Thursday, February 27

Richard Zinzan of ARCH angels on creating great space without the need for planning permission

- April 3, 2012

We’re all familiar with the term planning permission, some of you may have had experience of dealing with it, for others it’s a word banded about with fear and trepidation on renovation and property TV shows.

Planning permission is often seen as red tape, as a slow and complicated journey, but one which must be travelled for any alterations or additions to the property. The reality is though, that in some cases you can transform your property without having to seek planning permission, saving you time and heartache.
Take this detached property in Lawrence Road in Hove. Sam and Alistair purchased this unloved property in need of modernisation in 2010. Like many of us today, they craved open plan living, light and space.

We suggested the couple remove the existing conservatory, and extend the whole of the back of the property by four metres which would create an extra 25m of floor space. This comes under Permitted Development for a detached house so they wouldn’t need to wait for planning permission. We also suggested knocking through the kitchen and dining room. Doing this gave an overall floor space of nearly 92m.

The couple had clear ideas of what they wanted. Sam was adamant she didn’t want a big pillar splitting the room in half and they both wanted doors to the garden across the whole width of the house. We were able to accommodate this. A structural engineer provided calculations to remove the need for a pillar. Structural steel runs across the width of the new opening and two chimneys – that passed through the centre of the house and took up valuable space – were taken out. Although this cost a little more it allowed Sam and Alistair to realise their dream and they thought it was worth the additional investment.

Originally the couple wanted folding doors but later decided that sliding doors looked much nicer. “There is less framework so the view into the garden isn’t obscured” said Sam.

This project shows how you can transform your living space and add a sizable extension without the need for planning permission.

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