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2017 In Review

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. 2017, let’s be honest was a political mess but despite the uncertainty of the market and the economy, it was a great year here at Unit One Architects, one that was filled with us gaining lots of planning permissions for our clients, a brand refresh, lots of great events, and even more content. In fact, over the past 12 months, we have published the most blog posts to date and tried to keep our fans (for lack of a better word!) updated with what we’ve been up to through our social platforms. Suffice it to say that we’ve been staying very busy as we try to keep you infotained…as well as architect our hearts out!

To celebrate the New Year and to kick start off the blogging for 2018, we are going to take a walk back down memory lane and look back on all our positive achievements of 2017. So, without further ado, here’s some of the highlights for Unit One Architects:


Well, the biggest achievement of last year was actually 10 years of Unit One! We kept the celebrations pretty low key (loads of pints down the ol’ pub) and what an amazing feeling it was to reach that milestone (and we felt that feeling in abundance the next day…). I heard somewhere that 96% of businesses fail in the first ten years which makes this achievement even more momentous as we are the lucky few that made it into the 4%! Here were a few words from the bossman to commemorate a decade of being in the biz:

“Wow. Ten years. How time has flown and what a tough, rewarding, challenging and interesting ride it has been and continues to be.

In this time we have; developed out betting offices, scrap yards, worked on Oast houses, listed nursing homes & blocks of new build flats, completed concept designs for new build churches, ski lodges, French rural retreats, new school blocks, created super modern (grand design) homes, gained hundreds of planning permissions and delivered many completed projects on site.

Through all the ups and downs and there has been plenty of both, we have pushed forward and found new ways to reinvent ourselves in order to stay in business and to learn new skills for our clients. We look forward to the next ten years with energy & optimism and I can’t wait to see what can be achieved with all of our project partners.”


What a swell guy he is!


We were incredibly honoured to have won a commission to work with the Sanctuary Group to deliver a series of infill projects in a key North London borough. The infill projects concentrate on creating new housing of exemplar design in the gaps and spaces between housing estate blocks and on underused brownfield land. This partnership signified a huge step up for the business in terms of our growth and as we continue to foster a great relationship with Sanctuary and the council, we hope to strengthen our position as a contender in this market for back-land and infill development. With lady luck on our side, we hope to have these projects through planning and on site by the end of the year. Watch this space. If you want to know more about our infill projects then please see our project portfolio here. And if you’re interested in how infill development could alleviate London’s Housing shortage than please look at our blog post here.


We won a planning permission for our client to erect 4 large detached residential dwellings in the Green Belt and Area of Outstanding Beauty (AOB) on a site that contains a functional riding school. The new houses were generously designed internally to suit a lifestyle which is more desirable in this modern age including open plan dining/kitchen/living area (great spaces for entertaining guests) along with a snug and study and five bedrooms on the first floor. Externally, we carefully designed the dwellings to reflect the character of the local area and the planners agreed that the scheme represented a considerable improvement on the existing riding school, which is in a dilapidated state.

Riding schools are considered ‘brownfield land’ even if they are in the Green Belt, so there is certainly a good opportunity here to significantly increase land value by achieving a change of use on these plots. Please ask Unit One Architects for more information on changes of use if you have ambitions to provide housing in a rural setting.


Anyone remember the Stereo MCs? The British hip hop/electronic dance group formed in 1985 who had numerous hits, such as “Connected”, “Step It Up” and “Creation”? If you do then you’ll know their recording studio was based in the up and coming town of Brixton. Yes, they knew what was cool even before we did! Our client acquired their former studios and approached us about the possibility of conversion into resi at ground floor and basement. As luck would have it (we really did charm lady luck last year!) a new permitted development right came into effect in October 2017 which allows the owners of light industry premises, such as printers, music studios, or tailors (Planning Use Class B1C) to be converted into residential should they wish to. The planning use class system and permitted development rights allow the change of use of buildings without the need for planning permission in a number of circumstances. Happy days! The catch? The PD right is only temporary and will expire in October 2020. Any new homes created during this three year period will be able to continue that use and be reclassified to C3 Residential, permanently. For more information on this please see our blog post here. And of course, feel free to contact us if you have a project that might qualify.

We are very much looking forward to what 2018 holds for us, hopefully more projects, more clients and more good times with the team! A big shout out and thank you to our existing clients for your continuous support and recommendations. We absolutely couldn’t have gotten this far if it wasn’t for your loyalty and faith in us so thanks again! Happy 2018 everyone! Wishing you all a fantastic year full of opportunity and success!

– The Team at Unit One Architects…

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