This is the first step on the pathway from conception to completion of your project.
It is essential at this stage that we fully capture and understand all of your ideas and desired outcomes for the project. We will produce an initial design which will show you basic plans and elevations along with site spacial planning. Our design team have produced various schemes so will be able to offer you suggestions to make the best use of your space and or budget.
At this stage, the proposal can be taken to the local authority Planning Department for pre-application consultation (if required). This is a preliminary opportunity to sound out the council and perhaps deal with any contentious issues before the design is finalised and a full planning application submitted. At the same time, it is good practice to discuss the scheme with neighbours, parish, and other local councillors and, for larger schemes perhaps consider a public exhibition or meeting.
Feedback from the various consultations may indicate that the scheme should be modified; it may be something as simple as changing glass from clear to obscure, or something more radical such as re-orientating a house or changing the roof shape. If changes are made, they should be noted in the “Planning, Design and Access Statement” as outcomes from the pre-application consultation stage.
If the scheme is viable and you wish to go ahead, we would then propose preparing and submitting a full planning application.
Not all building work requires Planning approval. Some small buildings, extensions and alterations are exempt or have deemed consent under “Permitted Development” rights. These rights vary according to the use of the building or land; they are further modified if the building is Listed or located in a Conservation Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or National Park. We will advise you on the need for Planning Consent and, where appropriate, Listed Building Consent.
Planning applications invariably consist of a number of scale drawings. These will show the site location in relation to the local road network and adjacent neighbours; the site with topographical details including, where appropriate, levels and trees; existing building plans; and, the building proposals. The proposed plans often include floor plans and elevations, details of materials including landscaping, roads and paths. This may be accompanied by a written “Planning, Design and Access Statement’, this illustrates the process that has led to the proposal and explains and justifies the design in a structured way; it will cover the principles that guided the layout and design; show how access for pedestrians and vehicles has been considered including the needs of the disabled; it will also address the past planning history of the site as well as local and national planning policies. Additional information may also be supplied including photographs, transport plans, traffic surveys, flood risk assessments, structural surveys, archaeological and ecological reports.
We will undertake a measured survey of the property and coordinate with any specialist consultants (i.e. agriculturalist, ecological consultants) that may be required in order to submit a planning application.
We prepare our designs using the latest 3D software which enables us to provide realistic visualisations of the proposed concepts. Once the concept is agreed we would produce the necessary outputs for the planning application and submit this to the local authority on your behalf.
For Listed Building Consent a “Heritage Statement” is required. The scope of the statement will vary according to what is proposed but for most applications, it will include a schedule of the proposed work affecting the listed building or curtilage structures; it will give a description including details of the Listing, the historical background, significant features and the character of the building; it will describe the guiding principles and justification for the proposed works including their impact on the special character of the Listed building or structure, its setting and the setting of adjacent Listed buildings. A structural survey report may be required in support of the application.
To better understand the local authority planning fees that may apply to your scheme, please follow this link; https://1app.planningportal.co.uk/FeeCalculator/Standalone.
We are pleased to offer our fees on a fixed fee basis and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your project. Our initial consultation to discuss your plans is free of charge.
Some small buildings, minor alterations and most repairs are exempt from Building Regulation approval.
You can also start most residential schemes without prior approval under the “Building Notice” procedure. This procedure best suits small, uncomplicated schemes as it generally avoids the preparation of full detailed plans, calculations and construction notes. However, because the work on-site is inspected as it progresses there are risks that it will be unsatisfactory and this may result in it having to be removed or taken down and re-done; this will add to cost and cause a delay. It may also lead to a dispute with the builder over who is responsible for the unsatisfactory work.
The safest option, and the generally preferred route, is to submit a “Full Plans” application. As the name implies fully detailed construction plans are submitted together with full construction notes, supporting structural and thermal calculations to show compliance with the Regulations. The building regulation drawings are far more detailed than the “artistic” Planning drawings; they are often at a larger scale, and generally include detailed sections and are usually fully dimensioned.
These are complex regulations to which we have extensive knowledge and understanding of.
There are various routes that you may take to obtain building regulations approval. The first option is to approach your local building control department within your local council. The second is to appoint an approved building control inspector. We have built long-standing relationships with a number of independent building control inspectors meaning that we can obtain competitive quotations and an efficient service.
Our Building Regulations applications are generally accepted without comment.
As well as being able to offer the physical design capability Bennington Green is able to act as ‘Design Guardian’ to ensure that a client’s design intentions are realised by either external consultants or a design and build contractor. This role ensures that other designers do not dilute the client’s requirements in the interests of either themselves or the contractor to the detriment of our client. We can also monitor design programmes to ensure that suitable design information is being provided at the appropriate times and to highlight and manage any upcoming design bottlenecks.
Additionally, with the use of Bennington Green’s organisational and planning skills, we can act as ‘Lead-Designer’ and bring together architects, structural engineers, service engineers and specialist designers to produce a coordinated design. We can ensure that appointments, and particularly the scope of services, is appropriate for each specialist to ensure that the client’s brief is provided and to ensure that the expectations are clear for all involved. We would always ensure that the design information provided is of the right quality in accordance with the appointments and keeps pace with project time scales.
With the aid of technologies such as 3D or BIM modelling, we can improve design coordination efforts by making design conflicts more visible to designers and construction planners.
30 Avenue Road,
+44 (0) 1202 766584
107-111 Fleet Street,
+44 (0) 207 183 8520
+44 (0) 238 129 0228
Oxford House, 12-20 Oxford Street,
+44 (0) 1635 872000