Category Archives: Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update – We’re open!

Despite current events we are still fully up and running here at Graham Lea Architecture, ready to help you with all your architectural needs. We are mostly working from home to maximise social distancing and keep our employees safe however we are still available for site visits which we believe can be done safely and effectively – you’ll just have to forgive us if we don’t shake your hand!

From everyone here at Graham Lea we wish you and your families all the best during this difficult time.

Stay safe.

Build the home of your dreams, without leaving the house!

As Covid-19 further tightens its grip on our daily lives and self isolation drives us all insane, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was not the time to be allowing an architect into your home, sitting through design meetings and starting work on your next big project. That being said, after being cooped up in a too-small house for weeks on end …might now be the time to expand? With remote working you could do it all from the safety of your own home without coming into contact with a single person. Let me explain how this can be achieved in just two easy steps.

Step one Conduct your own survey.

The normal practice at the start of any project would be an initial visit and survey requiring prolonged contact with one of our team and access to your full property. This can be avoided by guiding the client through a self-survey.

‘But I don’t have any equipment?’

All that is required to conduct a survey yourself is a pen, paper, 1-2 hours and a digital laser measure which can be picked up on amazon for less than £25 (alot less than the cost of a survey!)

Once you are ready to proceed a trained professional from our team will invite you to engage in a video phone call (or a normal phone call if you’re too comfy to change out of your pyjamas). From there we will have an in-depth chat about the project, your design aspirations and your requirements and put together a project brief. We will then guide you step-by-step through the self-survey process (it’s easy I promise). With current technology we can also view your house online and even sometimes pull existing plans from rightmove or previous planning applications!

Step two Let us take over

Once we have a survey and a design brief it’s up and away, the rest of your project can be handled by ourselves all the way from drawing up what’s there now to submitting your council application and handing over to a builder. Trust us, we got this, we’re professionals.

We will keep you updated throughout the project via the magic of the internet, sharing our proposals and inviting you to comment and make changes until together we come up with your perfect design for your dream home. We have lots of experience with councils all across Lancashire and the North west and have submitted over 300 successful applications, getting you planning permission is all part of the process. Once everyones happy we can put you in contact with trusted builders and provide detailed construction drawings allowing them to quote you for the work and get your new project booked in all without any physical interaction, keeping you and your family safe.

And boom, you’re on your way to building the house of your dreams, all without leaving the house!

If you want to talk to us about getting your project started please give us a call on 01772 463627 and we will be more than happy to help.

From all of us at Graham Lea Architecture we would like to wish you and your families all the best in this difficult time.

 

 

– John Lewis (BSc) – Architectural Assistant

 

 

Project 300!

We are pleased to announce that we have been instructed for our 300th project. 

From humble starts as a small residential oriented practice, over the past 10 years we have developed our team to provide exceptional service in both residential and commercial industries and now split our workload evenly between the two sectors. For Job 300 hundred we have been instructed by a large international company to prepare architectural services for their future investment in the UK. 

“ I am proud of the way the company has progressed in the last few years and grateful for all the hard work our staff have put in. While we still aim to provide the best service for our residential customers. I am pleased that we are now also working with national and international clients. “ 

– Graham Lea

Planning Permission Granted

We have gained planning permission for a new scheme student flat in Preston. The former Oakendale residential care home in Ashton which closed in August 2016 is ideally situated to be turned into flats for students attending the University of Central Lancashire. The demand is outstripping supply for student accommodation with private landlords always needed. This property provides a large communal house with ground floor accessible rooms, moving away from the typical high rise student accommodation springing up around the city.

 

New Hugo Burrito Restaurant Blackburn

 

Graham Lea Architecture is helping David Wilcock bring his successful market stall to the high street in Blackburn. Hoping to build on the popularity of Hugo Burrito on Blackburn Market David asked Graham Lea Architecture to draw up plans for his new restaurant. Have a look at the Lancashire Telegraph to check out more on this story

Lancashire Telegraph More than 25 jobs to come to 2 new restaurants

 

 

Re launch of Pre-Application Planning Advice from 3rd April 2017

Following on from their decision over two years ago to stop the pre-application planning advice service Preston City Council have informed us that from 3rd April this year the service will be resumed.

This will allow anyone wishing to undertake minor developments to seek advice prior to applying for planning permission to ascertain beforehand whether their application is likely to be successful.

Minor developments cover such areas as:-

  • extensions and alterations to a house;
  • advertisements;
  • telecommunications;
  • agricultural development;
  • extensions and alterations to listed buildings;
  • 1-9 dwellings;
  • developments of less than 1,000sqm floorspace or on sites of less than 1 hectare. For example retail, commercial, industrial, leisure, education, recreation and car parking.

A planning officer of the council will consider your proposal and, with advice from relevant consultees if necessary, provide you with an indication of whether your proposal is likely to receive planning permission.

The planning officer will also advise you if further information is required to support any future planning applications that you may submit.

This service is available from other councils but is set to make a welcome return to Preston next month.

If you would like any help in preparing a pre-application request for Preston or indeed any other council then please get in touch.

Further information can be found by visiting the Preston City Council website by following the link below.

http://www.preston.gov.uk/yourservices/planning/planning-applications/application-advice/minor-development-advice/

We’re Recruiting Again.

Due to our continuing growth, we are looking for talented people to provide architectural support at our Office in Preston, Lancashire. Duties would include the preparation of Planning and Building Regulations drawings for Residential and Commercial projects.

Ideally the suitable candidate should possess:

• A minimum of 3 years (5 years would be preferable) working in an Architectural role
• Be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously and autonomously
• Be able to deal with timescales and work under pressure
• Have a good knowledge of UK Building Regulations
• Have a confident and professional manner when discussing projects with clients
• Be able to conduct site surveys
• Qualifications to degree level or equivalent

In return we would offer the chance for you to work in a professional environment as part of a new and expanding team with options available to work on either a flexible or part time basis.

The position would suit someone living local to the Preston area.

Hours and salary are negotiable.

Please attach your CV & portfolio to the application along with details of your experience and relevant references.

Planning Permission for Disabled Adaptation

Planning Permission for Disabled Adaptation

When developing a property the first questions to ask are do the works need Planning Permission and are they likely to get Planning Permission. Although some alterations to domestic homes don’t require Planning Permission and can be done under Permitted Development, there are many alterations for disabled adaptation that do.

Should a development require Planning Permission then the first step is to assess if it is likely to get Planning Permission. There are many factors that can affect whether a planning application is likely to be approved most of these relate to the effect that the development will have on the surrounding area. In addition areas in greenbelt can be particularly trick to get planning permission, as councils have strict policies to restrict over development of the countryside.

Planning Applications for Disabled Adaptation
Every Council should have a Local plan which set out on what basis they are going to determine each Planning Application. Within each council’s Local plan they should aim to provide inclusive and mixed communities. This should address housing need for people with disabilities. In addition under the Equality Act councils have obligations to not discriminate. Many councils do have policies to give preference to works for disabilities.

When put into practice a Planning Application is more likely to be approved when it is for disabled adaptations. We have have seen Planning Applications approved where many have not. Planning Applications may include for the additional: Accommodation for Carers, Hydrotherapy Pools, Accessible Kitchens, Adapted Bathrooms, ground floor accommodation.

If you have a disability and require additional accommodation, or adaptation of your property. Why not give us a call and let one of our experts guide you through the process.

We are Recruiting!

Due to our continuing growth, we are looking for talented people to provide architectural support at our Office in Preston, Lancashire on a flexible working basis. The ideal candidate will have worked in the architectural field for at least a year and be proficient in drafting complex and accurate drawings.  You will be confident in carrying out and drawing up accurate surveys for residential and commercial clients.  In return, we offer attractive rates of pay and a flexible working environment, along with the opportunity to work on some challenging and rewarding projects.

 

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send your CV, together with examples of your work, by email to graham@grahamlea.co.uk.