Roger E Stephens Architectural Services
Roger E Stephens Architectural Services

Current Projects Diary:

Here's what we are working on currently, along with projects in stages of construction or 'pending', with progress details updated regularly.

New and Current Projects:

Proposed Dining Room Extension (replacing old conservatory) ... Marloes

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've completed a selective Measured Survey, studied the existing drainage layout and established vital levels.

We plotted the survey data to create a set of Survey Drawings showing the existing conditions and we posted paper copies to our Clients.

Initial design sketches were drawn and emailed to our Clients. Their comments have lead to the design brief being changed. So we prepared further design sketches for consideration and our Clients have commented on these too. Now we have a design brief established, though with a few tweaks necessary.

We will be meeting our Clients at the property shortly.

Proposed Extensions to large Bungalow in a rural location ... Near Spittal

Phase 1:

Workshop Extension to existing Garage.

Phase 2:

Study / Dining Room off existing Reception Room.

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.

Proposed Detached Double Garage with Workshop ... Marloes

Upon receipt of emailed instructions to proceed on the project, we ordered Location and Block Plans from an online O.S. Map Agent and our regular Land Surveyor  carried out a basic GPS Topographic Site Survey. 

In advance of the survey, we sketched up an outline design for our Clients' perusal and, following discussion of the geometry of the roof, we completed our formal drawings. A Planning Application was submitted to the PCNPA and was approved without difficulty.

We have also submitted a Building Notice Application to PCC Building Control.

Our regular Structural Engineer has now supplied structural design information for a reinforced concrete raft and other elements of the build, which we have submitted to Building Control.

Projects under construction or pending:

Proposed Development of a small Building Plot ... Goodwick

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, after chasing, we received a formal acknowledgement.

Large Garden / Day Room (to replace a covered swimming pool) ... Near Rosemarket

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, combined with the Garage project (see below), which was accepted and registered.

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, though the build has not yet begun pending further deliberations on the final approach to the foundation design for this unusual scheme.

Detached Double Garage ... Near Rosemarket

A second project for our Clients near Rosemarket.

We carried out a feasibility study to determine whether a detached double garage might work satisfactorily in the chosen location and we conducted further surveying to enable us to create a new Existing Site Plan.

Following discussions on the most efficient layout, we agreed a satisfactory scheme, completed formal drawings and submitted a Planning Application, which was approved surprisingly early - just two days after the end of the consultation period! 

We submitted a Building Notice Application to PCC Building Control to cover this project and the proposed Garden Room extension (above), which was accepted and registered. 

A design for a raft foundation was supplied by a Structural Engineer, but the Building Control Officer did not feel that a raft foundation was necessary and the build began with shallow, conventional concrete strip foundations and floor slab. Work continues to progress slowly, but the build should be completed fairly soon.

Replacement Extension, Alterations & Renovation Works to a Period Cottage ... Angle

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 !

The requisite Photographic Record package has now 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 needs to comply with the new SuDs (Sustainable Drainage System) legislation.

An air source heat pump was included on the Planning Drawings and a separate planning application will be considered at a later date in respect of PV solar panels on the south-facing front roof slope.

An Energy Performance Assessment was received from our regular accredited Energy Assessor, which will be included with a Building Notice Application as soon as our Clients feel ready.

We've instructed our regular Structural Engineer to prepare structural design details in respect of foundation design, steelwork, etc. and we expect to receive these soon.

We've also issued copies of our project drawings to builders for quoting.

Although a Building Regulations Application is not yet in place, the Building Control Officer for the area has paid a visit to site at the request of our Clients and had offered advice on elements of the works to be carried out.

Garden Room & Utility Room Extension ... Camrose

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 has progressed quickly up to wallplate level, thanks to clement weather conditions. The carpenters are on site to form the roof structure.

Proposed Conversion of a Farm Building to 2 habitable units ... Camrose

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 have emailed the Planning Officer to request her opinion on a reconfigured approach and see if perhaps she might accommodate a meeting - but no reply has been forthcoming !

In the meantime, we amended our drawings to show a new external lighting scheme and the project Ecologist has updated her Bat Report and drafted a Working Brief for the benefit of NRW. Our Planning Consultant has verified that the amended drawings are fine and our Clients have provided him with background information that only they can supply. He is now compiling his Planning Justification Report to accompany a new Planning Application. 

An Extension project near Haverfordwest

Following granting of Planning Permission and the start of building works, we were been asked to help with co-ordinating Planning, Building Regulations and Ecological matters, due to the project having been handled poorly by the previous agent.

The scheme design did not properly respect the structural requirements or the ecological advice for the proposals and, although a Full Plans Building Regulations Application had been submitted, copies of the approved drawings and construction specification had not been issued to the Client's chosen builder and no structural engineer was appointed.

As we are already working on other proposals at the property, we accepted the responsibility of liaising with the Project Ecologist, a Structural Engineer and the builder, on behalf of the Client.

Building Control helped us with accessing the drawings and we brought our regular Structural Engineer in to resolve structural design requirements and we met on site to resolve demolition and construction methodology.

We also established that building Control could find no Radon Report on file, so we ordered one online at modest cost - fortunately it only required 'basic' protection.

An amended Bat Development Licence was approved by Natural Resources Wales and the build has progressed efficiently toward completion and interior decorating has been undertaken prior to kitchen fitting. 

New Enquiries:

  • Two-storey Rear Extension ... Detached House at Square & Compass.
  • Small Rear Extension ... Terraced House in Pembrock Dock.
  • Extension & Remodelling ... Semi-Detached House near St Davids.

Last updated: 15th April 2019

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Welcome

Enjoy your visit!

Links for guidance:

For further information on Planning matters outside the National Park.

Pembrokeshire County Council

PCC Planning 

For further information on Planning matters in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

PCNPA Planning

For further information on Building Regulations matters across Pembrokshire.

Pembrokeshire County Council

Building Control

For general information on Planning Policy across Wales, including Technical Advice Notes and Supplementary Planning Guidance from the

Welsh Assembly Government

WAG Planning Guidance

For general information on Planning and Building Regulations matters in Wales.

Planning Portal - Wales

Planning Portal Wales

For inforrnation on applications for building over or near any drain designated as a Public Sewer.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

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© Roger E Stephens 2019