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Architects in Richmond

Richmond upon Thames is a quaint town located in South West London. The area was formerly part of the parish of Kingston upon Thames in the county of Surrey, until 1965 when the district was transferred to Greater London. 

Founded in 2015 by Dan Marks, MATA Architects is a RIBA chartered architecture practice based in Westbourne Green, a few miles northeast of Richmond. We have a breadth of experience working on residential, commercial and interior projects, as well as restorative work on listed properties and schemes within conservation areas in and around Richmond.

Richmond is well known for its extensive royal history, with 85 protected conservation areas in total. This popular destination boasts a plethora of attractions – eclectic shops, historical pubs and performances at Richmond Theatre. Benefiting from cobbled, lantern-lit streets, a sprawling deer park and a vast stock of stately period architecture, Richmond is widely considered to be one of London’s most affluent residential districts.

MATA Architects helps transform homes and business properties into life-enhancing and bespoke designs which meet your individual needs. Our approach is client-focused, adopting logical and creative design methodology to deliver environmentally sensitive and beautifully constructed architecture.

If you wish to speak to an architect who knows Richmond, book your initial no-obligation consultation with us to discuss your ideal project today.

Planning Applications in Richmond

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 Richmond upon Thames is available here.

How to get planning permission in a conservation area in Richmond

Planning permission is 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 regard 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 Richmond upon Thames 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 currently 85 designated conservation areas in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. These include Central Richmond, Twickenham Riverside, St. Margarets, Castlenau, Barnes Common, Mortlake, The Grove & Strawberry Hill Road, etc.

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

How to make a planning application in Richmond

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 Richmond upon Thames 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.

Are there fees for submitting planning applications in Richmond?

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

Fees are determined by local authorities on the 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 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 application search, or wait until you or your agent receive the decision by post.

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 have the right to 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 and some after a public inquiry.

You can search for appeals in the RBKC appeal search.

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 method statement for basement and/or light well excavation

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 get listed building consent in Richmond

A listed building is a building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

Buildings on this list may not be demolished, extended or altered without listed building consent.

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 around 800 listed buildings in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 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 Richmond?

To search for planning applications submitted in your area, visit the richmond.gov 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.

Our Architectural Services in Richmond

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.

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Book a free consultation

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

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

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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 Richmond

     

    Richmond’s heritage landscape is rich with different styles of architecture. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Richmond developed into a thriving and fashionable town. This unique neighbourhood has attracted aristocracy and royalty throughout its history, echoing some of London’s most gracious architectural fashions since the 1600s.

    Richmond was founded following King Henry VII’s building of Richmond Palace in the sixteenth century, from which the town derives its name. The town was often further developed by local builders and craftsmen, allowing them to exhibit their work. This left behind a variation of elaborate Dutch and Germanic inspired designs. Much of the vast range of Regency, Georgian and Tudor architecture is still visible today.

    Some of Richmond’s architecturally significant buildings include:

     

    Hampton Court Palace

    Hampton Court Palace is a Grade I listed royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. This 500-year old palace is an icon of Tudor and Baroque architecture. Construction began in the early sixteenth century by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the chief minister of King Henry VIII. After the King acquired the property, he arranged for it to be enlarged so that it might more easily accommodate his sizable retinue of courtiers. When King William III and Mary II took the throne in 1689, they commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build an elegant Baroque palace, mainly intent on rivalling the Palace of Versailles. In the following centuries, the property has been subject to massive rebuilding and expansion work to reflect the architectural fashions of the historical period. Subsequently, this has altered some of the original architecture, although today you can see a blend of Baroque and Georgian refurbishments, while much of the grandiose, red-brick Tudor design is still intact.

    You can read more about the story of Hampton Court Palace here.

     

    Kew Palace, Royal Botanic Gardens

    Kew Palace is a British royal palace situated at the northern tip of the famous Kew Gardens. A Grade I listed property, it was originally known as the Dutch House and is the oldest building within the gardens.

    The site of the palace had formerly been occupied by a sixteenth century property. Much of the striking Artisan Mannerist façade is still present today. However, Samuel Fortrey, a wealthy merchant of Dutch descent, renovated the house in 1631, an event commemorated in the relief carving over the main entrance. The house is constructed of bricks laid in the “Flemish bond”, a brick pattern where each course consists of alternate bricks having their short sides (headers) and long sides (stretchers) facing outwards. The interior has a mixture of seventeenth and eighteenth century design, containing many relics that showcase some of the building’s Tudor ancestry.

    After the reign of King George II, several generations of Georgian royalty occupied the house, most notably by King George III in 1781, who used it as a summer home and nursery for the royal children. Its royal occupation lasted from around 1728 until 1818.

     

    The Chapel in the Wood, Strawberry Hill

    The Chapel in the Wood is a Grade I listed building located in the grounds of St. Mary’s University. The chapel was built for Horace Walpole between 1772-74 and is an example of early Gothic Revival architecture.

    The roof is constructed of slate and the front porch is executed in Portland stone, with a design inspired by a tomb in Salisbury Cathedral.

     

    Richmond Bridge

    Richmond Bridge is an 18th-century stone arch bridge that crosses the River Thames, connecting the two halves of the London Borough. It is the oldest surviving Thames bridge in London. The bridge, which is Grade I listed, was built between 1774-77 to the designs of James Paine and Kenton Couse. It was intended as a replacement for a mediaeval ferry crossing which connected Richmond town centre on the east bank with its neighbouring district of Twickenham to the west. It is constructed with Portland stone and supported by five elliptical arches of varying heights. The tall 60-foot wide central span was designed to allow shipping to pass, giving the bridge a distinctive humpbacked appearance.

    By the early twentieth century, the bridge was proving inadequate for the increasing traffic, particularly with the introduction of motorised transport. Widening works were applied from 1937-40, resulting in a slightly lowered roadbed at the centre of the bridge which reduced the bridge’s humpbacked nature – all whilst maintaining its original design. 

     

    Old Town Hall

    The Old Town Hall on Whittaker Avenue is a Grade II listed building. It is a former municipal building which served as the headquarters for the Municipal Borough of Richmond from 1893 to 1965.

    This red brick, Bath stone property has been altered by war and political changes – a testimony of some of Richmond’s deep history. It was designed by W J Ancell in the grandiose Elizabethan Renaissance style. The design involved an asymmetrical main frontage with six bays facing onto the street. The central section featured a grouped pilastered design carried by a rusticated base. A turret was installed at the north west corner of the building at roof level, along with a projecting clock. 

    In one of the worst air raids during the London Blitz, the Town Hall suffered severe fire-bomb damage on the night of the November 29th, 1940. It has since been restored to the designs of Gordon Jeeves and was reopened in December 1952.

    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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