Permitted Development - New Legislation

Exciting news for householders!

New permitted development rights will be implemented on 25th May - this includes making the larger home extensions a permanent permitted development right! This current temporary right expires on 30th May and has allowed householders the potential to extend up to 8m beyond the rear wall of a detached house. By making this PD right permanent, there is scope for many more larger home extensions without the worry of a deadline looming.

The legislation will omit the following paragraphs which currently apply:

(13) The development must be completed on or before 30th May 2019.

(14) The developer must notify the local planning authority of the completion of the development as soon as reasonably practicable after completion.

(15) The notification referred to in sub-paragraph (14) must be in writing and must include—

(a)the name of the developer;

(b)the address or location of the development, and

(c)the date of completion.

Contact Zoe at Let’s Design Architecture for advice on how you might extend your home!

Below is an example of a larger home extension designed by Let’s Design Architecture which was permitted under the current legislation.

jo and justin bungalow.JPG

Approval of two new single storey dwellings

After 16 months, I am proud to have finally achieved an approval of reserved matters on behalf of my Clients for a site of two new dwellings in Cotton. The design is for two bespoke properties, each boasting a large open plan kitchen/living/dining space and 4 bedrooms.

Plot 1 bungalow floor plan.JPG

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.


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!


Side extension to existing house

For more of my projects, click here 


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 

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!  

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. 

Proposed Change of Use of Former Shop to Holiday Let

Proposed Floor Plan for Change of Use to Holiday Let

Proposed Floor Plan for Change of Use to Holiday Let

After a lengthy planning process, Let's Design Architecture has recently obtained planning permission for the change of use conversion of a barn to form a holiday let. The barn had previously been used as a shop, although is now redundant storage space. The planning process took some time as we had to prove the viability of the potential use as well as giving reasons why there is no longer a requirement for a shop in this area. 

Late night at the office


I’ve been working very hard today, finishing off as many projects as I can before the weekend. I’ve completed two building regulations projects this week, drawn up a survey, done a little bit of design work and met some new people. Now working on another building regs project, it’s all go!

I looked up behind my screen to notice the beautiful, dramatic sky outside so took a quick break to rest my eyes. I have a lovely view from here in the late afternoons and early evenings, with the local church visible in the distance.

Have a good weekend all! 

De Montfort University Architecture students (class of 2004) reunion!


I had great night out with some old friends from university in Leicester yesterday - it was good to catch up and see what everyone is now doing! I’ll try not to leave it so long next time!

It’s amazing to see how much of the city has changed since I was last there over ten years ago, parts of it were unrecognisable and completely transformed. I finally saw first hand the shiny John Lewis building with its glass walkway above the road and patterned glass facades, adjacent to the silver metallic cinema complex. The urban design of the city has been transformed with a glossy new finish; roads and buildings having been removed making way for large, welcoming pedestrian areas and open spaces. Shops and bars are livelier than ever in the modernised parts of town.

What was sadly shocking though is that although the city has been transformed, the cost of living has escalated and there were a lot more homeless people on the streets than ever. I don’t remember passing so many in one area, other than on the streets of London. 

I also felt very alienated, as it had been so long and I didn’t recognise my old home town, surrounded by today’s young students enjoying their Saturday night out, I have become suddenly very old! Fortunately I had my old friends with me who felt the same way!  

Back home now and off to collect the boys from Gramdma and Grandad’s, back to normality and the home comforts of rural Suffolk.