Two Magic Words – Permission Granted!

Two Magic Words – Permission Granted!

Two Magic Words – Permission Granted!

Those powerful words…‘Prior Notification is required and is Granted’ have now become that little bit easier to achieve.

The recent announcement of ‘General Permitted Development Order’ (GPDO) new rules for permitted development has been hugely significant for some of our clients who have been stuck in a planning permission struggle with the local council.

The new rules permit the construction of up to two additional storeys to an existing two-storey dwelling or one additional storey, where the dwelling consists of one storey. 

Our first project to benefit under this new directive is a beautiful home in Ongar.  

Our client wanted to add an additional storey to their existing property to accommodate growing family needs and more living space.

After going through the original process and being denied planning permission, the introduction of the new rules has now fast tracked the prior approval and allowed their building work to be carried out without an official planning application.   

In theory, this all sounds simple but there are still some restrictions that need to be adhered to. Upwards extensions need to meet a tight criteria, considering height, natural light, neighbour privacy, and the desired construction method.

A permitted development application must be accompanied by scaled architectural drawings, outlining the property, and proposed development. Our team of knowledgeable Architects helped our client understand the PD rules and how to make them work.  We supplied technical and creative drawings to support the proposal that was then ‘Granted’ in record time. Construction is now underway, and we are really excited to see the finished project.

Please contact us to discuss the vision for your project and our highly skilled team will help you understand how to truly make the most of the new rules and your home.

For more information: 

A message from MP Architects LLP.

Awe change our business set-up in response to another national lockdown, we want to reassure you that the health and safety of our staff and clients remains our top priority. 

Construction is permitted to continue and our team will strive to provide our clients with the best design and customer service they deserve. We wil ensure that video conference or conference calls are readily available to keep your build projects moving forward as quickly as possible.

Where on-site visits are necessary our staff will always wear a face covering and adhere to sanitisingand physical distancing rules, by keeping 2 metresapart. 

We are here to support you and are committed to working safely and responsibly with new and existing clients throughout the pandemic and beyond.  

Please contact us if you have any queries.

Stay healthy.

MP Architects LLP

MP Architects LLP, Great Bansons, Bansons Lane, Ongar, CM5 9AR

01277 364979

2021 and COVID-19 The Motivators for a Career Change.

An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures and works on their own terms and at their own pace. 


The coronavirus pandemic, living in lockdown, and tackling the evergrowing tier system has forced all of us to re-evaluate our lives and to think of new ways of working. 

According to Companies House growth formation figures in June, an extra 85,000 new businesses were created in 2020 as COVID prompts some of us to realise our dreams of setting up on our own. 

Indeed, economic downturns are always accompanied by a rise of entrepreneurs and with two-thirds of UK workers considering a career change, some are even taking the plunge and starting up a new business from home. 

Business planning and budgeting are paramount for anyone considering going it alone, however, it is also just as important to create the right environment to kick off your venture and take your business to the next level. 

Creating a separate office to launch your new business provides a professional and productive workspace whilst ensuring privacy and less opportunity to be distracted. 

A light and airy garden office, stylish garage conversion or beautiful home extension establishes a clear distinction between home and work life as well as providing the perfect professional space to invite investors, colleagues or clients to. 

MP Architects can support you with identifying the best position to situate your home office for the perfect professional working environment. 

Where necessary we will obtain quick and simple planning permission if your outbuilding falls outside the boundaries of permitted development. 

If you have decided to create a business from home, we are here to help you turn small steps into big dreams and beyond by designing the perfect workspace for 2021’s entrepreneurs! 

Stay safe.

Martyn Pattie











2020…. a year with a twist, to say the least!

2020…. a year with a twist, to say the least!

History in the making, patience, and resilience plus many other lessons have been learnt since the pandemic occurred in March.

I would like to begin by saying, I am incredibly proud of my team who have worked tirelessly and safely to keep our practice running efficiently and keeping all build projects moving at great pace during the unprecedented times of 2020.  

Throughout the year we have seen an incredible range of exciting projects, working with some of the ‘best in the business’ within the planning, development, and construction sectors.  

The practice has enjoyed a couple of significant staff appointments and an exceptionally well-deserved promotion for a key member of our team.   

We continue to be nominated for some incredibly prestigious architectural awards and in November, we celebrated a market-leading accolade win for ‘Barn Conversions in Essex”.  

MP Architects LLP would like to express our sincere thanks for the loyalty and goodwill of our customers, friends, suppliers, and acquaintances in 2020.  We are all excited by the opportunities within the local community that lie ahead for us in 2021. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, whatever tier you find yourself in and may your holiday season be filled with laughter, joy, and peace.   

Wishing you happiness and well-being for a prosperous New Year.  

Best wishes and stay safe.

Martyn Pattie 

Our Christmas Opening Hours 

Thursday 24th December – Closing at 12.00 pm

Friday 25th December – Office Closed

Monday 28th December – Office Closed

Tuesday 29th December – Office Closed 

Wednesday 30th December – Office Closed 

Thursday 31st December – Office Closed 

Friday 1st January – Office Closed

Office re-opening on Monday 4 January 2021

Emerging from Lockdown to Tier 2

COVID-Secure Essex Architects

As Essex emerges from lockdown and enters the restrictions of Tier 2, we find ourselves with a new set of rules to navigate. 

Short of a Christmas miracle, it seems that we will be working within the new tier 2 restrictions for the near future…..So, whilst hanging up the Christmas decorations and keeping our festive spirits high, we want you to know that we are just as committed to working safely with you on your build project throughout the festive season and beyond.  

We have robust measures in place to allow our team to work safely and diligently ‘on-site’ and ‘off-site’ following the Governments ‘Hands, Face, Space’ ethos. All of our clients have access to virtual meetings and our superb video conferencing options. When on-site, we will always wear a face covering, adhere to sanitising and the physical distancing rules, by keeping 2 metres apart.  

We hope you will find it reassuring to know there are still many ways we can work together effectively and efficiently to move your project forward in a COVID-secure environment throughout the Christmas holiday period and beyond.  

Happy Advent to you all. Stay healthy. 

Martyn Pattie 

You Are What You Breathe – MVHR Systems

Shining the spotlight on the ‘Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery Systems’ For New Build Homes

In recent months client requests for installing MVHR systems are becoming increasingly popular. Let’s face it, when building a new home, who wouldn’t want to include a product that improves indoor air quality, reduces energy bills, preserves the fabric of the building and supports the net-zero movement? 

Nowadays, due to strict standards for insulation and airtightness, new homes and renovated dwellings are incredibly energy efficient, however these measures can affect ventilation and have a negative impact on the home air quality.  

Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery is a whole-house ventilation system that both extracts and supplies fresh filtered, temperature-controlled air throughout the property. It offers a balanced low energy ventilation solution for new build dwellings and re-uses up to 95% of the heat that would otherwise have been lost.  

In layman’s terms, the MVHR uses a quiet fan that draws the stale air out and pumps fresh air in throughout the property and via a grid of concealed pipes. 

MVHR systems are a clever solution to provide controlled ventilation of filtered air that has an abundance of benefits, especially for allergy prevention. 

By including an MVHR in your build project, you can guarantee the perfect indoor temperature, great quality air flow as opposed to weather dictating ventilation, and the elimination of bad odours, damp, mould, and fungus. 

When budgeting for your new home project, the inclusion of an MVHR method can be seen as quite an investment however, the small amount of energy used by the system to operate compared to conventional heating and air conditioning solutions can guarantee substantial savings on heating costs and support the reduction of your CO2 footprint, helping towards more sustainable living.  

COVID Statement

As we respond and adapt to a second national lockdown we wanted to take a moment to reassure you that our team will continue to provide our clients with the best design and customer service they deserve and that health of our staff and clients remains paramount. 

We will encourage, where possible for staff and clients to hold video conferences or conference calls.  

Appointments and on-site surveys that have been booked will continue to go ahead, and in these circumstances our staff will always wear a face covering and adhere to sanitising and physical distancing rules, by keeping 2 metres apart. 

We request that anyone we have met in the last 14 days who thinks they are at risk of contracting coronavirus to call us immediately so we can advise the staff concerned.  We also ask that you inform us if you are feeling unwell prior to our visit in order to be rearranged. 

We look forward to working safely and responsibly with new and existing clients safely and effectively in a COVID-secure environment throughout the pandemic and beyond.  

Stay healthy 

Martyn Pattie 

MP Architects wins top award for Bringing Essex Barns Back to Life.

MP Architects LLP have won the BUILD 2020 Architecture Award – Best Contemporary Barn Conversions – Essex  

This annual awards cornerstone, which is in its 5th year, highlights the extraordinary work and expertise of Architects across the globe.  

MP Architects LLP were awarded this impressive accolade by a panel of industry leaders in recognition of our expertise and skill that strikes the perfect balance of historic fabric with modern tastes when designing and transforming unused agricultural buildings into beautiful Essex homes, Offices and Commercial buildings. 

Seen as a clear front runner in this category for our innovative yet practical design and commitment to the use of environmentally-friendly reclaimed building materials wherever possible, we were recognised for undoubtedly embodying the very heart of architecture with a desire to push boundaries and stay ahead of the curve. 

Click here to see the Build official announcement.

Discussing the success of these deserving winners, Awards Coordinator Kaven Cooper praised the programme’s winners: “The Architecture Awards highlight only those who have proven themselves as paragons in the sector. I am proud to recognise them and wish them the best of luck for the future.” 

Martyn Pattie – BA Arch (Oxford), Dip Arch (Oxford), RIBA, ARB commented,  “We are incredibly proud to receive this award. As specialists in the Barn arena, we are delighted to be recognised for our long-standing history of working with some incredibly rewarding barn conversions in Essex.  My team of highly skilled RIBA Accredited Chartered Architects prides themselves on supporting barn owners to achieve great designs for seamless flow and wonderful living spaces that they desire from a barn conversion along with rapid planning permission. We look forward to continuing to build on our success of this award with some very exciting projects in the pipeline” 

If you own or are considering buying a redundant agricultural building to convert into a home, workshop, or office space, let us share our award-winning knowledge and design expertise with you. 

Open with Confidence and COVID Secure

Can I continue to work with MP Architects on my build project during the tier 2 & 3 lockdown?

In response to the on-going pandemic, we wanted to help you understand how you can continue to work with us on your build project. 

After months of uncertainty from the impact of COVID-19 and the continuous changing of rules and regulations, we have taken some practical steps to ensure our Architectural planning and design service can continue safely and effectively. 

As always, we are committed to providing excellent Architectural excellence with the Health and Safety of our staff and customers being paramount. 

We are frequently reviewing the Public Health England guidelines and have put robust measures in place to allow our team to work safely and diligently following the Governments ‘Hands, Face, Space’ ethos. 

Currently, there is no limit to the group size when you are meeting or gathering for work purposes, however, all of our clients have the access to virtual meetings and our superb video conferencing options.  

Where it is necessary to be on-site, we will always wear a face covering and adhere to sanitising and physical distancing rules, by keeping 2 metres apart. 

As much as we know ‘business as normal’ is not a phrase we will be using any time soon, it is reassuring for you to know that even in the event of a tier 3 lockdown there are still many ways we can continue to work together to move your project forward. 

We look forward to working with new and existing clients safely and effectively in a COVID-secure environment throughout the pandemic and beyond. 

The Green Homes Grant

The Gift of a Greener Home

Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the ‘Green Homes Grant’ has been applauded by Homeowners, Landlords and the Home Improvements Industry, alike.

This landmark grant aims to create better environmentally efficient homes, reduce the UK carbon footprint, lower energy bills, and boost the economy of the home improvements industry!

Energy-saving measures such as insulating your home are the key focus of the scheme. So if poor insulation has you reaching for an extra duvet during the winter months, it is quite probable that you could be eligible for the grant.

The ‘Green Homes Grant’ wants to support the on-going efforts to become a net-zero nation by helping homeowners upgrade their properties with energy-saving features, and the good news is mostly all Homeowners and Landlords will be eligible.

Understanding the Grant

In most cases, a voucher of up to £5,000 will be rewarded, whilst those on lower incomes can be eligible for up to £10,000. For those who aren’t categorised under a lower income, the vouchers will be worth up to a maximum of £5,000 but may only cover 2/3 of the total cost.

You must select one or more of the below primary measures under the scheme.

Primary measures

•          Air or ground source heat pumps

•          Solar thermal

•          Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall, loft, flat roof, room in room, or roof insulation

To qualify for a secondary measure, you need to have one of the primary measures carried out and the cost of the secondary measures must not exceed that of the primary measure(s).

Secondary measures

•          Upgrading doors to energy-efficient alternatives (replacement of doors fitted before 2002)

•          Draught proofing

•          Double glazing, triple glazing, and secondary glazing

•          Hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls, as well as thermostatic radiator valves, smart heating controls, or zone controls

This means that, if your application meets the above criteria, you are authorised to use the vouchers against the cost of:

•          Double glazed windows

•          Triple glazed windows

•          Secondary glazing (helpful if in a conservation area where rules don’t permit adjustments to the look and feel of a property)

•          Energy efficient doors

Time to Act

Applications for the ‘Green Homes Grant’ Scheme open at the end of September and are due to end in March 2021.  If you think you may be eligible for a claim as part of your next home renovation plan, you can apply via the Simple Energy Advice website.

You need to include a quote from a local approved installer, listed on the SEA website and once the application is approved a voucher will be issued to you.

It’s not often you get given a financial helping hand to support some much-needed home renovations, so make the most of it and register your application.

For more information on how your ‘Green Home Grant’ can supplement your next home development project or for advice on local Trades that are supporting the scheme, please contact our team of expert RIBA accredited Architects.