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About oli_lowrie

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    Established member

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  • Property investment interests
    Auction properties, vacant sites, distressed properties. Anything where there is value to be added
  • My skills
    Planning, Construction, Design, Development, Conveyancing
  • My goals
    We are looking to develop a network of contacts who can assist us in sourcing distressed/vacant properties. We can manage the design and construction works to increase their value and then put back on the market. Buy to Sell strategy
  • Interests outside property
    Art, Design, Skiing

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  1. Hi! 

    I have a house that I do not loved the looks of and have, for years, wondered what I could do to make it look less squat. Beside completely tearing off the roof and building a second story, do you have any alternative suggestions? I feel that the large gable on the right is the biggest problem as it is so sloped. Any ideas would be really helpful. Thanks!


  2. Hi Oli,

    Can you help me. I have a very big garden i.e 90f and I would like to build another house on it and would like to know if that it possible. The right of access to this house would have to go through the side of the first house. I want to know if I could get permission for this or would the neighbors object.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Jo, Sounds like a fantastic project! I hope you get the additional 2 storey extension through planning, sounds like it could be a tough one, as it will be such an increase from the original footprint. In terms of your main question "How can we make the apartments look expensive and get the 'wow' factor without spending a fortune, and how can we get the layout to work to suit 4 guests in a relaxed uncluttered area" I think the main thing here is to get the layouts right. You are spending a lot on every square meter you build, so getting it to work for you
  4. John, This is a bit of a guess, but I think it is a slow evolution from the traditional British model of the 'upstairs-downstairs' split where the functional areas were out of sight and out of mind. I think that displaying your kitchen would have been considered a bit vulgar in a society where preparation of food was not associated with the upper classes. It gives us lot something to do now- imagine if all those lovely crumbly Victorian propereties were already open plan! Oli
  5. I use these when not in London Plan areas. You will have to check it they are adopted by Birmingham (usually are) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524531/160519_Nationally_Described_Space_Standard____Final_Web_version.pdf 50m2 is a 1 bed, 37m2 is a studio. However, there is flexibility in conversions. It may be you are more likely to get consent for an HMO rather than In terms of the outbuilding- it is currently ancillary to the main building, and I don't think the Planners would accept it as a stand alone dwelling- but for Pre-App it i
  6. Haf, Thanks for the query. You are in the fortunate situation in Bham of having a free Pre-App service. https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20160/planning_applications/79/pre-application_advice/3 This is rare, so go for this route. My gut feeling is that they will be resistant to taking a family unit and making it into 4x1 beds. I also think you may struggle with minimum areas. 1 beds need to be min 51m2, so bear that in mind. I dont think the extension is neccessarily a problem, but if Bham are like lots of LAs they will want you to retain one 'family unit' (3 bed + access to
  7. PS, your PDF link did not work so I haven't seen your drawings- please note PD can only be used on the existing main house- it cannot join up with your other side extension application Have a look through this http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20151113141044/http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/100806_pdforhouseholders_technicalguidance.pdf
  8. Check the planning portal, it may be they gained planning for it. On your extension, would it be possible to bring the eaves down by using a pitched roof? See image attached where we used this technique- please note this was not a PD scheme as it was longer than 3m, but the principal might work. It sounds like you already have an Architect if you have a separate Planning Application, could you suggest this to him/her? If not give me a call on 07734355922 and I'll give you more info.
  9. Mike, This is such a tricky topic, and I spent a lot of time on a project last year trying to get this right! I don't want to give advice on this til I have had a look in more detail as it is a grey area, but you may still be able to use PD. So could you send me through some photos of the rear of the property and the post code and I will take a look at it. Also please send me the dimension of how far the ground drops by the time you are 3m from the rear of the property. FYI the 45 degree rule is only a basic way of calculating the impact on daylight. For
  10. Great, If you want a video answer, write your question on our twitter page and I'll post you a reply. https://twitter.com/ackroydassoc
  11. I'm doing a development in Central London where it is £185/m2- Adding up to hundreds of thousands. Beware to all developers!
  12. What is the construction value and how many units? ie how much repetition. It sounds like it could be a tricky little project. If you tell me the sector, the budget and the location and I have a fee scale guide website that calculates fees. I'm an Architect + Developer BTW
  13. Hi Johan, I'm an Architect/Developer (www.ackroydassociates.com). We do a lot of refurb/ extension projects for our clients, so I am happy to give advice to a hub member! I have volunteered myself for this type of thing before on the "Ask an Architect" Topic- check it out as it has some advice on it already. Send me over the particulars, any photos, plans and your ideas, and I'll give you a call to discuss what I think of it, and what your next steps should be. oliver@ackroydassociates.com If its in/ near London I'm happy to do a site visit too.
  14. Hi everyone, We are Architect/Developers based in London. We are looking for land WITHOUT planning consent that we can develop together with the current owner. We are interested in either: 1) Doing a Joint Venture with the current owner and and splitting the uplift when we package it up and sell to a housebuilder. This would require independent valuation of the land in its current state. We would do the Planning App for free at our risk, and share the uplift 50/50 with the owner. 2) Entering into an Option Agreement to purchase the land subject to gaining planning consent. We would
  15. Richard, Thanks for saying so, glad to be of service! If you have any other queries, please give me a shout. Oli
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