• CONTEMPORAY DESIGN WIN - Planning Approval for Conservation Area

    PLANNING APPROVAL - With a great client who we've worked with before on commercial projects we are tackling the reconstruction of an Edwardian Lodge for his own home in a Listed Landscape within the central Newcastle Conservation Area.

    We negotiated the detail way forward, with a contemporary new build on the south side over two floors wrapping around a courtyard garden, with views into the Listed landscape - its like having 4 acres of private garden in the city centre that the client doesn't need to look after.

    On site parking, internal garaging, 3 bathrooms and four bedrooms and open plan living space with an uninterrupted 6.2m glazed facade that fully opens onto the courtyard brings spacious contemporary living to sensitive part of the city.

    We did all this by working closely with the Planning & Conservation Department, they loved our scheme and stated "it is the best proposal in this area we have seen", next we proposed a floating raft foundation sitting on 'table leg' piles to allow us to build out over neighbouring tree root systems from the next door site. All trees in a Conservation Area are protected, so alongside architectural design development, choosing finishes and looking at the renovation requirements, we were dealing with the Tree Officer, agreeing a workable solution to preserve the neighbouring mature trees.

    Green light. All the boxes ticked. Full application submitted, all handled through 'delegated powers', no requirement to go to a full Planning Committee and approved on schedule, with only two critical conditions - window details and matching the brick - well we do that one in our sleep don't we .....................

    Oh and to cap it all we have more than saved the client a bundle, plus our fee costs, by negotiating that we can demolish the majority of the existing dwelling bringing it all in on zero VAT !!

    Watch this space for the scheme design progress, we'll post it on the blog as a scheme to follow.

    This scheme is a bit of a coup, apart from just creating something very modern in one of Newcastle's premier conservation areas, we took the build footprint from 80sm [850sf] to a whopping ground floor of 173sm [1850sf], plus a first floor tucked into a matching roof profile with new roof dormers and glazing of over 115sm [ 1240sf] - all in all an increase in floor area of over 200sm, now that's added value!

    We started design developments with Planning & Conservation alongside the client, negotiating the purchase - all fell together we got the backing of the Planning/Conservation just as the client exchanged contracts. Risk for development - reduced ................. box ticked.

    Managing the clients aspirations alongside the Planning & Conservation policy is a tight rope walk, with the client sitting in on Conservation meetings we were managing egos and keeping poker faced with both sides - but the winning card is a design that everyone wanted, so as a later email to Planning stated "happy planner" - imagine how the client felt.

    Well onwards and upwards, negotiations run apace for the boundary and Party Wall issues, though the way I always approach this situation, is that there is a design solution, that will suit both sides of the argument, it's cheaper than engaging a clever legal solution.....................

  • BARN rebuild reclaimed arch

    Things are moving apace now we have some decent weather!

    The reclaimed stone arch that our client chose back last year has come on site after being gently cleaned and Simon & Kevin our ace masons have got it in place, as you see the old fashioned way by propping and placing each stone segment.

    As this was out of another demolished building we never knew the actual size, so some fettling on site and with its new side jambs we are all bowled over - something quite special we think.

    See Simon & Kevin enjoying their jumbo bait of Friday's fish & chips - apologies for the shorts!

    All compliments to Mark and his team at Mark Almond Timber Frame and a client who has the vision to create a project that is going to be outstanding. http://www.markalmond.eu

    We have reclaimed stone on site from our demolition and imported reclaimed stone sourced from three different reclamation yards & then hand sorted, measured & batched on site.

    We went through about 8 different lime/grit/mortar mixes before we were happy with a colour & texture, the joint is nearly flush, just bagged/brushed off before it's gone off.

  • ZERO HOUSE - YORK owner puts property on market

    Have a look at the much talked about, 'you either love it or hate it' super comtemporary house we designed and built in York.

    Right on the edge of the central conservation area when it was granted Planning Permission it was stated that it would cause traffic accidents!

    I've never been stopped in the street before outside one of my schemes and told that the Councillors must have been bribed because the design was so outrageous.

    Well all clients move on some sooner or later, the property is probably about 6 years old now and we are looking at a new site with the owner not far away for another family home - yet again a modernist proposal, let's see how we get on with the Planners this time!

    Nice to see though that the property is still as crisp and fresh as when it was finished.

    Click on the weblink or contact Michael Hammill on 07718859903 & [email protected] for further details.



    The site up above Halifax where we are working on a barn reconstruction/new build as a seriously well insulated near Passiv Haus ECO build is snowed under, drifts between 1-1.5m on the access lane mean we can't get deliveries in and on site the drifted snow & below zero temperatures means that we can't push on with timber framing or the next stage of structural concrete - April & British Summer Time who'd have thought it!

  • Seasons Greetings & all best wishes for the New Year


    A few pictures from my projects & travels in 2012, I hope they inspire us all to be creative & build something special in 2013.

    Click on the http link above, grab a coffee & enjoy for a few minutes.

    The quiz - if you can name the 10 international architects & the duo of renowned artists who's work is pictured here, there is a magnum of Carlos Rodriguez Rioja 2008 for the 1st correct answer in the New Year - though there is a difficult one to spot & that should mean I don't have to part with the wine!

    Have a good Christmas & a great New Year


    Nick NMD www.nickmidgleydesign.co.uk 07711182313



  Blog help facts & links

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