is in a lovely, totally self-contained building located within a farm complex, situated on the rural edge of the village. We now have tractors rumbling down the driveway, the sound of cattle in the distance and hares hopping past the window! We’ve all been impressed by the views, which extend across open farmland and countryside towards the Chiltern Hills.

New office in Long Crendon

Our working environment is certainly more harmonious and peaceful, and we’re trusting that the office move will provide inspiration for ever more creative architectural designs! If you have a home, educational, community or commercial project that would benefit from architectural advice or project management, then do get in touch for a no obligation chat. We are happy to work throughout rural (and urban) Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire and beyond …

Our new address: The Barn, College Farm, Chearsley Road, Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire HP18 9AP

Other contact details are the same – Tel: 01844 202932  Email: info@pcmsdesign.co.uk  www.pcmsdesign.co.uk

Improvements to Social Housing

Friday, April 8th, 2022

Our latest project for Thame & District Housing Association – a two storey side extension and refurbishment of two flats – is due to start on site in mid-April. Planning permission was sought and granted by Buckinghamshire Council for improvements to the one bedroom flats at Anstey Court in Waddesdon.

Flats to be improved at Anstey Court in Waddesdon

The existing stairs to the first floor accommodation pose accessibility issues, as they’re too steep to meet the latest building regulations: our solution was to design an extension to the side of the building to house a new wider staircase and entrance door, so that it’s more suitable for elderly residents.

Because of the siting of the building there was only one option for the extension, and it meant that the internal layout of the First Floor flat would be changed to accommodate the new entrance. The Ground Floor flat will receive full redecoration.

Our administration of the procurement process lead to Skyline Development & Construction being appointed to carry out the building works, and we are looking forward to working with them on this social housing improvement project.