One of the reasons that Nick and I like
This week Colin and I had occasion to have a conversation with Michael Collins who is the Conservation Officer at Babergh . As you can imagine he, and his team, are very busy keeping up with planning applications related to conservation areas and alterations to listed buildings. Despite a heavy work load he is a very pleasant and helpful sort of person and he stressed to us the importance of early consultation with the planning department if one wants to make changes to properties that fall into his domain. It isn’t just buildings that are listed, or properties that fall into conservation areas that need special consideration. If your home is close to a listed building and alterations or building works might have an impact on this you also need to take special care to stay within planning guidelines. Failure to take time to find out what is possible can lead to frustration as applications are refused and money is wasted.
Babergh Web site, www.babergh.gov.uk is a good place to start to research this topic From the Home page, follow the links ‘Planning and Building Control – Planning information – Supplementary advice’, and you will find articles that give information on listed buildings and conservation areas.
In addition to discussing your plans with the Planning Department, it is a good idea to take care in choosing an architect. There are a number of architects in and around the county who specialise in working on old and listed buildings, and they have a good idea of what is and isn’t possible. While not able to make recommendations Babergh can supply a list of architects, and another place you could try for recommendations is the Suffolk Preservation Society in Lavenham. If you own a timber framed building and want to know more about it you also might like to get in touch with the Timber Frame Group, run by Paula and Barry Harber. Here you can learn a great deal about how to make sure that your house gets the loving care and attention it deserves, and members of the group have a lot of experience in negotiating the planning rules for buildings of this type.
Please e mail me if you want information about how to reach any of the organisations mentioned above.