What does an architect do?

An architect is there to help guide you through the process from getting the all important design right to getting any necessary consents such as planning permission, conservation area consent, listed building consent and building regulations. Depending how you choose to work with us will determine our level of involvement but we are happy to discuss the options open to you, either over the telephone or as part of an initial meeting in your home.

How do your fees work?

It depends how you want to work with us. We offer a flexible service as we realise that all projects are different. If you want to use Urbane Design Architects for a specific service we will cost this up based on time taken however if you want us to have involvement throughout your project then it is likely that we will suggest a percentage of build cost. Either way we are happy to discuss the options with you and work out the best solution for your project and budget.

Can I get away with using an architect for just the design?

In most cases no. There are a number of different stages in a project that will require the input of a professional and there are a number of pitfalls that you can fall foul of, so it’s often better to get professional help from an architect at some key stages. Using an architect can help you avoid some costly mistakes and save you money in the long run.

What sort of work do you specialise in?

We do the vast majority of our work in the residential sector covering projects from house reconfigurations and extensions through to major renovations on listed buildings and new build work. We have a great deal of experience in all aspects of residential work and have a great track record of working with local authorities to get positive planning application outcomes.

What areas do you work in?

We work across London and the home counties. We have a great deal of experience in many boroughs from Windsor and Maidenhead to Reading. We also do a great deal of work in Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Chiswick, Richmond and Hounslow.

How do I find out what is possible?

Just give us a call and we will have an initial conversation about what you want to do. After that we can come to see you (free of charge) to discuss your project in more detail and discuss some initial design ideas. Some of the things discussed at the initial meeting are design, statutory consents such as planning permission, conservation area consents, listed building consents, building regulations, party wall notices, tendering with builders, time frames for the works and structural engineers services.  We will also discuss budgets and the different options for working with us. After this meeting we will send you a proposal based on what has been discussed so that you can consider what you want to do. If you are happy with the proposal we will get started on your project.

Why should I use you rather than another architect?

We offer a creative, thorough and professional service. We don’t offer packaged or pay-as-you-go services as we want to provide a service tailored to you, that will ensure your project is carefully designed, given the best chance of getting all the necessary consents and built to a standard that you will be happy with. You deal directly with your architect at all times (rather than admin staff) and we stay focused on delivering your project on time and on budget. We make sure all our architects make a point of communicating well with our clients as we believe a good client / architects relationship is vital to the success of any project

How does planning permission work and how do I go about getting it?

Before you start any build work you will need to apply for planning permission (assuming you need planning permission, not all projects do). To do this you will need a number of documents including a set of architectural drawings showing the current and proposed property. Once submitted the council will take approximately 8 weeks to consider your plans and then they will either be accepted or declined. In the UK the planning rules are complex and the policies can vary from council to council so it’s important to use an architect who has an in-depth knowledge of these rules and has a good track record of successful outcomes for their clients. No Architect can guarantee a successful outcome but working with a good architect can significantly improve your chances!

I live in a conservation area, can I still do work on my house?

Yes, the rules are more strict and there is no permitted development allowed (development without the need for a planning application) but it is certainly possible. In addition to planning permission you will also need conservation area consent but we can take care of this if you choose to work with us.

My property is listed, does this mean I can’t do anything to it?

No. The rules are strict but it is usually possible to make changes to a listed building. If it is grade 1 or grade 2 * often makes little difference to whether you can or can’t do work to the property as each building is  usually considered on its individual merits. There are no set rules on this. It is possible to hold a meeting with the council and get a written response on your proposals. The more information that is shown to the council the better their responses will be.  

Is it harder to get planning permission granted in central London?

No not necessarily. The proximity of houses to each other does pose a set of challenges however this doesn’t mean that it is harder to get planning permission, it just means that it is even more important to use an architect who has experience working with central London local authorities, who understand the intracies of the planning policies. Urbane Design Architects have experience working in most central London boroughs (as well as many home counties) so we can guide you through the myriad of regulations to increase your chances of a positive planning application outcome.

To discuss your next project call us on 020 8996 0601


Residential architecture, we deliver projects across London and the South East. Discuss your next project call 020 8996 0601.


Urbane Design
Based on 8 reviews
powered by Google
14:03 24 Apr 20
Robert offers a very professional service. His vision for the space was aligned with ours, so that is why we wanted to work with him to fully... renovate our house. He advised us that we could reconfigure the loft conversion under permitted development and go down the planning application route for the single story rear extension. He drew up plans, providing various different options, and was open to our suggestions for changes. Robert drew up our plans, submitted our applications and ran our tender process to select an appropriate builder. We were very happy with Robert's more
David Jones
David Jones
14:43 07 Apr 20
We worked with Urbane Design during the renovation of our house in West London. They exceeded expectation, had great ideas during planning, great... support during the build and the finished product is better than we even imagined it would be. Would highly more
Chris Stenzel
Chris Stenzel
11:18 06 Apr 20
We decided to engage Urbane to design, submit planning and arrange the tender process with builders after speaking to a number of local architects... and builders. The project involves an internal redesign, extension to rear, side and loft. Robert has come up with amazing design ideas, bearing in mind our budget and focused on how we wanted to use the space. Project is currently in build phase Happy to recommend and provide a more
Ross Nicolson
Ross Nicolson
08:41 06 Apr 20
We used Urbane Designs to renovate and extend our house. From initial consultation to completion, Robert was a pleasure to work with. We'd never... taken on a project like this before, but Robert was great at setting out each stage of the process, with transparent, itemised costs for each. He was also very responsive and helpful with our (many) questions, and of course came up with an excellent design for our more
roland oakshett
roland oakshett
14:11 25 Sep 19
We've used Rob Speight and Urbane Architects twice over the last 10 years. Once to do a ground floor extension and refurbishment and then once to do... a loft and first floor extension.On both occasions Rob was clear and responsive in communication and thoughtful and adaptable in design. We certainly wouldn't have used Urbane a second time if they had not done a good job the first time round (and we did encounter problems with some of our contractors first time). more
Simon Oldham
Simon Oldham
10:05 05 Jul 19
Were great to work with and provided 3 great builders to work with. We could not recommend them more highly for kitchens and extensions.
Deborah Armstrong
Deborah Armstrong
13:39 27 Jun 19
Urbane Design Architects are a wonderful team to work with. Over the course of 18 months they supported us with feasibility, planning permission,... tendering the job, building control approval and contract administration with the builder. Together we carried out a major renovation including a basement, ground floor and 1st floor rear extension. Robert Speight & his team were incredibly responsive throughout, producing exciting and effective designs with lots of detail.I would have no hesitation in recommending Urbane Design Architects to my family & friends, they were a great pleasure to deal with more
Dianna Pierce Burgess
Dianna Pierce Burgess
11:06 18 Jun 19
Most definitely 5 stars! We had a great experience with Urbane Design Architects and their team when we recently extended and reconfigured the... ground floor of our Georgian terraced house in Chiswick W4. Robert Speight was our project architect. He listened to our brief but then made us consider some alternative, exciting ways of thinking about the spaces and materials. He combined his experience of local planning policies, working relationships with local suppliers and our budget to deliver a new home that we are in love with! When we were going through planning permissions and the tender process, the team walked us through all the requirements step by step with us, which was great. Very highly recommended and sensibley priced!read more
See All Reviews
RIBA Chartered Practice
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.