All posts tagged as full build

24 Sep


In Misc by Pete Tonks / September 24, 2014 / 0 Comments









I have been approached by our good friends at True North to see if I have any clients past, present or future who would like to be involved with series 3 which is currently in the planning stage.

The current series 2 started a couple of weeks ago and is hosted by the thoroughly decent Charlie Luxton.

A project i designed in Hertfordshire was the first programme of series 1 and i also have some clients down in Surrey who are being filmed at the moment.

If you would like to be featured pleased do let me know and i will have a chat with True North and make the necessary introductions. If you would like a completed project featured as the inspiration house, this would typically be fully completed, landscaped etc. If you would like your whole build project to be featured then i can make the necessary introductions at the very earliest stage possible even if you have only just secured your plot. From speaking to my other clients who have been featured, they did say its a great catalog and memento of their probably once in a lifetime project.



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 😉

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…





24 Apr


In Blog,Misc by Pete Tonks / April 24, 2014 / 0 Comments

So,.. I had to squeeze a little job in today for some clients we met up at the recent Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the NEC.

They have recently secured planning permission for a new build in Essex. Nothing to do with me up until I met them at the show with Tim Crump and Dave Grey of Oakwrights.

Whilst the clients had got planning, they were not sure about the design and felt that something was missing. We had a good chat about things at the show and i directed them to various areas which needed adjustment or further exploration was needed as to find exactly what was missing.














I have basically kept the profile and shape of the building as is approved so as to avoid the need to go back to planning but have then referenced some of the local Essex vernacular. The result, in my opinion, is so much better and and has a really cool Essex country house feel to it…. I love it anyway,… lets see what my clients say later.


13 Dec


In Blog by Pete Tonks / December 13, 2013 / 0 Comments

Had a great response in today from St Edmunsbury council in Suffolk for a barn style replacement dwelling project which sits on a lovely village green.


When we did the preapp, i advised my clients to get proper surveys done on the existing dwelling so we can produce architectural comparison drawings of old versus new but also things like bats, trees, on the ground ecology etc, all of which paid off as the preapp response acknowledges the level of detail we had put in and therefore gives the whole project credibility from day one.


In overall summary, the preapp response indicates the councils support in principle which means we can proceed to the next phase which is the full planning application.

Nice little result for a Friday!


14 May


In Blog,Design,Oakwrights,Self Build,Timber Frame by Pete Tonks / May 14, 2012 / 0 Comments

I have a really great update from some of my clients in Buckinghamshire. This is a house i designed back in 2009 and it is now nearing completion and looks absolutely stunning!
Front Elevation 

My Planning Drawings

Front Driveway Approach

Rear Garden View

Rear Elevation

 This has been another joint venture with my good friends at T J Crump Oakwrights Ltd and you can see from the photos that these particular clients really knew what they wanted to achieve. 

The mix of materials is perfect for this beautiful rural plot and also the attention to detail is spot on. They wanted to build a house with instant character and they most certainly have pulled it off!

As is often the case with the PJT Design/Oakwrights partnership, we love to produce houses based on tradition whilst at the same time, introducing contemporary elements too.

Congratulations June and Geoff from myself and all at Oakwrights!

05 Apr


In Blog,Design,Oak Frame,Oakwrights,Planning by Pete Tonks / April 5, 2012 / 0 Comments

What a result this one has been…..! but also, what a journey.

I have been working with these clients for around a year now but they have been attempting to get planning on land within their garden for a number of years and unfortunately for them, this has been unsuccesful.

The characteristics of the plot and their project are probably the most difficult we encounter. The land is within the curtilage of their Grade II listed house, set within the village Conservation Area and furthermore, the land is designated as PVAA (protected village amenity area), ie. you cant build on it!

So, as you can imagine, the prospect of designing this scheme and obtaining planning permission would be pretty much mission impossible…. well, as of tonight, we beat the system and planning was in fact approved with no amendments!

There is a massive back story to this project and any amount of blogging would barely scratch the surface but in a nutshell, we approached this scheme in our sometimes unorthodox approach and went for it on behalf of our clients and to say they are pleased is a massive understatement.

If you have similarly difficult parameters to your scheme, get in touch to see how we can help you

05 Apr

OAKWRIGHTS BY DESIGN (you need to read this!)

In Blog,Design,Oak Frame,Oakwrights,Planning,Self Build by Pete Tonks / April 5, 2012 / 0 Comments
With the NEC Homebuilding and Renovating Show now behind us, we can reflect on the launch of Oakwrights by Design amongst other things….

You would be amazed at the number of people who want to create an individual oak framed house but then look to commission an architect or designer who have no experience in this complex form of construction. I have been working with the Oakwrights team since 2003/2004 and of course have since done many projects between us but even ourselves are constantly learning how rewarding these structures can be, although saying that, Oakwrights are absolutely at the top of their game right now and are able to deliver something rather special.

This combined knowledge sees the release of Oakwrights by Design which introduces formally the team behind the creation of what i feel to be some of the best houses out there right now. These are Darren Blackwell, John Williams and myself. All three of us work closely with the whole team at Oakwrights and undertake concept, design and planning together with building regulations, project management and full build solutions.

Check out the portfolios on the Oakwrights website and remember, you can approach us at any stage of your project including site appraisals, feasibilities etc. We find that projects that have involved us from inception result in much better designs and simpler build processes and therefore are more cost effective.

A “no-brainer” really 🙂

21 Mar


In Blog,Design,Oakwrights,Planning,Self Build by Pete Tonks / March 21, 2012 / 0 Comments

I have been out and about in Cambridgeshire today and dropped in on some lovely clients in a village near Royston.

This is the previous house that was demolished

This is the replacement dwelling whereby we undertook the full design and planning process together with frame supply and erection by T J Crump Oakwrights and is now looking absolutely fantastic….!
The clients have made a great job of it and have used excellent materials.
Well done Tony and Sheila….!
29 Jun


In Blog,Design,Oak Frame,Oakwrights,Planning by Pete Tonks / June 29, 2011 / 0 Comments

New photos from a house i designed a few years ago…. the clients are doing pretty much all of the work themselves which is amazing but of course is taking a little longer than normal!… fair play to them though and they are making a great job of it.

Another joint project with the Oakwrights team from Hereford.


16 Jun


In Blog,Design,Oak Frame,Oakwrights,Planning by Pete Tonks / June 16, 2011 / 0 Comments

Just confirmed!….. really exciting news is that we will be offering full build and project management services by the end of 2011..

This is a really exciting evolvement of the business and increases our service portfolio to offer a complete package from concept, feasibility and planning stage and through building regulations and ultimately in assisting our clients in the construction of their new homes.

Still a few things to sort out but i will keep you updated with progress throughout the coming months.