Our Work: Parc-Y-Dderwyn Pontardawe

Our Work: Parc-Y-Dderwyn Pontardawe

We are helping families to make the most of their space

New build properties are highly desirable to first time buyers and busy families wanting a turn-key service. The lure of brand new appliances, the smell of freshly laid carpet and living among others who’ve chosen to live on the new, sought-after development are the reasons why it’s so tempting to purchase off-plan.

Many new homes are designed with two over-riding factors: what developers must adhere to and what they can get away with, while being able to effectively market their properties to a wide audience. In most cases, developers must provide enough parking space, the amount of which depends on the size of the property. Adding a garage to the design is often a method of crunching costs and improving profits, sold to prospective buyers as an added storage solution to the property (after all, who parks their car in the garage?).

After three or so years of living in one of these properties we realise that the term ‘garage’ no longer fits the description of the storage room it’s become and we begin to wonder, “what else could I do with this space?”. Often, the area is similar to the property’s lounge/diner, providing scope for a range of uses. But before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s the catch: Local Authorities often place conditions on Planning Permission for new developments which restrict new owners from developing their homes. The common misconception is that this is done to keep the area looking desirable for as long as possible, but in the case of utilising an internal garage as living space it comes down to highway safety. While you may not keep a vehicle in the garage, it’s still a designated parking space as far as the Local Authority are concerned, and most Councils will want to see a new parking space on the plot before any internal alterations begin.

One of our most recent clients was faced with this obstacle. With a growing family and 2 existing off-road parking spaces, the garage was simply wasted space. To convert the space into a new living area, Planning Permission had to first be granted by the Local Authority with a scheme for replacement parking. While our client doesn’t own three vehicles, the condition set by the Council states:

“No garage shall be converted to residential use unless a scheme for replacement parking has been submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall be implemented prior to commencement of any conversion works and shall provide for one additional car parking space for each space lost by any garage conversion.”

Working with the Local Authority, we researched what was required to satisfy this condition including location and block plans, existing and proposed elevations, existing and proposed vehicle parking plans and proposed materials with options on the finishes and styles.

Planning was granted in May 2020 and, as part of our highly personalised and comprehensive service, we continue to work with our client to employ a quality contractor from our framework of approved suppliers.

Are you a resident of Parc-Y-Dderwyn? We can help you to realise the true potential of your new home. Get in touch on the link below and let’s work together.

Media: Pennant Homes, Starki, Neath & Port Talbot County Borough Council

Text: Wez Morgan

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