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PCMS Design
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A property in Buckinghamshire has been transformed recently by conversion from an uninspiring dormer bungalow into an impressive spacious family home.
Our clients contacted us after purchasing a house in a good village location, but in need of substantial improvement and refurbishment. The house had already been extended at the back, so instead of extending outwards we recommended raising the roof by one metre; our design allowed the awkward rooms in the roof space to be brought back into use as light and spacious bedrooms, with the added feature of an attractive landing and oak staircase.
By designing this modest upwards extension, we minimised the impact on neighbouring properties, and avoided the need to ‘nibble’ into the garden or drive.
The property has been reconfigured downstairs too; there are new bathrooms throughout, a refitted kitchen / breakfast room, separate utility room and study, and the exterior has a more modern sleek look with rendered walls and aluminium windows. Everyone is delighted with the transformation.

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Our team was delighted last Friday to attend the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Central Region Awards ceremony in Milton Keynes. This Black Tie awards dinner is held each year to recognise and celebrate the very best construction projects in the area in a number of different categories.
This year, PCMS Design was a finalist in two awards categories. The first was Best Public Service Building for our work on a new Community Pavilion for Chinnor Parish Council. This large mixed use building incorporates changing rooms, a social hub including function room, as well as the Parish Council office.
The second finalist nomination was Best Educational Project for our design and project management of a new three classroom block on the site of Biggleswade Academy, with some facilities specially designed for pupils with physical and sensory disabilities.
We were honoured to receive these nominations and to attend the ceremony with clients, contractors and building control representatives involved in each construction project, and would like to congratulate all of the winners from the evening.

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Planning permission has just been granted this week for a new free-standing community classroom block on the site of Hatfield Community Free School.
School staff appointed PCMS Design when realised they needed a building close to existing playing fields to serve as additional classroom space, and also to provide some shelter and changing areas for the adjacent pitches. Our feasibility process identified a suitable site, a concept design was approved, and we negotiated with the Planning Department at Welwyn Hatfield District Council to iron out a number of planning issues prior to permission being granted.
Care has been taken to design a building which reflects that of the existing school, which was constructed 5 years ago. The wish is to proceed with construction as quickly as possible, in order to provide much needed classroom space.

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It can be surprising how quickly the installation of a new classroom can be turned around when the need arises. In the case of this Bedfordshire school, once planning permission had been secured, the instruction to proceed was given to a specialist modular contractor who took only a month from factory build to installation on site.
PCMS Design staff had visited the factory only a couple of weeks previously to see the seven modular bays being manufactured and fitted out, so it was satisfying to see them being lifted into position so quickly. Two classrooms each measuring 56m2 will be available, plus a 42m2 group room, WCs and storage. Quality standards have been maintained throughout the manufacturing process, and the resulting building will deliver excellent insulation properties and performance.
The modular option offers a cost-effective and quick solution for schools (or businesses) requiring additional space in a hurry.

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For the third year running, PCMS Design has achieved the status of ‘Accredited Planning Agent’ with Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC). This scheme has been created by the Council to recognise continued regular compliance with planning regulations, and also adherence to CBC’s standard Development Management guidelines when submitting planning applications.

To qualify, all applications must be submitted in an accurate and timely manner, with the relevant amount of detail and the correct accompanying information.

Staff from PCMS Design regularly attend planning seminars and consultation sessions at the Council offices, and also have a good working relationship with officers from the local authority. We look forward to this continuing over the forthcoming months, as there are a number of planning applications in preparation for submission.

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Aylesbury Vale District Council recently granted planning permission for three of our residential projects in the space of a week.

Two of our clients live next door to each other in a pair of semi-detached dwellings. We advised that it can sometimes be easier to apply for permission to carry out construction works together. In this case, permission was given for both to construct a two storey rear extension to their homes, larger than they could have achieved independently. There should be cost savings available if both appoint the same builders to carry out the extension works simultaneously.

Our third residential client located near our office in Haddenham would like to build a modest single storey rear extension and also convert their garage with a view to creating a larger kitchen / breakfast room. Planning permission was granted 10 days ahead of the deadline, and everyone is very pleased to have received consent so quickly.

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As part of our work for local authority schools, we offer consultancy services to examine building provision within school sites seeking to provide for future projected pupil numbers.
One such project is to look at the provision of school accommodation to serve Special Educational Needs (SEN) services within the Central Bedfordshire Council area. We have been appointed by the Council to analyse all six of their SEN school sites and present our report with future recommendations. The six sites are: Oakbank School (Leighton Buzzard), Chiltern School Primary and Secondary sites (both Dunstable), Weatherby Secondary School (Dunstable) and Ivel Valley Primary and Secondary School sites (both in Biggleswade).
Our approach will involve assessing current SEN accommodation and facilities and comparing this to the area guidelines, with the aim of making recommendations for future provision.

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Very pleased to hear today that PCMS Design has been nominated for two Central Region LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Building Excellence Awards in 2017. These are for Chinnor Community Pavilion in the best Public Service Building category, and Best Educational Building for a 3-classroom block we designed and project managed at Biggleswade Academy in Bedfordshire
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3/2/17
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Very pleased with our article in the Spring 2017 issue of #ThameOut magazine, a glossy lifestyle publication local to Thame and the surrounding areas. It discusses our architect and project management services for home extensions and improvements, and also for educational, community and business clients.
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Oxford City Council has this week granted planning permission for a commercial kitchen for one of our business clients.
Taste Tibet is an Oxford-based caterer that produces delicious authentic Tibetan food, which is then sold at regular weekly markets. They also cater for weddings, festivals and private events. Looking to the future, it was apparent that a larger kitchen would be needed to grow the business and expand the range of dishes on offer.

The owners of Taste Tibet initially approached PCMS Design for advice when they found a unit available for rent in the heart of Oxford to the rear of a popular residential street, and thought it had potential to be converted into a kitchen.

After a design process that included researching extraction systems and commercial kitchen appliances, we submitted the application and subsequently kept in touch with the local authority to follow its progress.

Both we and Taste Tibet were delighted to receive planning permission this week, two weeks ahead of the determination deadline. Julie of Taste Tibet said, “This is great news; a million thanks to everyone who has helped us to get this far!”

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