• 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.....................


  Blog help facts & links

 Issues I'm always asked about at the beginning
 of a project, that need to be addressed but
 shouldn't cause you worry. There is a usual
 process to be followed and I can guide you through
 this with help on:

  - Different steps, what needs to be done
  - The process - don't worry
  - Talking to the Planners - questions to ask
  - Where to find more information online or locally

 Building Control:
  - What you need to know, how to find out
  - Common issues ignored
  - How to work with the process
  - Does your contractor know what he's doing?

  - How to form a cost plan & how to use it
  - Who is best to help with costings

  - How to choose a contractor or trade
  - How to tender & invite prices
  - How to use the right contract for your project


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