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Architects in Fulham

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, Fulham lies in the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in West London. The area sits between Hammersmith and Kensington. Charing Cross lies a few miles to the southwest – with Chelsea nestled on its northern border and Battersea on the opposite side of the river.

MATA Architects is a RIBA chartered architecture practice based in Westbourne Green, just a few miles north of Fulham. We have extensive experience in residential and interior design and a proven track record working on sensitive sites, including conservation areas and listed buildings in and around Fulham.

We help homeowners and businesses transform their properties with creative design alongside careful risk management, avoiding the common pitfalls of construction to deliver life-enhancing architecture.

Every project is built around you for the way you live. Our process is logical and transparent, involving you at every stage to help shape your space into a true reflection of your lifestyle and values and an expression of our unique process of collaboration with you.

If you’re looking for a Fulham architect, book a call to discuss your home extension project and we’ll guide you on what’s possible.

Planning Applications in Fulham

We can help you understand more about how planning permissions are processed and what to do after submitting your planning application. Further advice on planning permissions in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham is available here.

How to get planning permission in a conservation area in Fulham

In the UK, planning permission is the formal permission from a local authority for the alteration or erection of buildings. It can be granted, based on certain conditions being met, or refused.

Conservation areas exist to protect the special architectural and historic interest of an area. Planning applications are considered in regards to conservation policies as local authorities must take into account the need to preserve or enhance the area when deciding whether to grant planning permission.

Applying for planning permission in a Conservation Area (CA) requires more detailed supporting information than an equivalent application outside of a CA.

A robust and carefully considered proposal that demonstrates an awareness and response to local policy and design guidance will stand a much greater chance of success.

The Hammersmith & Fulham Conservation Area audits and planning guides are available here. These guides are a material consideration at the planning stage and provide some direction on what is and isn’t possible in terms of design alterations.

There are 44 designated conservation areas in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham that cover half of the local authority area (there are a further two conservation areas in the north of the borough within the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) area which is a new local planning authority established by the Mayor of London).

Hammersmith & Fulham conservation areas include St. Peter’s Square, Parson’s Green, Barclay Road, Hammersmith Broadway, Shepherd’s Bush, Central Fulham and Putney Bridge, etc.

Check if your property is located within a conservation area on the local authority interactive map.

Do I need planning permission for an extension?

It is important to distinguish between an extension that necessitates a detailed planning application and one that falls under Permitted Development (PD).

If your planned works fall under the former category you do not need explicit permission from the local authority and a planning application will not be necessary.

In this case though, we would recommend that a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development (CLOPUD) is sought from the local authority in order to create a formal record of the works and their legitimacy.

Read our guide on further planning & regulations and Article 4 directions.

How to make a planning application in Fulham

It is your responsibility to decide whether or not planning permission is required and submit an application where relevant. 

Information on online planning applications, the documents you will need, validation checklists and fees for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham are available here.

Need expert advice on planning permission? With a proven track record and a 100% success rate at planning, let us navigate the planning process for you.

As experts in the field, we know how to manage risk and identify opportunities that pave the way to a successful planning application. Find out more.

How long does a planning decision take?

Applications usually take between six to eight weeks, but this could be longer depending on the complexity of the proposed project.

Read our more in-depth guide on how long it takes to be granted planning permission.

What happens after a planning decision is made?

Provided that no complications arise while reviewing your application, your local authority will email/post a decision notice to you.

If applying online, you can check the status of your application through the council’s planning database search, or wait until you or your agent receive the decision by post. More info here.

How long does planning permission last?

By law, you usually have three years from the time of approval to implement planning permission and begin development. If you haven’t started any planned works within the set timeframe, your application will be considered ‘expired’. At this point, the planning permission is no longer valid and you will likely need to reapply.

Read our full guide on planning permission expiry here.

What can I do if my planning application is refused?

If your planning application is rejected or you are not satisfied with the conditions of your planning permission, you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

The appeal will be considered by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. While most appeals are handled in writing, some are decided by a hearing before an inspector and some after a public inquiry.

You can search for appeals in the LBHF planning database.

What are the most common reasons for invalid planning applications?

1) No Ordnance Survey Map (OS Map)

2) Incorrect or no fee

3) Failure to send an appropriate flood risk assessment

4) Failure to send an appropriate design and access statement

5) Failure to send a construction methods statement for basement and/or light well excavation

Find out more.

Are there fees for submitting planning applications in Fulham?

The local authority fee for a Householder planning application is £206.

Fees are determined by local authorities on assessment of a planning application and the scale and nature of your proposed development.

You’ll also need to allow for the fees of an architect, other consultants and specialist surveys. Read more about the costs involved here.

A downloadable guide on fees for planning applications is available here. There is also a free-to-use planning fee calculator.

How to get listed building consent in Fulham

Applying for listed building consent requires yet more detailed supporting information than an equivalent application for a non-listed building.

To increase the chances of a successful application, rigorous research and documentation of the property’s historical significance is required from the outset and this would form a Heritage Statement in support of the application.

In developing our design proposals for a listed building, we will identify and catalogue every aspect of the scheme that impacts on the building. Some aspects will have a positive impact on the historic nature of the property (such as reinstating lost or damaged historic features) whilst others will be deemed to have a negative impact (such as erosion of the original cellular plan form by opening up spaces).

This catalogue of positive and negative impacts forms the backbone of a Heritage Impact Assessment that will also support the application for planning & listed building consent.

Ultimately, this is a fine tuned balancing act and the aim of the game is to demonstrate that, whilst there may be some negative impacts, these are outweighed by more positive ones so that on balance the scheme can be viewed as positive.

We will often work with specialist heritage consultants to identify opportunities and constraints and develop proposals that balance and respond to these.

There are almost 500 listed buildings in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Search the Historic England listed register to find listed buildings near you.

Learn more about our listed building consent services here.

Where can I see examples of similar planning applications in Fulham?

To search for planning applications submitted in your area, visit LBHF’s planning register here.

We begin every project with a ‘Project Discovery’ stage – an architectural feasibility service. We research planning history and precedent in the local area, coupled with relevant local planning policy and design guides to identify constraints and opportunities.

We also provide you with the tools you need to plan and embark on a successful project, offering informed opinions on your ideas and guidance on project scope, priorities and budget.

How to get planning permission in a conservation area in Fulham

In the UK, planning permission is the formal permission from a local authority for the alteration or erection of buildings. It can be granted, based on certain conditions being met, or refused.

Conservation areas exist to protect the special architectural and historic interest of an area. Planning applications are considered in regards to conservation policies as local authorities must take into account the need to preserve or enhance the area when deciding whether to grant planning permission.

Applying for planning permission in a Conservation Area (CA) requires more detailed supporting information than an equivalent application outside of a CA.

A robust and carefully considered proposal that demonstrates an awareness and response to local policy and design guidance will stand a much greater chance of success.

The Hammersmith & Fulham Conservation Area audits and planning guides are available here. These guides are a material consideration at the planning stage and provide some direction on what is and isn’t possible in terms of design alterations.

There are 44 designated conservation areas in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham that cover half of the local authority area (there are a further two conservation areas in the north of the borough within the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) area which is a new local planning authority established by the Mayor of London).

Hammersmith & Fulham conservation areas include: St. Peter’s Square, Parson’s Green, Barclay Road, Hammersmith Broadway, Shepherd’s Bush, Central Fulham and Putney Bridge, etc.

Check if your property is located within a conservation area on the local authority interactive map.

Our Architectural Services in Fulham

Planning Permission

With a proven track record and a 100% success rate at planning, let MATA Architects navigate the planning process for you.

Home Extensions

We are experienced in designing home extensions in all forms and sizes including single storey, two storey, roof and basement.

Interior Design

Let us take you on a visual journey through your future home. We offer an optional full interior design service or bespoke kitchen/joinery.

Home Improvement and Renovation

Sometimes the way to improve our home isn’t creating more space, just better space.

Feasibility Studies

Get an informed opinion on your ideas and gain clarity on design direction and budget.

01

Book a free consultation

02

We’ll listen to your ideas and give you our informed opinion

03

We’ll tailor a strategy and scope of service to suit your needs

04

You’ll receive an initial project brief and a clear mapping out of the next steps, together with our fee proposal

Get in touch to start a conversation

Find out if we are the right architecture practice for your project.

Grade II Listed Town House Islington

Frequently Asked Questions

To get started, here are some of the more frequent questions clients’ have at the initial exploratory stages

Can I meet with you initially at no cost?

You can book a free 45-minute consultation in our studio or via zoom. We’ll discuss your project and answer your questions face to face. Make a booking here.

Following this conversation, if you like the idea of working with us and feel we’d be a good fit for your project, we are happy to offer a follow up meeting at your home at no cost.

I don’t exactly know what I want to build yet? How or where do we begin?

It begins with a conversation. During our initial phone consultation, we’ll ask probing questions of your brief to help assess it’s viability.

The next step involves a diagnostic stage we call ‘Project Discovery’ (RIBA Work Stages 0-1 / Feasibility). We'll address your brief through the exploration of a number of alternative sketch proposals and assess the implications of each (time / cost / risk etc).

Beyond this we can tailor our scope of architectural services to suit your specific requirements and budget.

Whether you engage us for a full service from feasibility to completion or, at first, just for the ‘Project Discovery’ (more on that soon), you are only ever committed to the current work stage. So, you can (and we’d encourage you to) start small with a discrete piece of work to help figure out the extent of the project and then add to the scope of service as suits your needs and budget.

This initial piece of work can also be a good way to dip your toe into the architectural process and gauge what it’s like to work with us before committing to a longer-term working relationship.

How will you ensure we stick to my budget?

Sticking to budget is critical. One of the common pitfalls of a construction project is losing control of the budget (or not having one in the first place).

To keep a handle on costs from the outset, our process involves a cycle of designing, communicating and costing. We do this by:

  • We will talk about costs early and often. ‘Cost’ is not a dirty word.
  • We’ll be upfront with you and make you aware of choices that are likely to increase the budget, and provide cost effective alternatives to these.
  • Early involvement of a Quantity Surveyor (QS) to assist with cost control. This involvement could range from a full service to a discrete piece of work in the form of an Initial Cost Model (at the end of Concept Design Stage) to help forecast cost and interrogate in detail where the money is being spent, which in turn helps identify opportunities for savings.
  • Strict vetting of contractors to ensure quality, reliability and value for money.

    More on sticking to budget here.

    How long does a typical residential project take?

    A range of factors impact timeframes. This includes project complexity, speed of client feedback and decisions and local authority approvals. To give you a broad idea allow for a:-

    • Simple project: 4-6 months for design and 4-6 months on site.
    • Complex renovation or build: 6-9 months for design and 9-12 months on site.
    • Planning approval: if your project requires planning approval add 2 months to the above timescales.

    Download a residential project timeline here.

    Can you tell me how you structure your fees and what they are?

    Like all professional services, architectural fees are not cheap (but neither is getting the design wrong, by the way). However, it might help to view them as an investment.

    That said, we are cost conscious at every step of the way. Once the project scope is defined at the start of the journey, we’ll fix our fees and prepare a schedule of invoicing so that you know exactly what you are paying and when. Everything is transparent and clear.

    In addition to our design process, working with us also provides access to our years of accumulated knowledge and experience. You will benefit from our network of specialist consultants, industry suppliers and our team’s ability to guide you through the process, avoiding the common pitfalls of construction to deliver life-enhancing architecture.

    We offer multiple service tiers to accommodate different budgets and goals:

    ‘Project Discovery’ / (RIBA Stages 0-1) (from £1,500 +VAT)

    Get an informed opinion on your ideas and gain clarity on design direction and budget.

    We approach this early-stage work as a ‘diagnostic’ stage. We’ll ask probing questions of your brief and budget and of your underlying assumptions. We’ll analyse your property and/ or site in detail to reveal constraints and opportunities. Once these have been identified we can begin to prescribe solutions. This includes:

    • Review relevant local design guides, planning policy and comparable planning applications in order to build up a picture of precedent.
    • Carry out detailed analysis of the site and immediate environment to assess opportunities and constraints.
    • Floor plans and sketches illustrating options.
    • A 1 hour meeting in your home to discuss the project.
    • A 2 hour workshop in our studio or via zoom (you choose).
    • A written brief outlining the opportunities, risk, budget and project timeframe.
    • Guidance on next steps, additional consultants and approvals required.

    Read more detail here.

     

    ‘Project Planning’ / (RIBA Stages 0-3) (from £7,500 +VAT)

    We’ll take you up to and including submission of a detailed planning application, including liaising with the local authority during the running of the application and up to it’s determination.

    Building on the work and our conclusions from the  Project Discovery we’ll develop proposals with you, communicating the evolving design clearly through 3D visuals and 2D drawings so that you’re empowered to make the best decisions. In working toward the application for planning approval, we’ll hold a series of fortnightly workshops with you (via zoom or in our studio) to review the design collaboratively and make decisions together, taking into account key aspects such as cost, program and risk in addition to functionality and aesthetic considerations.

    This tier of service will suit those who want help in achieving the best possible outcome at planning but are happy to go it alone from there.

    You always have the option of retaining us for the later stages of your project.

     

    Full Service / (RIBA Stages 0-6)

    Typically, our clients choose this service tier when they want our support from inception to the day they move in. We provide a full design service, alongside project management and an optional interior design service.

    Good design takes time to mature. It doesn’t happen in a single eureka moment! Rather a series of steps, much like evolution, each one refining and improving on the last.

    You’ll benefit from us on board as project managers throughout, contract administrators on site and maximum design time and thinking from our team.

    This service is best suited to renovations, extensions or new builds where you want to invest time in the design to get it just right and create the perfect outcome borne out of obsessive attention given to every little detail. Just how we like it. Chat to us to discuss costs.

    For all of our tiered services, take advantage of the complimentary free consultation to get a clear and simple fee guide for your project.

    Book your initial complimentary meeting here!

    Do you have a minimum construction budget you will work with for a full service?

    Due to the bespoke nature of our process, we typically work with homeowners with a minimum Project Budget of £250,00 at their disposal.

    Read more on how to calculate your project budget here.

    Have another question you'd like to ask?

    Feel free to get in touch via our contact form or give us a call on 02037948128

    Why We Love Architecture In Fulham

     

    Fulham is one of the most affluent and sought after places to live in London. This leafy corner of the city has many open, green spaces and wide tree-lined roads full of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Recent property developments at Imperial Wharf also maximise Fulham as an ideal riverside location. 

    Visitors and homeowners may be surprised to learn that Fulham’s attractive neighbourhood was once a hot spot of debauchery throughout the eighteenth century. The property building boom with the emergence of the railway at the end of the nineteenth century developed Fulham from a largely rural, working class area into a thriving commuter hub. Fulham was subject to extensive restoration between the Second World War and the 1980s. Much of the fine architecture from the Victorian and Edwardian eras still exist today.

    This firmly established upmarket location is thoughtfully and spaciously laid out with rows of redbrick infrastructures. You will find plenty of leafy, open spaces and an abundance of high-end shops, bars and boutiques. Also a true delight for anyone desiring an idyllic stroll along the river.

    Some of Fulham’s architectural significant buildings include:

    Fulham Palace

    Located in Bishop’s Park, Fulham Palace (once known as Manor House) was the former residence to the Bishop of London from AD 704 and his successors for over eight centuries. Now a museum and a Grade I listed building, the past 750 years have seen the palace and gardens continuously redesigned to appeal to the different tastes of the bishops. This has left behind an eclectic mix of different architectural styles – from its red brick Tudor courtyard dating around 1495; Georgian style library, and a detailed brick and mosaic chapel built in the 1860s – this historical landmark reflects key changes within British architecture across the centuries.

     

    Church of Holy Trinity

    Designated a Grade II listed building in 1985, the Church of Holy Trinity is constructed of Kentish ragstone and was built between 1851 to 1853. The architect William Wardell designed the church in a revival rendition of decorated gothic. It has north and south side aisles and the nave is lit by a clerestory. The building has stained glass windows designed by John Hardman.

     

    Fulham Town Hall

    Fulham Town Hall is a Grade II listed building built during the classical renaissance revival between 1888 and 1890. Designed by George Edwards and built by Treasure & Son, the design is constructed with Portland stone, involving a symmetrical main frontage with seven bays facing onto Fulham Road. Inside is the Great Hall, which extends deep into the building. Since the founding of the Metropolitan Borough of Fulham in 1900, the Town Hall has seen many extensions and renovations throughout the early twentieth century. The building was extended to the south west along Harwood Road to the designs of Francis Wood in 1904-05, and further west along Fulham Road in 1934 when the Fulham Registration Service transferred there. 

    Hammersmith Bridge

    Constructed in 1887, Hammersmith Bridge is one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges. A Grade II listed structure, the bridge is a national landmark and part of Britain’s engineering heritage. It was designed by civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and constructed with wood and wrought iron, with the suspension held in place by cast iron pedestals. It crosses the River Thames in west London and links the southern part of Hammersmith on the north side of the river, and Barnes in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in the south.

     

    Hurlingham Clubhouse

    The London home of Polo. Founded in 1869, this Georgian-style clubhouse is set in 42 acres of land and is a member of the Association of London Clubs.

    William Cadogan chose this part of Hurlingham Field to build a private home in 1760. The house still carries its eighteenth-century charm at its core but has seen renovation in the early nineteenth century – now carrying a grand neo-Classical appearance. A number of alterations have occurred over the years – most notably by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1906.

    Relevant Projects

    Zig-Zag House

    A full width rear extension to a London terraced house in the Queens Park Conservation Area, Brent.

    Collector's Flat

    Full refurbishment of a 260sq.m. mansion block apartment  in the Portman Estate Conservation Area, Marylebone

    Gallery House

    A two storey rear extension to a Grade II listed London terrace house in the Barnsbury Conservation Area, Islington.

    Client Testimonials

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