Archive for May, 2014

30 May


In Blog by Pete Tonks / May 30, 2014 / 0 Comments

What an absolutely fantastic way to finish the week off! We have just secured planning permission for more clients in Suffolk and this one is a real beaut!!

Its a contemporary spin on a classic render and timbered Suffolk barn for a replacement dwelling which sits facing a village green.

The job had its moments and we had to overcome the newts that ‘may or may not have been there’ Β in the various ponds and moat that surround the site and either way, we have designed the scheme with our ‘newt lover’ hat on so the little critters will be fine..

Happy days though… the clients are over the moon and quite rightly so…


This is the existing dwelling which will shortly be introduced to ‘Mr JCB’ πŸ™‚



This is the site layout showing the existing dwelling in red and the approved replacement in blue



And the approved scheme design….




28 May


In Blog by Pete Tonks / May 28, 2014 / 0 Comments

Seems only 5 minutes ago we were working with these great clients from London.

They had decided to make the move to the countryside and head back towards Suffolk where they were born.

They secured a small cottage on a great countryside plot. When i say great, i mean great!! On a very quiet road out of the village, 360 degree open countryside views, a large garden with orchard and the nearest neighbour about a mile away… happy days right? Well, yes to be fair,… it was not looking bad at all although we had a planning battle ahead of us… something i never mind πŸ˜‰

Their plans for the place were to radically extend the cottage up to more than 100% increase and add a 3-4 bay outbuilding with studio space above. We had all the local planning specialists saying it was never going to happen and we also had a knock back from the council during our pre-application work. However, we did work closely with the planning department and arrived at a solution whereby we could get the increase the clients were looking for but i just made it look a lot less.! πŸ™‚ This was achieved by breaking the extensions up into various component elements and referencing them to local vernacular styles.

I had some photos sent through recently so decided to revisit the project looking back at my drawings and i have to say i am very pleased with it. The clients absolutely love it and i am planning to get up to see them soon for some finished shots to be taken.

Hope you enjoy


This was the original ground floor….


And this the extended ground floor


This was the original first floor


And this the extended first floor


A couple of before and after images of the front and rear elevations



and some photos from the client….




21 May


In Misc by Pete Tonks / May 21, 2014 / 0 Comments

So, we are expanding here and after me and the missus and Marley the dog became 4 with the birth of our daugther, we are soon to become five with the arrival of Tonks Jnr 2 so we need some space!!

When we bought our cottage around 10 years ago it was just a shoe box. We extended in 2005, built the studio and garages in 2007 and extended again in 2009 and now we are gonna do it again… cannot wait!

‘The Brain’ will connect all of our various additions which although work ok as they are, i think a new flow will be created in our home which will work really well for us now we are a growing family.

Here is a breakdown on how we got the space…. original house in red, 2 storey rear extension in blue which received full planning approval, the outbuildings are in green and were built under Permitted Development (PD) therefore not requiring a planning application and likewise, the kitchen extension in orange was also a PD project.


And for the next chapter, we had to apply for a full application which was approved last week and it looks a little something like this..


obs3Β As viewed from the rear, ‘The Brain’ is the grey building which will feature a small mezzanine play deck for the kids and will be clad in grey metal seam cladding to reflect those found on the neighbouring farm.

My wife thinks i am a bit weird and crazy for the whole ‘brain’ thing but i kinda like that to be honest. She will love it, the kids will love it so happy days…

PJT πŸ™‚

21 May


In Misc by Pete Tonks / May 21, 2014 / 0 Comments

Nice little result today….. we got planning for our clients for a replacement dwelling in a beautiful Cambridgeshire village not too far from my studio. We like the local ones πŸ˜‰

I took the job on last year and it took around 2-3 months for the design process and then we submitted the application to South Cambs DC. The planning was always gonna be a toughie and it has taken longer than normal with the council for various reasons but we worked with them continously throughout and negotiated our position nicely to get to where we are today… a planning approval! Happy days…

So why was it a toughie? Well, the site itself is slap bang in the middle of the village Conservation Area where demolition is normally resisted. Furthermore, the plot is surrounded by Grade II listed buildings. These are some really good looking houses and cottages though and provided inspiration for my design. They have been there for hundreds of years and its a little humbling but also something that makes me very proud to think that my designed projects will be around for the next few hundred… Anyway,,.. yes, it was gonna be a toughie but we did have our very good reasons for wanting to demolish the existing dwelling.. that reason being….? It was beyond even being an ugly duckling! It was a 60’s/70’s box that was trying its damned hardest to be cool and modernist but failing miserably on pretty much every front… how did it even get built in the first place was my initial thought but its well documented that residential architecture went off on its own cosmic path during the 60’s and 70’s and it just “kinda happened that way,.. man” So here is the existing…



And here is the approved design in blue compared to the existing footprint in red so we have got a decent increase too.


And a section through the dwelling just to check it all works.


And the approved design which is clasically Cambridgeshire village. Everything i love. Its simple but quirky and has that immediate Cambridgeshire vernacular feel.


So job done on this one…. great site, great clients and a planning approval. They can go off and do the fun bit now…