New and Current Projects:
Upon receipt of instructions to proceed, we made a start on the Survey Stage of the project by taking external and internal photographs and conducting a Measured Survey, including a few ground principal levels around the house and check ground floor levels.
Our Clients provided a comprehensive design brief to clarify their requirements and they found a previous plan amongst their property deeds that has been helpful.
Survey Drawings were completed and copies posted to our Clients.
We ordered Ordnance Survey Planning Maps from an online OS agent, as there was no copy of a Land Registry Plan with the property deeds.
In light of the nature of the extension project, our regular Ecologist carried out a Bat Scoping Survey on the whole property, which revealed no evidence of any activity. A report letter was issued by the Ecologist to accompany a Planning Application.
Our Clients approved our formal drawings and a Planning Application was submitted to PCNPA and was validated without difficulty.
The consultation period has ended and we were preparing to request a status report from the Planning Officer, but she's already been in touch regarding the PCNPA Trees & Landscape Officer's response - which we've criticised as being flawed due to his opinion being made solely based upon fuzzy aerial imagery without a site visit.
Now we have found out that the Planning Officer has gone on two weeks' leave in the latter stages of the application decision process!
Although awaiting a planning decison, we have already appointed our regular Energy Assessor for SAP Calcs and our regular Structural Engineer for structural calculations. We have met with both consultants on site to discuss respective strategies and we await their detailed reports.
Our Clients have also contacted local specialists regarding essential re-alignment of an existing roadside Pembrokeshire hedgebank to aid visibility, for which PCNPA will require a method statement.
As our Clients could not meet us on site, we agreed to visit the property unaccompanied and conduct an initial consultation via email. We took photographs whilst we were on site.
Upon receipt of instructions to proceed with the project, we conducted a selective Measured Survey, studied the existing drainage layout and established vital levels, in order to create a set of Survey Drawings showing the existing conditions and we posted paper copies to our Clients.
Following a meeting on site and with a final design brief agreed with our Clients, we set out our proposal drawings toward planning submission.
Planning Permission was granted in about five weeks - unusually early for PCNPA!
A Building Notice Application submitted to PCC Building Control has been registered and formally acknowledged.
We appointed an Energy Assessor to provide an Energy Performance Assessment (SAP Calcs) and he determined a clever way to satisfy the requirements of the Building Regulations. We have received and accepted his draft SAP Report.
Following acceptance of his fee quotation, we appointed our regular Structural Engineer for the design of essential structural elements and we received his design details - though we raised a few queries, which we've now resolved.
Supporting documentation, including a Radon Check Report, SAP Calcs and Structural Calculations have been submitted to the Building Control Officer by email.
Projects under construction or pending:
Upon receipt of a written response from Pembrokeshire County Council to a self-submitted Pre-Application Planning Enquiry, our Clients instructed us to proceed with their project to seek formal planning consent for converting this agricultural storage building into two habitable units.
Following a Full Bat Survey and a Measured Survey of the building, we prepared a set of Survey Drawings to record the details of the building and site layout.
We met with our Clients to discuss the interior layout design concept in detail and resolved a workable scheme, followed by preparing formal planning drawings.
We submitted a Planning Application to Pembrokeshire County Council but, upon expiry of the consultation period, a status report from the Planning Officer expressed concerns that the scheme did not fit well with the policies of the PCC LDP. Also Natural Resources Wales expressed concerns. So after discussions with us, our Clients agreed it would be wise to withdraw the current Planning Application.
We are confident there should be an opportunity for planning success but, in terms of best interpretation of the the policies of the LDP, a local Planning Consultant has been appointed to assist with resolving a more appropriate way forward. We have also agreed a revised external lighting scheme with our Clients, aided by advice from our Ecologist, that should placate NRW.
Prior to attempting an application re-submission (within twelve months for a 'free go'), we emailed the Planning Officer to request her opinion on a reconfigured approach and see if perhaps she might accommodate a meeting - but no reply was received!
In the meantime, we amended our drawings to show a new external lighting scheme and the project Ecologist updated her Bat Survey Report and drafted a Working Brief for the benefit of NRW.
Our Planning Consultant verified that our amended drawings were fine and provided his Final Planning Statement & Justification Report, allowing us to continue with preparation of a new Planning Application for a 'free go'.
We delivered the re-submission to County Hall and received a pre-registration acknowledgement via email the same day. However, we subsequently received a request from a Planning Technician to amend the project Location and Block Plans, following which confirmation of validation was received.
With favourable stautory consultee responses displayed on the PCC Planning website, the consultation period ended on 25th July. So we requested a status report from the Planning Officer but received only the vaguest of responses. She merely stated that she 'will evaluate the application shortly' - our Planning Consultant believes that she will be instructed in this regard by her superiors.
All parties eagerly await receipt of the Planning Decision Notice shortly !
Following a selective Measured Survey, aided by some previous plans, we created Survey Drawings.
We appointed our regular Ecologist to conduct a Bat Scoping Survey at an early stage and she confirmed that a Full Bat Survey would NOT be necessary for this project.
A Planning Application was approved by Pembrokeshire CC and copies of the project drawings were issued to builders for quoting.
As the gross area of external openings in the extension will greatly exceed 25% of its floor area, we appointed our regular accreditted Energy Assessor to provide SAP Calculations to satisfy Building Control. The Assessment shows that no additional mitigation measures are necessary in the existing house.
A Building Notice Application has been submitted to PCC Building Control and our regular Structural Engineer has supplied a specification for a structural ridge beam, which has also been submitted to Building Control.
Our Clients appointed a building team and the build is progressing quickly.
Having resolved a workable scheme design, Planning Permission was received from Pembrokeshire County Council at least three weeks early!
We submitted a Building Notice Application to PCC Building Control.
An accreditted Energy Performance Assessor was appointed to provide a SAP Report, which indicated that no mitigating works are necessary on the existing house. The report was submitted to Building Control and our regular Structural Engineer supplied structural design information for the building, but not the foundations.
However, some three months after submission, Building Control raised some concerns, upon which we received clarification that further information was required to verify wall stability, given the length of the structure.
A foundation scheme design has been received from a new Structural Engineer, which has been approved by Building Control.
Our Clients appointed a ground worker and a local builder and our Clients are in charge of project management. The build has begun cautiously, with an agreement on the foundation scheme with Building Control.
Having carried out a Measured Survey, including critical levels around the cottage, we determined that the external concrete paths are significantly higher than the inside ground floor level, partially explaining severe damp problems.
A Full Bat Survey was undertaken by our regular Ecologist, with two dusk emergence observations that showed bats leaving roosting sites in outbuildings and from the house roof near the chimney stack. The Ecologist provided her Report with mitigation recommendations prior to an application being made to Natural Resources Wales for a Development Licence.
A Planning Application was submitted to PCNPA that was validated without difficulty and Conditional Planning Permission was received requiring a Photographic Record of the existing house for deposit with Dyfed Archaeology (although it is not a listed building), plus confirmation of the final specification for the proposed green roofs to the outbuildings.
We submitted an Application for Discharge of a Condition to PCNPA in respect of the necessary photographic record and formal approval has now arrived - after we had chased the Planning Officer for a progress report - and the requisite Photographic Record package has been submitted to Dyted Archaeology.
Given the existing unauthodox drainage arrangement at this location, our Clients have sought professional advice as to appropriate improvements, as is the case with their neighbours. Surface water management may need to comply with the new SuDs (Sustainable Drainage System) legislation.
We instructed our regular Structural Engineer to prepare structural design details in respect of foundation design, steelwork, etc. and we met with him to discuss the intricacies of the scheme before he proceeds. In view of anticipated variations to the scheme (including a decision to go for a reinforced concrete raft for the extension), we agreed that he should provide a revised fee quotation. Our Clients accepted this and he has now provided the required information.
The Building Control Officer for the area has already paid a site visit at the request of our Clients and offered advice on elements of the works to be carried out.
Our Clients decided to self-submit their Building Notice Application.
An Energy Performance Assessment is in place and this will be supplied to Building Control, once our Clients have completed their deliberations on specific design issues.
A Radon Check Report has also been obtained.
Our Clients decided to reduce the size of a set of folding sliding doors and we have amended our drawings accordingly. Such a reduction is not an issue with Planners.
Our Clients wish to seek Pembrokeshire County Council Outline Planning Permission to allow them to place this plot on the market.
Our Clients accepted that a Pre-Application Planning Enquiry would be a wise first step.
Upon instructions to proceed we appointed a Land Surveyor to conduct a Topographic Site Survey.
Having obtained DCWW Sewer and Water Plans and summising that there may be difficulties in connecting to the main sewer, we submitted a Pre-Planning Application to DCWW in early July and we received a detailed written appraisal that is generally favourable, subject to further onsite investigations.
It has been determined that the access track is a recognised Public Right of Way.
We prepared an Existing Site Plan based upon the Topographic Survey, plus a Proposed Site Plan.
We attended a strategy meeting with our Clients, at which we agreed upon going ahead with the preparation and submission of a Pre-Application Planning Enquiry to Pembrokeshire CC and a written appraisal has been received.
An LDP policy conflict was identified, meaning that an open market dwelling will not be supported, but there is an opportunity for providing an affordable dwelling in accordance with the strict LDP policies and Supplementary Guidance.
However, our Clients are interested in the potential of submission of their plot as a Candidate Site under the initiation of the next LDP. Pembrokeshire CC Development Management have invited the submission of Additional Candidate Sites, the original window of submission having closed in 2018. But the Candidate Sites rules deem the minimum site area for an affordable homes development is 0.15 hectare, so at only 0.03 hectare this site is too small to qualify for affordable homes - something that the Pre-App Advice failed to notify.
We are now aware that an adjoining piece of land has already been submitted as a Candidate Site, so this could bouy our Clients' hopes. Should our Clients' site and the one adjacent be accepted under this regime, the settlement boundary would be realigned to include them.
We prepared and delivered an Additional Candidate Site Submission to the LDP Team at County Hall and we received a formal acknowledgement. The site has been added to the Candidate Sites List and Map.
Public consultation on Additional Candidate Sites has now ended and we await further news from the LDP Team as to their assessment.
Upon receipt of instructions to proceed with this phased project, we met with our Clients to establish their design brief in detail.
We took photographs and conducted a selective Measured Survey, including a few spot ground levels
Although plans for the property and a separate, recently approved scheme drawn up by others are available for general reference, we cannot rely upon their accuracy and, indeed, we have found them to include some fundamental errors. Hence, the need to check all relevant principal dimensions ourselves!
We prepared Survey Drawings showing the existing views of the Garage and the Reception Wing.
The Ecologist who prepared a Bat Survey Report for the previous scheme by others supplied an Addendum in relation to Phase 1.
A Planning Application was submitted to Pembrokeshire County Council and Planning Permission was received without difficulty.
A Building Notice Application for Phase 1 was submitted to PCC Building Control and has been formally acknowledged. Our regular Structural Engineer has supplied the necessary structural design information and this has also now been submitted to Building Control.
Following meetings with our Clients and the Ecologist, we've begun sketching a design for Phase 2. In light of the time elapsed since the original bat survey, the Ecologist has advised that a further limited bat survey will be required to accompany a planning submission for the Dining Room Extension.
We recently prepared a few sketch proposals and emailed these to our Clients and we await receipt of their comments before moving forward with our formal drawings.
Our Clients have requested both projects to be held in abeyance, pending budgetary considerations.
We have recently received a couple of enquiries concerning the creation or development of campsites, but we do not accept such projects as they are of a commercial nature.
Sorry, but we cannot accept commissions for commercial projects.
Enjoy your visit!
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