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New flat approved in Romford Essex.

RESIDENTIAL development

Como Street, Romford, Essex.


Full Plans Building Regulations Application approved for new second floor in Romford, Essex

Site Context

The application site is located on the south eastern side of Como Street. The site is presently
occupied by a two storey detached building, which comprises of two flats, 1B and 1C Como
Street. The surrounding area is a mixture of residential and commercial properties. The site is
flanked by 105 North Street to the east, which comprises of a commercial use at ground floor
with residential over, 1A Como Street and a two storey detached office building to the west.

Planning History

Planning permission is sought for the creation of a second floor to form an additional 1 bedroom
self contained residential unit. The flat comprises of a lounge, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and
landing. The proposal would increase the height of the premises from 7.20m to 9.70m. In order
to facilitate access to the new residential unit alterations to the existing units are proposed to
make provision for a new staircase.

The acceptablity of the development proposed has previously been deemed acceptable. There
is judged to be no material change in policy or site circumstances since the previous approval
that would render the principle of development unacceptable.
The site lies outside, but adjacent to, a Site Specific Allocation for Como Street as identified
within the Romford Area Action Plan. The site comprises of residential development. The
creation of a second floor for residential development is considered acceptable for the locality.
Whilst the application was previously considered to be of an acceptable size, and suitable for
day to day living, stringent internal spacing standards have since been introduced in the form of
the Technical Housing Standards - Nationally Described Space Document which now

supersedes the relevant chapters of the London Plan. Contained within this document are
requirements for gross internal floor area of new dwellings at a defined level of occupancy as
well as floor areas and dimensions for key parts of the home - notably bedrooms, storage and
minimum floor to ceiling heights.
The Technical Housing Standards - Nationally Described Space document stipulates that any
proposed dwelling must provide at least the gross internal floor area and built-in storage set out
on table 1 (page 5 of the aforementioned document). One bedroom units are required to
demonstrate at least 39m². The proposed self contained unit demonstrates a gross internal floor
area of 50.75m²
In this location, there is no existing or availability for the future provision of dedicated amenity
space. Although, it is noted that the existing flats, 1B and 1C Como Street, do not have any
amenity space. Given the above, it is considered that there would be insufficient grounds to
refuse the application based on a lack of amenity provision. The previous scheme was judged
acceptable in this respect and there has been no material change since to warrant a different
Council policy and guidance seeks to ensure that all new developments are satisfactorily located
and are of a high standard of design and layout. In this regard, it is important that the
appearance of new developments is compatible with the character of the local street scene and
the surrounding area.
Following a site visit, it is noted that the streetscene has a varied character, with two storey
terraced, semi-detached and detached properties in Como Street and adjacent to the junction
between Como Street and North Street. No. 111 to 115 North Street comprises of a three storey
detached building. In addition, planning permission was granted for the construction of a three
storey block of 6 no. two bedroom flats at 9 Como Street (application reference P1461.10).
Therefore, it is considered that the creation of a second floor to 1C Como Street would not
appear dominant or out of character with the streetscene.
Amenity impact was previously assessed and the points raised previously are still relevant.
It is considered that properties located opposite the site (primarily No.'s 2 and 4 Como Street
and 107 North Street) would not be adversely affected by the proposal, as there is a minimum
separation distance of approximately 11 metres between the front facade of the application
building and the flank of No. 107 North Street.
Riverside House comprises of commercial floor space, and therefore the level of amenity
afforded to it is lower than that expected for residential units.
In all it is not considered that the creation of a second floor to 1C Como Street would result in
any materially harmful impact sufficient enough to necessitate a recommendation for refusal.
There is judged to be no material change in circumstances since the previous application was
With the previous grant of planning permission (P1893.11), there was concern over the future
subdivision of the host building and subsequently the Highway Authority required a legal
agreement be provided in order to prevent future occupiers from obtaining residents parking permits.
Some time has elapsed since the earlier consent and it is noted that in this instance, the
Highway Authority have not objected to the proposal and has not requested a legal agreement
restricting provision of parking permits. Staff therefore consider it reasonable to reconsider
whether this is still required.
Given the intervening period and the small scale of the proposal, taken in conjunction with its
relatively central location, in an area with a PTAL rating of 6A, the absence of any off-street
parking is considered to be acceptable. This is a development of a single, small unit of
accommodation and thus unlikely to create additional demand for on-street parking, particularly
given the sustainable location. Staff therefore consider that the highways impacts of the
proposed development are minimal and to not warrant the completion of a legal agreement in
respect of parking permits.

The creation of a second floor to form 1 No., one bedroom flat is acceptable in principle. It is
considered that the proposal would not be harmful to the character or appearance of the
streetscene. It is considered that the proposal would not be materially harmful to residential
amenity. Staff consider that the proposal would not create any parking or highway issues.
Having regard to all material planning considerations, it is recommended that planning
permission be APPROVED subject to prior completion of a legal agreement in respect of the
infrastructure contribution.


The Building Regulations Application

Following an initial planning approval for a raising of the ridge height and the conversion of the enlarged loft space to include two new bedrooms and a bathroom En-Plan: Planning & Architecture were instructed to provide detailed building plans for a Building Regulations Application.  These were duly completed and submitted to Havering Borough Council Building Control who duly approved the plans.  the project is set to start in Spring of 2019.  Watch this space for updates and further information as the project progresses. We also worked with the applicants to alter the exterior finish to render by way of a non material amendment.

It is interesting to note at this point the challenges faced during the building control phase were the strength of the existing structure in order to take the additional implied load from the new second floor flat. A Structural engineer’s assessment/calculations showed that the low compressive strength of the Thermalite Turbo blockwork inner skin, especially at ground floor was adequate to take the loads from the new construction, and as such Building Control were satisfied with this.

En-Plan also provided clarification on details for the new roof trusses and these were submitted from Robinson Manufacturing Ltd and included  supporting calculations, bracing details, and specification for cut and pitch infill which demonstrates to Building Control that the proposed roof will be structurally sound.

As part of any new development ventilation must be specified in accordance with one of the four methods shown in Approved Document f. The most common system is system 1 background ventilators and intermittent extract fans, this will require whole house background ventilation of equivalent area (EA):
a. 35000mm 2 for any design air permeability; or
b. 25000mm 2 for design air permeability greater than 5.
Note in practical terms the higher value of 35000mm 2 should be used as you will normally require a low air permeability to achieve the Target Energy Rating (TER). However in practical terms even if you provide one background/trickle ventilator of EA 5000mm 2 to each window you will only achieve a whole house EA of 15000mm 2 . Therefore we used system 3 continuous mechanical extract ventilation, as this only requires background/trickle ventilation of EA 2500mm 2 to wet rooms (kitchen and bathroom) and 5000mm 2 to all other rooms and all internal doors to be undercut by 10mm to promote a flow of air throughout the building. 

Thermal calculations including a Target Energy Rating (TER) & Design Energy Rating (DER) and a Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) & Design Fabric Energy Efficiency (DFEE) are to be provided at least 48 hours before works commence on site. In practice these should be submitted much earlier as they may fundamentally change the design of the building. These calculations will determine the thermal efficiency of the building and consider not only the U-values of the elements of the structure, but also the amount of
glazing, orientation of the building, efficiency of the heating, air permeability, and the use of renewable energy sources (such as photovoltaic panels, ground source heat pumps, etc.). Note merely meeting the U-values for extensions is unlikely to achieve a pass.  En-Plan work in conjunction with Fentons Energy to ensure this was provided and the specification updated to reflect the level of insulation required.

If you would like to find out more about Building Regulations or how our Planning Consultancy and Architectural Design Services can work in perfect sync to achieve a successful outcome in the planning system please CONTACT US and we will be only too happy to talk through any questions or development proposals you may have.


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En-Plan: Planning & Architecture Chartered Town planning Consultants
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