Testimonial – Dr Rachel O’Hara

It’s been a steep learning curve. Nine months after buying my rather dilapidated Grade 2 listed cottage, I was no closer to gaining the consents I needed to carry out the necessary works, the application wasn’t even really what I wanted (or needed), I had the prospect of an enforcement order hanging over me and I was tired of constantly pushing my agent to try and keep things moving. A neighbour recommended Kim and, following an initial rather intense exchange of phone calls and e-mails, I felt confident that she had the knowledge, drive and focus to get my project back on course.

It was a completely different experience. Communication was excellent with a consistently fast response time. The application needed a complete overhaul and, this time, my requirements and ideas were taken on board. The advice I received was much clearer and more direct and I soon came to trust her opinion on deciding which proposals were realistic and achievable and which should be shelved. Her experience was absolutely invaluable in navigating the convoluted and often incomprehensible system of listed building and planning consents and her ongoing dialogue with the Council officers was remarkably productive. Crucially, she was adept at determining when to hold her ground and when to seek compromise. Needles to say, six months on I have the consents I need and work is about to begin. 

What we’re up to this month – July

July will be another busy month for us – with new appointments for North Cadbury Neighbourhood Plan, two listed buildings, one in Bridport, the other in Upottery, a project in each of the three counties in which we operate.  The most interesting development is that RIBA Part I student Helena Jenkinson is joining us as a summer intern from the University of the West of England.  She is going to have hands-on experience of how we work, seeing designs evolve and repairs being implemented on site.

It is such a privilege to be selected for the summer internship with Angel Architecture. I am really looking forward to working alongside Kim and experiencing all aspects of her specialist business. 

As Conservation has been such a strong interest of mine, this opportunity is invaluable and I am very eager to learn about the life of an architect from Kim first-hand. I cannot wait for the internship to begin and to join the team for the summer.

I’ve written a piece with Lloyd & White listing five tips for maintenance of your listed heritage home this season. You can read the article here.

What we’re up to this month – June

Little Pacehayne
Little Pacehayne, Shute, from the public highway 

Angel Architecture obtained planning permission for this unlisted building in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for the construction of a single storey kitchen extension and canopy from the front entrance to the north west facing terrace. The works are due to be carried out by Charmouth based Crosby Builders this summer. Angel Architecture have been retained to submit an application for Building Regulations approval. The building works will be project managed by the owners. 

Vis-a-vis the lockdown scenario from which we are gradually emerging. During this time, owners of listed buildings can carry out certain works without listed building consent:

  • ‘Like for like’ replacement – which counts as a repair not an alteration – the distinction is critical and this is where professional advice is key,
  • Regular routine maintenance, clearing downpipes and gutters of blockages caused by overhanging trees and keeping vegetation away from the perimeter of buildings, allowing the building to breathe,
  • Inspection of chimney abutments, cement fillets and any slipped or missing tiles or slates, holes in thatch roofs and cracks in render,
  • Decorations – painting of joinery and treating of hardwood is, in my view, ongoing maintenance, as is lime washing and distemper on lime render and plaster,
  • Ensuring electrical, gas and oil services are safe and certified, including having any flues swept regularly.

For any questions and clarification on any of these points, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me.