Tag: kent

Architecture & Building, Planning Permission

Plans for over 130 new homes to be built and Kent villagers are not happy 

Plans to bring around 132 new houses to the village of Dymchurch have been met with a flood of objections. The planning application for this project has been submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council. On the land at High Knocke Farm.  

Located roughly about 400 meters away from Dymchurch village centre. The proposed site comprises a total 6.3 hectares of mainly undeveloped greenfield land in agricultural use. 

What do the plans propose?

The plans put forward by Redbridge Estates declare that the site offers an opportunity to produce sustainable high quality houses to the Dymchurch area. The houses are proposed to be mainly two storey detached, semi-detached and terrace houses. With a small number of flats alongside them.  

In addition, because there is so much land to work with 38% of the site area will be used as public open space. The plans show there are large open community spaces, water course’s, and children’s plan and activity areas.  

Although, building a large number of houses might sound like a great idea, many locals disagree. Since the application has been submitted, around 200 comments have been made raising their concerns for the project.  

Dymchurch Parish Councillors wrote a group statement that states. “As both current and former Dymchurch Parish Councillors, we jointly feel that is important that we make our voices heard on a proposed development that will have significant impacts on the historic coastal village of Dymchurch. One that potentially will change the face and character of the village forever. 

Here are a few comments made by locals on their thoughts and opinions of the plans –  

George Baker – As a local resident I highly object to the proposed development. The local infrastructure is already strained at the moment and will not be able to accommodate more residents especially through the tourist months. The proposal of using marshlands as access for the site is ridiculous. The bin men Struggle to fit down this road I can’t see site traffic working. 

Kathy Pamphlett – We are sick and tired of all the houses been built already traffic has got a lot worse and how are doctors going to cope we cant get to see them now schools will not have the capacity to cope with more now this planning application should definitely not go ahead leave dymchurch alone it’s lovely as it is. 

John william Bloomfield – I object to the proposed plan for 132 houses to be built on the land adjacent to 65 Seabourne Way, Dymchurch. Firstly, because the infrastructure in the village of Dymchurch is insufficient to support the additional residents the scheme would generate. Schools and doctors surgeries are already at full capacity and any further numbers would overload the facilities. The land is currently farm land where sheep graze and the loss of this green field site is not acceptable. Dymchurch is a holiday village and during the summer months the number of residents almost doubles. This scheme would further compound the crowding in and around the village. During construction work additional pressure caused by additional traffic on the A259 would result in further disruption on a very busy road, especially during the summer months. 

Find the application here –

Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s planning committee is scheduled to meet and decide on June 6th. Full details on the application and all comments left on the proposals can be found here.  


Things You Need to Know About Rear Extension

Want to improve or expand the living area in your home? Then a rear extension is a great way to do this instead of moving house. We know that the living space in most of the houses in the UK is very tight, especially in the cities. Home Extensions are a great solution to cope with living space issues. Well, getting an extension is not an easy task are requiring a decent amount of capital. However, it is a significant investment that can help increase the value of your property. It is best to invest in an extension if you want to sell your home in the future. So, in this article, we will share expert advice on things you need to know about rear extension.

Types of Extension

There are mainly three types of House Extensions that you can found in UK cities: the side return extension, the wrapped extension, and the rear extension. But when we talk about a rear extension, it means an extension that goes across the full width of the house. It goes out towards the garden.

On the other hand, a side return extension increases the living space at the side of the rear projection. Many properties in the UK have a small alleyway on the side. So, we just need to incorporate this space into the home.

One of the most common types of extension is a single-story rear extension. It is a great way to link areas together to make them bigger. Furthermore, it also adds to the value of your property and makes it more pleasant.

Permitted Development Rights For Rear Extension

In many areas in the UK, you can add an extension without planning permission because they come under permitted development. For this, you need to download some documents from the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and local councils to see what you can do under permitted development.

Let us explain; the document says that you can extend your existing home by a percentage of the volumetric space. By it means that every extension is included, such as loft extension, etc. You need to submit an application that consists of the volume of the property and sketches of the design. It is better to go through the process even you are withing permitted development. You can do this on your own as it is not a complicated task.

If you want rules regarding an extension, you can read them on planning porta. All the regulations related to height, distance, and size of an extension can be found there. It is easy to get confused by permitted development. So, it is better to get help from local authorities to make sure that you do not step outside. It is also better to hire a professional at this state who knows about these limits and who can help you make these changes without planning permission.

Planning Permission

Suppose, the extension you want does require planning permission, then what you need to do? Well, you can apply for it yourself. You need to submit elevations, drawings of plans, and its relation to the surrounding properties. Some of the people are nor comfortable with the process, so in this case, you hire a professional. If you want an expert opinion, then we will recommend you to get the help of a professional in the early stages. An architectural services provider can provide valuable input regarding the design of the space.

Conservation Areas

If your property is in a conservation area, then you need planning permission. If you are not sure whether you live in a conservation area, you can check with local planning authority online. In short, most city centers are conservation areas. Local authorities designate an area as conservation when they want to maintain the feel and look of that particular area.

Rear Extension Design

Architectural services providers can help you with the planning and design of the extension. First of all, you need to discuss their packages. They will survey the job site and will tell you whether the project is feasible or not. If it is possible, then they will provide you with initial sketches of the design. Once you are happy with the initial plans, they will give you detailed drawings that you can use for planning permission.

They cannot only help you with the designs but also with project management. We are also providing these services; a client can go as far as he or she wants. Some of our clients are capable of managing the project, so they only need some advice on the design. Some of them want our help with planning regulations and permission.

On the other hand, some clients want us to manage their whole project. The cost of our services depends on what you want from us. Getting the help of a professional is a good idea because they know how to deal with builders and contractors.

Credit: http://www.theartofbuilding.co.uk/blog/category/residential/page/4
Advice Center, Architecture & Building

When is the best time to build a house?

Many people wonder when the best time of year to start construction and build a home is. Out of all of the seasons, spring is usually the best time to start your project. However, materials are often cheaper in the autumn or winter, this is because there is less demand.  

Why is spring the best time to build?  

There are multiple reasons why spring is the perfect time to start building your dream home. Here is a list of the reasons:  

The weather is better –  

In spring the weather is getting warmer and the skies stay clear which is perfect for working outdoors. Because of this, there will be fewer issues when it comes to the logistics and building of your construction projects. Whereas, if you start your project in the winter, the cold, wet, and harsh weather conditions can make it difficult for the builders to work. Starting a project in the colder weather is also not ideal for you as a homeowner because you are open to the elements, and it could take longer because of delays.  

The days are longer –  

Due to daylight saving times, in spring you get more hours of sunlight to work with. This is easier for builders because if they get behind schedule, they are able to work later without the worry of it getting dark. The longer the days the faster the project will be completed. So, doing construction in the spring/ summer is beneficial for both the homeowner and the contractors.  

Get a head start on the build –  

Summer is generally the busiest time of year for contractors and builders. So, the longer you wait and put off the construction the harder it will be to find contractors. This is why spring is the perfect time to start scheduling contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. 

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Planning a porch extension in Maidstone

Adding a porch extension to your Maidstone home can transform the look of your property. First impressions are very important to some homeowners, so creating a warm welcome to guests is a must. If you’re looking for a bit of extra space to hold your coats and shoes, then a porch would be a great addition.  

Will you need planning permission for a porch in Maidstone?  

If you’re thinking about adding a porch, you might be wondering if you need planning permission. Many, people might think of a porch as a kind of extension or conservatory. However, a porch has its own rules for planning permission. So, a porch doesn’t need planning permission if it follows the permitted development guidelines.  

You do need planning permission if:  

  • The ground area is more than three square meters (including the walls) 
  • The highest point is more than three metres in height 
  • Is within two meters of a boundary and the road 

You may need permission if you live in a listed building, conservation area, or area of natural beauty.  

How much will it cost to add a porch?  

Building a porch extension is a fast and relatively cost-effective way to improve the front of your house. The average porch costs around £3,500. This is for a traditional porch made from bricks, with a tiled roof, concrete floor, and glazed composite door.  

How long does it take to build a porch extension?  

The time it takes to build a porch depends on the materials you choose. A lightweight aluminum porch can take around a week to build. Whereas, a uPVC glazed porch can take around 2 weeks to build. If you choose a more secure enclosed porch such as one that is brick-built it will take around 1-2 weeks to construct.  

Will a porch add value to your Maidstone home?  

Firstly, by adding a porch you are increasing the square footage of your property which will add value to your property. A porch will provide an average return on investment of 84%. The cost and return varies by region, as some places are more suitable for a porch than others.  

Image: A Gilligan Builders

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Advice Center

How to get planning permission on green belt land Kent?

Over the years there are a large number of misunderstandings about the purpose of green belt land, and whether you can get planning permission for it. While green belts are extremely important and should be preserved to protect the countryside and urban areas. There are circumstances, that extensions and alterations can be permitted.  

A strategic land availability assessment must consider the following factors:  

  • Firstly, flood risk  
  • National parks  
  • Heritage coast 
  • Heritage assessment  
  • Sites of special scientific interest 
  • Areas of outstanding natural beauty  
  • Finally, protected sites (birds and habitat directives) 

local planning authorities shouldn’t approve the construction of new buildings unless they propose the following exceptions: 

  • Firstly, Agricultural buildings 
  • Limited infilling in some villages 
  • Facilities for outdoor sport and recreation  
  • The replacement of an existing building by one that is not materially larger 
  • The extension or alteration of an existing building.
  • Facilities for cemetaries

Why would you want to develop on green belt land?  

The main reason people want to develop on this land is because it is cheap. For example:  

A 15-acre site in Epping has a guide price of £145,000. 

As green belt land that works out to be £0.22 per square foot. 

And if it got residential planning approval it could be worth £570 per square foot. 

How to get planning permission?  

The national planning policy framework states that “inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the green belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances”.  

An experienced architect or architectural technologist can usually get you planning permission to make reasonably sized additions to your house or to replace it with something larger.  

In addition, securing new development on green belt land will depend on aspects of design quality. There is a presumption in favour of development for buildings or infrastructure that promote high levels of sustainability.  

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All there is to know about extensions in Sevenoaks Kent

If you are looking to build an extension in the Sevenoaks, are you have come to the right place. Building an extension is a journey. Your build journey will be unique to you and your home, so it is important to plan and manage it well for it to be successful.  

What is an extension?  

An extension is a great way to add additional space to your home, without moving properties. On average the cost of a house extension in Sevenoaks is a lot less compared to if you were to move to another location that offers more space.  

Are extensions in Sevenoaks worth it?  

If an extension provides you with the space, you need and is going to improve the quality of the way you live then it is definitely worthwhile. In addition, extending your home can also be a cost-effective investment that will pay back on itself when you eventually sell.  

Sevenoaks house value increase 

Single-storey extensions are most commonly used to extend kitchens and/ or living rooms. With open plan living becoming hugely popular with homeowners in the UK. Single-storey extensions can often add 5-8% to the value of your home. Whereas, creating a double bedroom and an En-suite can add up to 23% to the value of the property.  

Planning rules have changed  

In recent years the government has relaxed planning rules in regards to extensions. The changes have given homeowners more flexibility to improve and increase the value of their homes. Previously, without planning permission, you could add a single-storey extension of up to 3 meters in depth for an attached property and 4m to a detached house, these distances have been doubled. 

How much does an extension cost in the Uk?  

  • Small rear extension (15m2) costs around £15,000 – £20,000 
  • Medium rear extension (25m2) costs around £30,000 – £40,000 
  • Large rear extension (50m2) costs around £50,000 – £60,000 

Get in contact with us –  

If you are looking for someone to provide excellent advice and support in and around the area of Sevenoaks. Here at Pro Arkitects we will provide you with the best possible services.

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The top Extension designers in canterbury

Extending your house is a popular way to increase space and add more value to your property. Whether you’re thinking of a side extension, garage extension, double or single-storey extension, there is so much to consider especially which company you want to design your project.  

Things to consider before you start –  

Permitted development & planning permission  

Some extension projects do not need full planning permission and are referred to as permitted development.  

A detached home can be extended by 8m to the rear if it’s a single storey, and 3m if it’s a double storey. Although, this is reduced to 6m in a semi-detached or terraced house. A single-storey extension shouldn’t be higher than 4m in height, to the ridge and the eaves. In addition, a double-storey extension mustn’t be closer than 7m to the rear boundary. 

Will it add value? 

With any project that improves your home, it’s good to check if the plans would increase the value of your property. if you speak to a good architect or estate agent they may be able to give you an indication of how much your house would increase in value.  

Building regulations  

You will need to comply with building regulations regardless on if you have planning permission. Building regulations have set out minimum requirements for: 

Fire safety  

Energy efficiency  

Damp proofing  


Structural integrity  

And other aspects that ensure a safe building  

Who is the right designer for your project? 

When it comes to your project it is important that you chose the right person to do your service. There is a number of options you can choose from, such as:  


Architectural technicians  

Specialist designers  

Package build companies’ in-house design teams   

You can look online and see what will work best for you and the highest rated in your area. 

Extension designers in Canterbury –  

We are providing all kinds of architectural services in Canterbury. Our team of professionals is highly experienced in handling such projects. Furthermore, we are a Design & Build company, which means you do not need to go elsewhere as you are going to get all the services from planning, drawing to construction under one roof.  

Image: https://www.ultraframe-conservatories.co.uk/news/why-single-storey-extensions-are-best

Advice Center

An informative step-by-step guide to installing a roof

This step-by-step guide will show you how to install a roof. It will also list tools and items that you would need during this project.  

List of tools required –  

  • Caulk gun 
  • Air compressor 
  • Circular saw 
  • Roof harness  
  • Roofing Nailer 
  • Scaffolding  
  • Stapler  
  • Utility knife  
  • Cordless drill 
  • Tape measure  
  • Chalk line 

List of materials required –  

  • Felt underlay  
  • Asphalt shingles  
  • Roofing nails  
  • Drip edge  
  • Hook blades  
  • Sealant 
  • Waterproof underlay  
  • Staples  
  • Step and dormer flashing  
  • Valley flashing  
  • Vent flashing  

Step 1: installing the ventilation system  

A rafter roll is usually laid across the eaves and is designed to guide fresh air into the roof. It also allows air to circulate around the space to prevent dampness.   

What is a rafter roll? 

A rafter roll is a glass mineral wool roll. Designed for use in warm roofs where the roof is insulated at rafter level. It offers excellent thermal performance.  

Make sure the rafter roll comes out above any pre-installed insulation. If you don’t the insulation will block the airflow.  

Step 2: installing underlay  

To protect the roof against ice, wind, and rain you should install a good underlay. You need to make sure the underlay you have chosen meets the building regulation requirements for your project. So, to install the underlay you should start on the right side of the roof and tack it into place. Depending on your ventilation system, you may need to leave a gap at the ridge of the roof to allow air to circulate effectively.  

Step 3: putting in the battens and tiles  

You will need to determine the first fix point on the roof for your tiles, and that’s where the top of your first batten will sit. In addition, make sure you use the right size timber batten for your roof tiles. Line up the top of the batten with the chalk line and fix with a nail to every rafter. After that, to keep the ridge batten secure you must use batten straps to keep it in place.  

What is a batten?  

A Batten is a small section of timber or steel that provides a means of supporting, positioning, or fixing roof cladding and ceiling sheets. A Tile batten is parallel to the eaves line and at right angles to the rafters to which tiles are fixed

Next, you should lay your first line of tiles across the roof. Then, make sure that you have a minimum of one nail per tile and two nails per tile around the perimeters. You should time from right to left, depending on the interlock of the tile.  

Finally step 4: adding the roof ridge 

You should place your ridge membrane in a straight line across the ridge batten. Once it’s secured all along the ridge, it’s time to screw the ridge tiles to the ridge batten. Finally, when that is completed, you can install a ridge-to-ridge seal to offer extra strength to the ridge.  

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Building A Conservatory On A Budget: Ways How To Save Money

If you are looking to add a valuable asset to your home, conservatories are the way to go. However, if you are trying to stay within a budget there are ways you can achieve a well-designed project. Some conservatories can reach up to £75,000 although, there are ways to get one done for as little as £5,000.  

Here are some ways to save money on a conservatory. 

Create a DIY conservatory –  

One of the best ways to save money on creating and installing a conservatory is by doing it yourself. While this is a much cheaper option, the process is complicated and can cause a lot of stress. 

You’ll need to build every element on your own, from the foundation to the roofing. As well as this you will have to make sure your design is within permitted development. Otherwise, you will have to spend more money on planning permission.  

Choose a cheaper type of conservatory –  

 There are a lot of options when it comes to the type and size of the project you want to create. You can decrease the costs by being careful with the size of the new space.  

For example, you could do a flat-roof and squared-off build to reduce the number of materials. However, if you use double glazing and slimline frames it lets the natural light flood in.  

If you design a conservatory with a fully tiled roof and partial brick wall instead of glass, be expected to pay more. Whereas, you can get simple lean-to frames that are not that expensive.  

 Choose uPVC over aluminium  

 UPVC offers a great balance between durability and price. It is a cheaper price than aluminium but it isn’t far off when it comes to performance. UPVC gives you as much flexibility and energy-saving potential. You can ger recyclable uPVC, meaning you can also help the environment while you cut the cost of your conservatory.  

Decide what it’s going to be used for first –  

Make sure you know how you are going to be using the conservatory. So, you don’t payout for any unnecessary features you don’t need.   

You should think about what you will use it for and when you are spending the most time in it. If you only use it on hot days in the summer you might not need as many electrical sockets. And if you use it all year you may consider adding underfloor heating.  

Use energy-efficient double glazing –  

A crucial way of saving money is to make sure you are using energy-saving materials. A way of doing this is by getting double glazing windows which increases the insulation and reduces energy usage.  

Double glazing works to create a thermal barrier for your space, pairing with the frames to give you air and water tightness. Because of this, you can stay comfortable in your space without relying on heating.  

Small Conservatories - Small conservatory range | Anglian Home

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Conversions, Extensions

Planning A Basement Extension/ Conversion: Here’s What You Should Know

If you are in need of extra space but aren’t in a position to move house or extend outwards or upwards, there is another way. You could consider a basement conversion or an extension.  

What is a basement extension? 

A basement can be a great way to expand your living space by creating an extra bedroom, lounge, office, or gym. Basements are slowly becoming more popular in the UK. As people look for more space and don’t have the ability to extend wider, longer, or higher.  

What is a basement conversion? 

A basement conversion is a process of changing the space into an inhabitable room.  

There are three ways of building a basement extension:  

  • Conversion or refurbishment of the existing one 
  • Adding a basement to an existing property – a good option for when there’s no other way to gain extra space.  
  • Building a new basement as part of a new house build. 

Do basement conversions/ extensions need planning permission?  

You should speak to your local planning authority and building control department before you start any work. To make sure you know what permission is required. 

If you are converting an existing basement and are not making any changes to the external appearance of the building, you are unlikely to need planning permission. Whereas, if you are creating more room or if you are making changes to the external appearance of the property by adding a light well, then you are likely to need planning permission.  

Advantages basements can provide –  

In some parts of the UK especially London, where property values are at a premium, many people are turning to conversions and extensions. Another advantage is that you can create a new floor that can be used in different ways. 

Some more practical advantages are: 

  • Sun tunnels – these use mirrors to reflect sky and light above. 
  • Open up the space – keep the space as open as possible with minimal structures like walls. Consider using glass to enhance the light, for example, a glass staircase.  
  • Rooms with no light – rooms that work well with no light are perfect for basements, for example, entertainment rooms, storage, utility rooms, etc.  

Conversion/ extension disadvantages –  

The major disadvantage of starting a project in your basement can be the cost. However, in areas where property values are high, basements can work financially. Another disadvantage is that the construction of an extension or conversion can be complex, messy, and loud. 

Cost –  

Depending on the type of project you would like to achieve the prices will differ. Converting an existing basement will averagely be around £800 – £1500 per square metre. And if you are lowering the floor level it will cost you between £1400 – £2000 per square metre.  

Architects in London were asked how much it would cost to extend a basement. Most varied between £3000 – £4000 per metre square, for mid-range finishes.  

East Sheen - Cellar Conversion and Basement Construction Cellar Conversion  and Basement Construction

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