It can sometimes be a dilemma working out whether the modernisation and restoration of a building is going to be cost effective compared with the alternative of demolition and reconstruction. However unless you’re certain that you can reconstruct, refurbishment is usually the sensible way forward. That’s not quite so easy when your building is starting to collapse about you – and that’s before you even get started on the project!
Our clients faced significant structural issues with their farmhouse and the architect quickly determined that this really was a case where demolition and reconstruction was the only sustainable option. Before we had even got properly started on the case, the structural engineer had propped the building to stop its further collapse and an urgent solution was clearly required.
By carefully presenting the arguments for reconstruction we were able to convince the Council of the right course of action. Part of our case was also to argue that an agricultural occupancy wasn’t required as the farmhouse had been around for a long time and clearly served the needs of the farm. Time was not on our side with a race against mother nature being involved with every storm losing another part of the current building. By working closely with the architect, we were not only able to get the planning permission through in under 8 weeks but did so without any planning conditions that needed to be discharged – a first for Prism.
Normally a Council will impose a series of conditions requiring points of detail to be discharged such as brick and tile types etc. In the current climate this can take around 8 weeks from submission to approval as well as costing you an application fee to the Council. In this case we managed to submit these details to the Council in advance, whilst they were still dealing with the main application. The result was no need for further delays or costs in the project. This was only achievable because of our close work with the architect and the positive attitude of the Council. It does show what can be done however!
Prism Planning are a team of Chartered Town Planners based in Darlington's busy town centre and led by some of the most experienced planning practitioners in the north east.