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Practice Areas

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    Carrying out design work for Crèche Facilities, Schools, Colleges or simply carry out extension works any of these type of buildings.
  • Residential
    Specializing in the design of Extensions, New Builds, Extra Care Homes and Housing Layout Sites.
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    New Build, Refurbishment or Extension of Offices and some Retail experience with Restaurant/Estate Agent Design.
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    We are working on numerous Rugby Clubs and an Events Centre in England. We cover all aspects of Leisure including sports facilities, events buildings, village community hall/buildings and numerous others .
  • Research
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#ideas

Open Plan Living


Free flowing kitchens - 1

 

If you are designing your new home, an open floor plan with a seamless transition from the indoor space to an outdoor veranda is a great feature to include. Open layouts are becoming more and more popular in modern homes as they give the illusion of a bigger space, provide more natural sunlight and outdoor views, and create a more safe and social environment.

To create the feel of one large and connected space, abolish any distractions or eye sores and use floor to ceiling glass where possible. Finish off using similar flooring and wall papering/ paint to complete a flush, modern look that gives the illusion that the space is one. A veranda offers many benefits, these include adding value to a home and providing additional space.

Not only will your room have the illusion of being bigger, you will feel closer to nature. Using large floor to ceiling windows with minimal lines will bring in natural sunlight and allows you to enjoy the landscapes of your home.

 

Small Spaces, Big Ideas!

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Small spaces, Big ideas!!

 

 With the benefits of living in the City Centre growing rapidly, more and more people are searching for their perfect home. The only downside is according to a report released by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, we are living in “rabbit hutch Britain”, with new homes ranking as the smallest in Europe.


There are three principal reasons for this: no legal minimum exists for the size of a home in Britain; in the past decade many studios and one- and two-bed flats have been built; and the cost of land here often prohibits larger properties.

So with this in mind, adaptability is key when it comes to fitting your lifestyle into a small home. Incorporating hidden storage and plenty of light can make any home feel bigger and brighter.

 


Petite properties – Top tips

  1. Give the illusion of space with floor-to-ceiling mirrored cupboards. 
  2. Hang hooks on the back of doors. And hang clothes up out of sight instead of over chairs.
  3. Install a foldaway table in a small kitchen.
  4. Fix a shelf above the bed if there’s no space for a table.
  5. Don’t waste the dead space under a bed.
  6. To save wardrobe space keep belts, scarves and ties in order with a multi-use hanger.

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Listed Buildings Don’t Have to Be Old!

Did you know that buildings don’t have to be old to be listed? Listing was started in 1947 as part of the Town and County Planning Act to guard specific properties for post-war builders. To be listed, a building needs to be of particular architectural or historic interest.

 

 

Inmos_Microprocessor_Factory_1

 

 

Completed in 1987, the Inmos Microprocessor Factory in Newport is of particular architectural interest and was listed in 2007. The reason why this factory is listed is that it has a unique design structure. The architect, John Young, designed all of the exteriors of the building as the support systems, which meant that no columns are holding it up inside. This building was also designed as a sort of kit so that it could be constructed quickly in many different places. This design additionally ensures that there would be no disturbances to the running of the factory if any extensions were to be added.

Three Benefits of Adding a Balcony to Your Home

 

 

richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--11

 

 

1.      Brings the outdoors to even the smallest of spaces – Even if it is being added onto a flat, having a balcony could allow an owner to have their slice of paradise. Smaller balconies are usually seen with mini gardens that their owners have created, or even a small set of table and chairs so that they can sit outside and drink tea or coffee on a summer’s morning. Larger balconies, however, could have the potential to bring families together. If big enough, they can house barbeques and be the ideal location for get-togethers with family or friends.

 

2.      Lets in air and sunlight – Another benefit of a balcony is that it gives a lot more air and sunshine to the adjacent room. If one side of your property doesn’t get that much sunlight, then a balcony would be perfect. Having doors instead of a small window would guarantee a lot more sunshine going into that room. It’s also sometimes hard to bring air into a particular area of the property too, especially if the room only has a small window. A balcony could additionally solve that problem as a more significant draught would be coming in from the open doors. It would also be beneficial in the summer as a natural breeze would help to make a room less hot and stuffy.

 

3.      Enjoy the view – The most obvious benefit of having a balcony is the view. Instead of just looking at it from a window, you can embrace the scenery by stepping outdoors and see a broader panoramic landscape. 

Change of Use & Planning Permission – What You Need to Know

Change of Use - Image

 

Do I Need Planning Permission? 

 

If you are looking to change the use of a property, there are many things that you need to know before going ahead. One of these things is whether planning permission will be necessary.

 

Planners categorise all buildings by their use class, i.e. offices, dwellings, etc. Certain use classes can be converted to other certain use classes without needing planning permission. This is called permitted development. Please note that permitted development policies vary between England and Wales.

 

https://www.planningportal.co.uk/wales_en/info/4/your_responsibilities/47/planning_permission/2

 

For example, if you wanted to change a restaurant into a hairdresser’s, planning this change of use class does not require planning permission as it is permitted development. However, if the hairdressers were going to be converted into a restaurant, planning permission would be required as there is no permitted development right for this conversion in Wales.

 

We recently worked on a project that required planning permission for a change of use. We were approached by our client to assist with the conversion of a doctor’s surgery into six apartments. The doctors’ surgery and the apartments needed planning permission from the local authority due to being in different use classes. 

 

What Is Needed When Applying for Planning Permission? 

 

The following documents have to be included within the application to apply for planning permission; 

 

•    Relevant plans of the site and elevations if there are any alterations to the facades.  

•    Supporting documentation. 

•    The Application Form. 

•    The correct fee. Learn how to calculate this for both Wales and England.

Wales: https://ecab.planningportal.co.uk/uploads/welsh_application_fees.pdf and for

England: https://1app.planningportal.co.uk/FeeCalculator/Standalone?region=1.

 

The Local Planning Authority then decides whether to grant the planning and will usually make a decision within eight weeks. 

 

What Influences the Local Planning Authority’s Decision? 

 

 They base their decision on the following criteria: 

 

•    The number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings. 

•    The infrastructure available, e.g. roads and water supply. 

•    Any landscaping needs. 

•    What you want to use the development to be. 

•    How your development would affect the surrounding area, e.g. if it would create lots more traffic.

 

Do I need Building Regulations for my Project?

 

If your change of use does not require planning permission, it may mean that your project still needs building regulations.

 

Still Not Sure If Your Project Needs Planning Permission? 

 

If you’re still not sure that your project requires planning permission, the best option is to chat with people who will know. Our architects can advise if your project needs planning permission or even building regulations.

 

If you are undertaking a project and would like to receive some advice regarding planning permissions or building regulations, please get in touch. Call the office on 01633 744144 or email admin@ra-architects.co.uk to arrange a free one-hour consultation.