January 2021 Appointments. Book yours now!

How can we help you with that idea in your head about an extension to create more space in your Norfolk family home or holiday property, or for the self build project that’s been a niggling ambition for the last decade? Maybe you have have started construction work without permission, and have been reported to the local authority, believe me, it happens…

We’ve been super lucky in 2020 to have worked with lovely people. Some excited by projects they are undertaking, one or two very concerned as they have had enforcement officer visits due to work being completed without permission, albeit unwittingly. Some were business premises, or extensions to homes, others internal alterations and work to second homes here in North Norfolk.

We have been able to collaborate with our clients, to advise on what, in our experience will be approved and what may be less likely to be permitted. We’ve produced planning drawings, relevant design, access and heritage statements, and where necessary have been able to provide third party reports for flood risk assessments, PEA’s (Preliminary Ecological Appraisals), Arboricultural reports and more.

2020’s projects have involved Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, business premises, change of use, agricultural developments and houses of multiple occupation as well as householder applications for anything from a porch to substantial dwelling expansion.

We have experience submitting applications across North Norfolk, South Norfolk, King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Broadland, Breckland and Norwich City local authorities.

Simply contact us here or by phone, email or via Instagram or Facebook direct messaging. We can make a diary note and schedule a site meeting for January, meaning you are organised, and you can get on with the Christmas festivities!

Planning drawing

Design Matters.

During half term, my daughter and I took the train to London for a last minute overnight break. She studies A level photography and we both love exploring, on foot and love buildings and differing architectural designs.

In day to day life it’s easy to ‘miss’ or under appreciate the value of ‘good design’ or indeed to ‘ignore’ the impact of a total lack of well considered building design.

When experiencing a new environment, for us at least, the impact of all design and architecture is immediate, visually.

From the moment we disembarked at King’s Cross Station, it hits you in the face, the stunning vaulted, white steel, industrial station ceiling structure and lighting.                                                      

The historic Grade 1 Listed, brick St Pancras Chambers formerly The Midland Grand Hotel designed by the late architect Sir Gilbert Scott, and the tiled interior of the underground system, it’s all about design and architecture!

We walked for 2 days, snapping photos and taking in the differing architectural styles, the juxtaposition of so many of London’s older, historical buildings, built from stone and brick, dwarfed by and right next to huge, multi storey, glass and steel structures, and it works!

The National Planning Policy Framework from The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, updated in July 2018 states that:

‘Planning Policies and decisions should ensure that development:

  • Will function well and add to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development;
  • Are visually attractive as a result of good architecture, layout and appropriate and effective landscaping;
  • Are sympathetic to local character and history, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation or change (such as increased densities).
  • Establish or maintain a strong sense of place, using the arrangement of streets, spaces, building types and materials to create attractive, welcoming and distinctive places to live, work and visit;
  • Optimise the potential of the site to accommodate and sustain an appropriate amount and mix of development (including green and other public space) and support local facilities and transport networks;
  • Create places that are safe, inclusive and accessible and which promote health and well-being, with a high standard of amenity for existing and future users and where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine the quality of life or community cohesion and resilience…’

This is as important in Norfolk as anywhere else, it’s vital in hamlets, villages, towns and cities, to preserve our historic buildings and set up dwellings and settlements, schools, offices and environments for a sustainable future for generations to come.

Design matters, on extensions, conversions, new builds and in alterations to property. That’s the reason for the planning process.

Contact us, to discuss your plans and to chat about how we can help ease you through the procedure.

Holiday Home Design

During a very recent family holiday on Lanzarote, I was prompted to think about the differing standards of both the apartment we were then staying in (with the really lovely view below of the Charco San Gines) and various other homes we had previously rented on the island.

Generally we choose not to stay ‘in resort’, opting instead for small villages or the city of Arrecife, where ‘the people’ work, live and genuinely seem to enjoy life. For us it’s more authentic, although our 17 year old kids may have a different view!

We usually opt for smaller homes, always looking for owners that seem to care for their properties and guests (we ran holiday homes here in Norfolk for over 10 years, so are a little fussy). There is though usually a compromise.
If the owners are fab, then those compromises can stem right back to the DESIGN and PLANNING stage…

The latest apartment for example, with the great view, 14 meter balcony and perfect location had these niggles, totally unnecessarily in our humble opinion:

We had a spacious open plan kitchen, diner, sitting room with French doors. YET just two double plug sockets, one behind the TV and one in the kitchen! Try straightening your hair from the kitchen, on tiptoes, legs in the splits position and neck craned to see into the mirror 3 meters away on the wall! Also attempt the charging of 4 mobile devices, an ipad and 3 laptops (children studying A Levels), whilst boiling the kettle and whisking up fresh pancakes for four, need I go on… Easily solved at the DESIGN & PLANNING stage.
The second bedroom was a dark, V shaped room, with two single beds and no option for a second ‘couple’, yet in the open plan living area was a section at least 2m by 2.5m that was unusable and had been infilled by a random table that you couldn’t put chairs around. Why was this not in the bedroom? Easily solved at the DESIGN & PLANNING stage.

After that I could go on about a utility/boot room only accessible from the far side of the bathroom but won’t stretch your participation with this blog too far…
You get the gist of it.

If you are building a second home in Norfolk, for your own use and potentially for paying guests, or if you are buying a home and intend to use it for holiday letting, think about how your clients will move about in and use the place, at the DESIGN and PLANNING stage. It may just help your lettings and increase repeat bookings…
We are seeing an increasing percentage of our work come from both homeowners and local property developers who are making internal changes to second homes in Norfolk. We’re drawing plans for those alterations and they are being passed to builders to price from and to Building Control if Building Regulations are needed.

Other clients are adding Floor Plans produced by us to their own websites for prospective guests information prior to booking.

Much of the time planning permission is not required for internal work, (this changes with Listed Buildings). Permitted development rights may cover your work, but if not, a Householder Planning Application fee to the local authority will be £206, with a £20 Planning Portal service charge. Building Regulations will most likely be relevant.

Do get in touch to discuss your needs, we cover Norfolk and can schedule an onsite chat to speak in person.