The design and housing think tank, Create Streets, has recently published a document that seeks to encourage additional storeys to existing houses in cities, with a call for more mansard roofs. This was widely reported in The Times. the Report includes a small number of examples to illustrate their objectives, one of which is a past project of our's: an additional mansard storey in Belgravia for our clients, Grosvenor Estate.
Planning permission has been granted for significant changes to a large family house in the Belsize Gardens area of North London. The client wished to see a roof extension, changes to the rear, alterations to a basement and changes at the front of the building. The property lies within a conservation area, with normal permitted development rights removed, and we presented an application to argue for planning permission. After long negotiations with the Council, who initially resisted many of the changes, the planners were persuaded to grant permission.
Client: private householder
We have obtained planning permission for a large new open storage facility on the edge of Reading, close to the M4 and A329(M) junction. The site was formerly a Park & Ride facility but has lain vacant for many years due to lying in a flood plain. Following pre-application discussions with the local authority, we coordinated a team of consultants to prepare a planning application for storage use of the land. The major application was approved by the Planning Committee, with support from local Councillors who recognised the benefits of using the land and bringing jobs to the area.
Client: Hocsholl Properties Ltd
We have secured planning permission and listed building consent for works to the interior and exterior of a mixed retail and office building in the Belgravia Conservation Area, London. The works will see alterations to the original floorplan of the building to create more viable office space, improved retail space on the ground and lower ground floor, and a new shopfront. The installation of air conditioning in a sensitive fashion was also agreed.
Client: Grosevnor Estate
The Government has relaxed many permitted development rights over recent years. One that has been popular with developers, but often less popular with local planning authorities, is the change of use of office space to flats. The permitted development route still requires a prior approval application to be made, which needs robust evidence to demonstrate that the change can occur. We coordinated a professional team to address transport, highways, parking, noise, contamination, flooding and internal layout at a scheme for conversion in the LB Richmond: a local authority with a reputation for resisting permitted development. The prior approval application for 12 flats was approved.
Client: private property owner
The owner and occupier of a large commercial warehouse building on an industrial estate in Surrey asked us to advise in how to maximise the use of their site, following a change to their business model with more online activities rather than face-to-face transactions. We devised a strategy and series of planning applications to split the premises into smaller units and secure new flexible uses within those premises, with rearranged parking and servicing provision. The submissions were approved by the Council under delegated powers.
Client: commercial occupier
A successful small scheme for our long-standing clients of the Grosvenor Estate: the replacement of a shopfront in a listed building to provide a new shopfront of traditional design. We appraised the building and wider area, and advised on the design of the works to secure the consent under delegated powers.
Client: Grosvenor Estate
The number of planning appeals allowed has been dropping recently, which has led to the unusual step of the Planning Inspectorate issuing a statement explaining the matter. We are appeal specialists with a strong record of many successful appeals for householders, developers, commercial clients and enforcement issues. We also have a helpful 'do it yourself' guide to appeals if you don't want to engage our specialist services, available here.
Planning permission has been granted for works to a commercial property in the small town of Crowthorne, Berkshire to provide additional retail space and new flats. The premises had been in mixed retail and office use, and we gained permission for an extension to the rear to improve the shop as well as the creation of new flats on upper floors. Issues were parking, access, servicing and quality of space. We worked with other consultants to gain permission under delegated powers, subject to a legal agreement.
Client: private developer
The Spring term usually sees me lecturing on Planning Law and Practice at the Henley Business School, University of Reading, with lecture theatres like this one full of students. Empty universities and learning from home due to Covid means that this term's tuition is all online, but the town planners and real estate professionals of tomorrow are still being trained.
See the old blog site for more work from
2012 and 2011