Howard Road offices reach completion!

Our project in Reigate for the office conversion has been completed!

Facing a tight programme, the project has been completed from concept to completion within just 8 months. Concept Financial Planning, ACL & Co and their office dogs are already looking more than settled. 

Planning and listed building consent Success: South House, Faversham


Our proposal in Faversham, Kent to convert an existing sports hall into a residential unit has been been approved for full planning and listed building consent. The proposal forms the second and last phase of works to the building having previously been used as a community centre, the main house fell into disrepair. Having purchased the property at auction our client has done a fantastic job of bringing the building back to its former glory with period features present throughout the building has recently featured on Homes under the Hammer!

Our proposal is for a floating mezzanine space with internal glazing overlooking the kitchen, living and stair space. We look forward to seeing works starting on site soon!

Architects in Kent : Listed building consent and full planning approval

Planning Sucess: Wigmore Lodge

We've secured another planning approval for our lovely clients at Wigmore Lodge, Beare Green in Mole Valley. Our scheme involves a dual set of gable ends with a fully glazed frontage and balcony space. Internally the new scheme will give the house two further bedrooms with a double height entertainment space.

The project is based in another sensitive site based in the greenbelt area and area of outstanding natural beauty. The considered design approach of using conservative flank walls to the public facing facades allowed us to conceal the modern identity of the rear facade which floods the new living spaces with natural daylight and gives our clients an integrated balcony space to enjoy their garden from.

As part of our service, we have again held close discussions with Mole Valley Planning department to ensure our application received maximum opportunity for approval.

Look forward to starting on site soon!


Site progress: Henhurst House, Mole Valley

Site works are progressing well for our new build workshop space in Beare Green, Mole Valley.

Set in a sensitive surrounding and is based on a greenbelt zone, area of outstanding natural beauty and an area of great landscape value, we secured planning approval for a large new build workshop space in 2016 with completion looking to be just around the corner.

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Site progress: Construction begins for our office conversion in Reigate, Surrey

Construction has begun on our office conversion project in Howard Road, Reigate. The project includes the refurbishment of 2 existing storage buildings into an office space for Financial planners - Concept Financial Planning and accountants Andrew Cross Lau & co.

Planning permission was approved for the change of use of these buildings in January 2017.

Completion is programmed in for mid 2017.

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Can I build on a Greenbelt?

Map of the green belt zones around London

Greenbelts exist to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas

Greenbelts exist to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas

Greenbelt architects

Of late, we've been busy behind the scenes beavering away on several projects  on greenbelts taking them through and past the planning process. Being based in a green belt area we thought we'd share some thoughts and tips on how we negotiated the planning maze and legislation surrounding greenbelts. 

The best starting point to consider is the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Here we can understand first why it's important to protect our greenbelts.

There are essential 5 core reasons.

  • to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
  • to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another
  • to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
  • to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land

Any proposal will need to consider these points and address each of them if we are to achieve planning approval. Living and working in the greenbelt, I completely agree with each of these points and would hate to lose the character of our beautiful countryside and towns.  The core purpose of any project is to ensure that we are making a positive impact on it's context. With greenbelts, this aspect is purely focused upon.

In the NPPF there are a set of very specific criteria which discusses why a local authority would regard the construction of new buildings in a green belt  an exceptional circumstance to grant approval:

  1. Buildings for agriculture and forestry
  2. Provision of appropriate facilities for outdoor sport, outdoor recreation and for cemeteries, as long as it preserves the openness of the Green Belt and does not conflict with the purposes of including land within it
  3. The extension or alteration of a building provided that it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building
  4. the replacement of a building, provided the new building is in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces
  5. limited infilling in villages, and limited affordable housing for local community needs under policies set out in the Local Plan
  6. limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed sites (brownfield land), whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings), which would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purpose of including land within it than the existing development

When planning a proposal, your design team will have to demonstrate exceptional circumstances which relate to one or more of the above.

Our work has spanned across numerous greenbelt sites now and there's a plethora of legislative hurdles to negotiate. The best position for a client with a greenbelt site, is to have an experienced team of architects and potentially planning consultants. They'll be able to help you deliver a scheme which is carefully negotiated through pre-planning meetings and planning submissions to give your scheme the best chance of approval.

Site progress: Installation of Metal Panelling

Work continues over the weekend as we move closer and closer to completion at Manor Road. Just in time for Christmas! 

After several design iterations the design of the metal panelling the aluminium panels were measured on site to ensure perfect fit and fabrication to the millimetre, each panel being cut-to-size and polyester powder coated for the finish colour. The panels were chosen as they provide a durable finish which is both affordable and readily available.