Project type
Sketchy renders of the proposal for a loft conversion, rear extension and a first-floor side and rear extension which blend naturally with the original family dwelling
Realistic render of the front of the property which includes a beautiful dusk-red brick with white trimmings and a dark slated roof
Realistic render of the side view of the property including how it nicely fits in the neighbourhood and does not appear bulky from across the street
Realistic render of the back of the property with multiple leaf bi-fold doors that give way onto the rear garden with patio furnishings
Conversion into three flats
Conversion into three flats
Conversion into three flats
Conversion into three flats
Conversion into three flats

Three new flats (at last!) - the successful resolution of a long-running planning battle


Airthrie Road IG3

Local Authority

Redbridge Council

Plot Type


Project Type

Flat Conversion


Conversion into three flats

Services by Urbanist Architecture

Project Architect, Planning Consultant, Lead Consultant


Crown Trees


Sometimes, a great deal of determination is crucial for winning the planning game. This is a story that involves a pre-application, two applications and a planning appeal - so it went on long past the point when many people would have given up. Of course, the willingness to keep going does not mean that you will end up with planning permission but it can play a part if you really do have a good case.

The starting point here was a large house that our client thought was suitable for turning into flats. It would need large extensions to fit in the three units that were the goal, but those extensions would be perfectly normal for a corner house in this East London neighbourhood. However, in its pre-application advice, Redbridge Council stated that this was in the wrong part of the borough for a flat conversion.

That, then, was the two-part challenge: could we design extensions that almost doubled the size of the property and convince the council that this was the right place for this kind of development?

Before & After

Architects and landscape floor plan drawings of the existing ground floor consisting of 3 rooms, a storage room and small toilet leading directly onto a large garden with extensive landscaping


The first task was to make sure that the loft conversion, new rear extension and the first-floor side and rear extension all looked like they were a natural part of the house. The next step was to demonstrate that the proposal was not at odds with the intention of the council’s policies, which seemed aimed at preserving family-sized homes with gardens in residential streets. The ground-floor flat would be a family-sized home with a garden - the other flats would effectively be extras.

The council refused the application, objecting both to the conversion and the size of the extensions, so we appealed. In a strange twist, the planning inspector disagreed with the council’s reasons for refusal but dismissed the appeal because of the lack of an agreement to do with the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation.

Then that all turned out to be the result of a mismeasurement - we were able to prove that the house wasn’t in the zone of influence of the Special Area of Conservation after all. Since the inspector had ruled out the other reasons for refusal, when we went back to the council with a new application, this time, they said yes.

Our client’s resolute commitment, plus our team’s ability to find a solution to every obstacle placed in our path, paid off.

Realistic renders of the back of the property to show how the different level extensions work together and blend with the existing dwelling without taking too much space in the garden which is still green and filled with flora

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