Planning Portal - No Problem!

You may recall my previous rant about the Planning Portal system and not being able to issue draft applications to my Clients.

Well, they called me about this and they are genuinely trying to fix it, having a temporary system in place in the meantime. They will be producing draft documents with watermarks over them, which resolves their problem of people bypassing the planning portal system and submitting the form directly to the councils. Which was apparently happening a lot.

They are also improving their services including easier payment methods for applicants. This should be useful, as local councils have a habit of losing cheques and not being able to match the payment with the application. So we will watch this space and see if the issues get ironed out.

I am in shock that they actually listened to me and took my suggestions on board!

Planning Portal - Problems

So I am making a planning application online, usually a straightforward enough process, I fill out the form then send a draft of it as a pdf to my Client to check and let me know they are happy with it before I press submit.

Can I do that now? No. Planning Portal have currently removed the function of creating a pdf of the document.

Why?

Because people were emailing the councils large documents and they can’t cope with it.

So now the only way the Client can see the form is to have their own Planning Portal account and sign in to it to have a look through it. Which is time consuming for the Client, to set up an account, filling in all their details, when they generally will never need the account other than for the purpose of checking one form.

They are apparently working out how to fix it. Which is great, considering they are the ones who broke it in the first place.

To see why Planning Portal is creating problems for themselves and everyone else click here

Construction nearing completion

Works are near completion on a two storey extension in Claydon, Suffolk. The project involved major updates to the layout of the old semi-detached property. The Client purchased the property as a three bedroom home; however two of the bedrooms were very small. The only toilet was downstairs in a lean-to extension to the rear and the kitchen was a very poor size.

The new layout includes three double bedrooms, with an en-suite to the master bedroom. The downstairs bathroom has been removed, relocating the downstairs toilet into a new front porch. This opens up the downstairs space to form an open plan kitchen/diner with bi-folding doors into the rear garden. The Client is extremely happy and looks forward to finishing the build.

Digger on site!

Works have commenced on a new side extension I have been working on in Denham. The footings have been inspected by building control who are happy with progress. The digger is shown here, struggling with the clay!

Denham

Side extension to existing house

For more of my projects, click here 

PLANNING PERMISSION

I am proud to announce that planning permission has just been granted for my design of a proposed front extension to a barn-style dwelling in Mellis. The extension will form additional kitchen and bedroom/en-suite space, providing the Clients with much needed space for their daughter.

Front extension elevation

Planning Permission

Suffolk barn-style dwelling achieves planning permission for front extension 

I'm Super Excited...

...about posting this one!

It's a first floor extension above a garage. Sounds simple, I know, but it makes the world of difference to this Framlingham property.

On a personal note I am particularly proud of this job, it was one of my first projects in my own firm, there were a few stumbling blocks with the planners and it's great to now see it finished. I'm really happy with the outcome, you can barely tell there is an extension there at all!

Read more

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First Floor Extension

The conversion of a garage space and addition of two bedrooms over, creating a larger family home in the form of a seamless extension

Henley Road - Curved Wall

Works are progressing well on the front extension at Henley Road. The bricklayers have done a very nice job of matching up the existing Flemish bond brickwork with the adjacent garage and formed a beautiful curve with header bricks. The extension appears seamless against the rest of the house. The windows are to be designed with the frames hidden within the brickwork to allow for as much light as possible to enter the room and will be specially made to fit the curve of the extension. A flat roof will be hidden beyond the parapet wall to blend in seamlessly with the roof of the existing garage. 

More information on my projects page

Works progressing - new dwelling, Kettleburgh

New house, Kettleburgh, Suffolk

Works are progressing on a new dwelling in Kettleburgh, for which I am Contract Manager and Principal Designer. The foundations and plinth bricks below DPC level are in place and the site is looking good so far!  

Class Q conversions

The regulations for conversions of agricultural buildings to residential under permitted development are being changed in April. The proposals are expected to relax the rules and allow for the conversion of up to five dwellings, with a larger footprint, rather than three. Details available in an announcement on the Planning Portal here: Class Q announcement

Planning Permission

Planning permission has recently been obtained for the proposed two storey rear extension and side extension to a house in Thorndon. The Clients are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to Let's Design Architecture completing the building regulations drawings in the near future.

Completion of conversion project

Works recently completed on a conversion project in Saxmundham. The existing townhouse was converted into two separate dwellings, including the re-building of a previously demolished lean-to.

The original property would have been two town houses, which had previously been converted into a single dwelling; the layout of which didn't work and the appearance was outdated. The original sash window had been removed and replaced with a poor quality casement window, which looked out of place on the street scene. The property lends itself well to being two dwellings as it was formerly, so the developer wanted to restore it as such.

Works to the frontage included the provision of a new front door and window, re-instating the original appearance, along with carefully chosen brickwork to suit. A new party wall was added to separate the dwellings and the internal layouts were carefully designed to maximize space. 

The developer is very happy with the finished houses.

Approval for nine dwellings in Benhall

The reserved matters application for a proposal of nine properties at Benhall has recently been approved by Suffolk Coastal District Council. Let's Design Architecture is delighted with the outcome of the application and looks forward to watching the properties being built in the near future. 

Planning fees 20% increase

The Government has recently introduced a new fee scale for Planning Applications, increasing the fees by 20%. 

These new regulations also include the right for them to charge a fee for applications for planning permission related to the removal of permitted development rights through Article 4 directions or by condition, where this was previously free of charge.

The Planning Portal fee calculator provides the latest fees for planning applications.

Contact Zoe at Let's Design Architecture if you need drawings and to make an application for planning or building regulations. 

Block plans

Two new build houses - preparation for planning application. 

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Today I’ve been working up a block plan to show my Clients their proposals in 3D. They wanted to know whether the two new build properties had enough space between them, to make sure the bungalow wasn’t being overshadowed by the house. The basic 3D model helped visually to convey the context of the site. They found them really useful. 

 

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