We have all heard of complicated, lengthy and unsuccessful residential planning stories, but the good news is that we can take the stress out of the planning process for you.
Planning is an essential part of a home extension or new build project. We can't start the build until we have gained planning permission, so it's crucial to get it right.
Most planning applications run smoothly, but when there are more challenging situations, our extensive experience and expertise helps push through your architectural planning applications. We have a team of expert planning consultants to assist your application where needed, including the planning consultants, arboriculturalists, ecologists and architectural historians.
As experienced residential planning consultants we have great confidence in our building control and planning advice, knowledge of the planning authorities' current requirements, local planning rules, and criteria for the areas we serve, including Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire.
Importantly, we will work with you to ensure the design we submit reflects not only the vision you have, but has the highest chance of achieving a positive planning result first time around. We often accompany the planning application with 3D realism images to ensure the design is understood by all.
The image below was presented to a planning department when designing an extension to a cottage of historic importance. We were keen to demonstrate that the extension would not impact the view of the cottage from the street and neighbouring listed church.
It's important to consider likely planning limitations early on in a design process, and with this in mind, our experienced planning team treats these obstacles as another chance for creative problem solving, knowing a flexible approach will usually benefit.
The planning application for both extensions and new homes should take 8 weeks, but can often take more if further reports are asked for, or the planning departments are running slow. We usually say to expect extensions within 3 months and new homes within 4 months, but this can vary.
We will advise you if we think any other reports are likely. Projects proposing work near trees, especially TPO trees may need Arboricultural reports, work involving demolition or alterations to roofs may need bat reports. New development might well need drainage and ecology reports.
A replacement dwelling is usually allowed in principal, it will be important to demonstrate that the new house will not cause harm to neighbouring properties and the environment. Additional reports are usually needed for this, including bat, tree, ecology and drainage reports. Gaining planning permission for an additional house on your land may well be possible, especially if it's within a settlement. There are other options including agricultural barn conversions and previously developed land.
Planning applications are sometimes refused, we can never completely guarantee approval. Usually, there is some scope for altering the design during the process, but it’s at the discretion of the council’s case officer. Although simple applications are usually straightforward, planning can be subjective in a number of areas and difficult to predict at times.
If the application is refused by the council, there are 2 main options: redesign and resubmission or appeal to the independent Planning Inspectorate. Firstly, sometimes only a modest change will be needed and the application fee itself will usually be free for a second go. If we consider the application was not considered fairly or on solid planning grounds, there may well be a case for an appeal. We will generally recommend that an appeal case’s written representation is presented by a specialist planning consultant. Planning appeals generally take around 4-6 months.
All design projects start with the conceptual stage and in-depth discussions about your requirements. We will talk about the space, the look and feel of the rooms involved, the external architecture, as well as the flow and connection.
Planning can be a headache, so we manage and simplify the planning process on your behalf. Using our experience, professional assessments of requirements, and knowledge of how to overcome obstacles, we ensure we maintain our impressive 96+% success rate.
As construction experts, we produce complete, accurate and informative large scale construction drawings, designed to make all development stages smooth and efficient. We have excellent relationships with trusted structural engineers, energy assessors and building contractors to ensure a fluid process throughout the build.
Getting your home built is the exciting part; turning your design dream into reality. The construction process is critical, so we match the right building company to each project. We can also tailor this stage to your requirement, whether helping with a tender or managing the contract from start to finish.