Architectural & Building Consultants Ltd          T: 01308 861095    E:


Many of our clients will be looking at their first building project and we are always happy to provide assistance and guidance throughout the process.  

We have experience in all levels of building projects, from a simple small domestic garage, home extensions, loft conversions up to housing developments and commercial and industrial buildings. We will assist our clients in providing other specialists and consultants where deemed necessary for the individual needs of the project.  

We offer a flexible level of service to suit the clients’ specific wishes and type of project, which can include involvement from Inception to Completion, or assisting with obtaining the necessary permissions and approvals.  

We offer a free of charge initial site visit to discuss the potential project and answer any questions, whereby we will then provide a fee estimate for the works required.  

You may find that some projects will not require Planning approval and/or Building Regulations approval and we will be happy to advise on this where possible.  

Our services can include any the following –  

Measured Surveys of existing buildings and site areas
Scheme Designs
Planning Applications
Listed Building Applications
Building Regulations Applications
Licensed Premises drawings (i.e. Public Houses, Restaurants etc.)
Tendering processes and information packages
On site supervision and contract administration
Project Management  

This list is not exhaustive, so please contact us with your requirements!  


Traditionally fees for Architectural Services can be set by a percentage of the overall project cost or an hourly rate. This can lead to misunderstanding and potentially inflated bills.  

We believe that most projects can be estimated for each element and will therefore provide clients with a reasonable estimate of fees for each stage, tailored to suit the individual needs of the project.
Once an initial meeting has taken place to discuss the project, we will provide clients with a fee quotation identifying the elements involved, with all likely costs and expenses included.
Within this we will also provide a breakdown of the other associated costs, such as Local Authority Planning and Building Regulation fees, to provide as full a picture as possible, which will help with the clients budgeting.    

The Design  

Once an instruction is received, we will attend site to take measurements of the areas or buildings relevant to the project. Drawings are then prepared which represent an accurate account of the existing situation.
We will then prepare some initial sketches to form the basis of a further meeting(s) with the client to discuss and finalise a preferred scheme.
The design is then taken forward to ensure that the client is happy with the proposals.  

Planning & Listed Building Applications (go to appendix I below)  

Once the design is agreed we will prepare the planning application, which will include all the required drawings and associated documentation as noted below. If the existing property is a Listed Building, we will also produce further information for the Listed Building application.
Acting as your agent we will submit the applications, together with any other supporting information required which can include, where relevant –  

Design and Access Statement
Flood Risk Assessments
Bat or Ecological Survey 
Heritage Impact Assessments
Conservation Area Appraisals  

Once the application has been received and acknowledged by the Local Planning Authority (LPA), which will usually take around eight weeks to determine the application, we will monitor the application process and report back to the clients during this process accordingly.  

Specialist Reports  

Occasionally the LPA may require an environmental report or aboriculturalist's report where trees could be affected.  

We will advise you when a specialist may be required, and arrange their appointment if you wish.  Fees will not usually be included within our quotation, although we do try to identify the possible requirements of such a specialist at the time of our initial fee stage. These specialists would be employed directly by the client.  

Building Regulations Application (go to appendix II below)  

After any necessary Planning and Listed Building approvals have been obtained, the next stage is to prepare further details and drawings for Building Regulation purposes.  

This information will provide the “nuts and bolts” aspect of the project and will also form the basis to enable estimates to be obtained from Builders.  

Detailed Drawings  

Although the drawings we have provided for Building Regulations purposes will be detailed enough for builders to provide a quote and use for construction, you may wish to add further detail to ensure the builder knows your exact requirements.  For instance, the type of internal doors, the bathroom suite etc.  This will ensure you receive as accurate quotations as is possible and will help to eliminate misunderstandings during construction.   

Tendering Stage  

With the statutory approvals obtained, the design phase is now complete and the approved drawings can be issued to building contractors with an invitation to tender quotations.  Whilst some of our clients may have a builder in mind, if required we can prepare a suitable list of contractors and tender documents, help in selecting the successful bid, and prepare building contracts.    

Construction Stage  

Once the builder has been selected and a date set for commencement, we have now entered the construction phase.  Again some of our clients with experience in construction may wish to supervise the works personally, however if required we can be engaged to supervise the project through to completion.  We will ensure work is carried out in accordance with the specification and to the quality required.  We will advise you when the builder has satisfactorily completed various stages of work and when interim payments are due.  


If we are engaged to supervise the project, we will also ensure the builder attends to any defects or snagging work prior to hand over and the final payment.  With building works complete you are ready to move into your new building.                  

PLANNING (appendix I) [back to Planning & Listed Building Applications]


A planning application is required for most new buildings and changes of use under the Town and Country Planning Act.  The local authority have a legal right to remove structures which have been erected without consent or which breach conditions of consent.  It is therefore vitally important that when required, planning permission is obtained prior to commencing with construction.  The Local Planning Authority (LPA) is a department within your local authority responsible for determining applications and enforcing the removal of unauthorized development.  

Permitted Development  

Certain small developments may fall within permitted development, which means a planning application is not required.  There are a number of criteria which must be met however, including height, distance from boundary, and distance from highways or footpaths.  There are also areas where permitted development rights have been removed and an application is required for even a small conservatory.  We will, as part of the consultation process, enquire with the LPA when we consider these rights may apply, and obtain written confirmation.  

Types of Application  

There are various types of planning application including, full planning applications for new homes, commercial projects and changes of use, and householder applications for domestic extensions.  Others include, listed building consent and conservation area consent.  We will advise during our consultation, which will be needed.   

Required Information  

Once established that an application is required, the LPA will require a formal application and supporting documents.  This will include accurate scaled drawings of both existing and proposed layouts and elevations, a section view, roof plan, block and location plan.  A Design & Access Statement (DAS) will also be required except for householder applications not situated in special areas.  Further information including Flood Risk Assessments (FRA), tree reports and environmental reports may also be required.  We will advise what will be required and if instructed, prepare your application with all necessary documents.  We will act as your agent throughout the application, communicating and handling all negotiations with the LPA.  


We undertake to prepare your application promptly and communicate effectively throughout.  The time to prepare drawings will depend on the size and complexity of work, usually for domestic extensions and individual houses this can be achieved with two to three weeks of instruction.  Once a final design has been agreed we will submit your application and all documents electronically via the Government's Planning Portal.  This system ensures the LPA receive your application immediately and without the risk of postal delays.  The local authority will normally determine your application within eight weeks of registration.  


Planning application fees are standard across the UK, currently £172 for a householder application, and £385 for a new dwelling.  Fees for commercial projects are dependant on the size of development and Listed Building Consent is free.  We will advise you of current fees for your particular project during our consultation.  

The Decision   

After the planners have considered your application and any comments received, we will be issued with a decision notice, either granting or refusing planning consent.  We have an extremely high success rate with over ninety percent of our applications being approved first time, however there are occasions, usually when our clients’ proposals are a little overambitious, when permission is refused.  In this event we can often amend the design to satisfy the planners’ concerns and reapply, the alternative is an appeal to the planning inspectorate.  Either way there are no additional application fees to pay, you are allowed a "free go" if the application is of similar character and made within 12 months of refusal, and appeals are free.     

BUILDING REGULATIONS (appendix II) [back to Building Regulations Application]


Unlike the planning authority who are mainly concerned with the building's appearance, building control exist to ensure the proposals will comply with building regulations.  Work will be checked at various stages by an approved inspector and a certificate of compliance issued on completion.  Although we usually use Local Authority Building Control (LABC) to perform this function, there are a number of alternative approved bodies such as NHBC.  

Do you need approval?  

Almost all types of building work will require a building control application except certain small buildings such as porches and carports.  We will advise during our consultation if any exclusion may apply.  It is a legal requirement of the owner to ensure compliance with building regulations and unauthorised structures may be removed.  

Application Types  

There are two types of application, Building Notice and Full Plans Submission.  The first may be suitable for minor works where building plans are not required, but carry the risk that should work not comply it may have to be taken down.  A Full Plans Submission will take a little longer as drawings are approved prior to commencement, but this eliminates any misunderstanding and ensures compliance of work.  We will provide building control with all of the required information including drawings, specification and supporting calculations.  We will negotiate with, and provide any required amendment to Building Control.  On approval we will provide the client with a copy of the Approval Notice and approved drawings.  


The cost of Building Notice and Full Plans Submission are identical.  With the former the whole amount is payable on commencement of work, with the latter a smaller fee is paid on submission of drawings and the balance on commencement.  For new dwellings there is a fixed fee dependant on the number, extensions are calculated according to floor area and other work by a reasonable estimate of the value of works.  Since fees vary between approved bodies and even LABC in different areas, we will advise on an individual basis.  

The Approved Documents  

The Building Regulations or "regs." as they are known in the building industry, exist to ensure the construction of safe, thermally efficient and accessible buildings.  This is usually achieved by following guidance set out in the following approved documents which are given legal status by the Building Act 1984.  

We are of course familiar and up to date with all current regulations, and will guarantee building control approval of our final drawings.

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