Planning success for the revival of St. Nicholas House.4

Planning success and the revival of St. Nicholas House.

KODA Architects have have secured planning approval for the remodelling and a new glazed rooftop pavilion to St. Nicholas House, a prominent office building in City Centre of Hereford.


St. Nicholas House was originally built in 1970 in the centre of Hereford as a financial office. Having a number of subsequent uses recently it lay redundant creating a negative impact on the City Centre skyline. KODA Architects have been appointed and fulfilled the clients brief in reimagining this prominent building whilst creating an attractive visual asset to the City Centre Conservation Area. 

The project comprises the remodelling of the entire building and includes the recladding of the existing tired concrete structure with an envelope of contemporary Equitone rainscreen cladding. This not only greatly improves the aesthetic of an otherwise blight to the Hereford Cityscape, but also enhances its efficient sustainable future use.  The introduction of a the glazed roof pavilion adds a final element of the composition atop St. Nicholas House. This new and unique vantage point affords unrivalled elevated views of Hereford Cathedral and vistas over the City to the Black Mountains and surrounding countryside. Access to the building is completely redesigned creating an inviting landscaped transition to a new attractive entrance foyer

The extension, refurbishment and re-cladding of the building reuses an otherwise empty deteriorating building and secures its most optimum and viable use. Within the site lays a section of the Historic City Wall and rampart, KODA architects worked alongside our client and other stakeholders to overcome initial resistance from elements of the Local Authority. By doing so we have utilised the underused resources embodied with the existing structure to provide 21st century commercial accommodation and an efficient re-use of land within Hereford City centre.

The reuse of this otherwise redundant building further extends KODA architects creative portfolio of rejuvenating City Centre sites and working closely with clients and other stakeholders. Further projects that showcase exceptional commercial design in Hereford include Bastion Mews and Sullivan House.

Planning success for the revival of St. Nicholas House.2

St. Nicholas House 2

the revival of St. Nicholas House. 5

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This year has already been a busy one for us at KODA architects and its set to get ever busier. To keep you up to date with what’s going on, we are in the process of developing our first newsletter which we plan will be issued out regularly. We love showing you what we have been up to with our exciting new projects both onsite and what is on the the drawing board. 

We already have our Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest boards displaying the best of KODA architects have to offer, but we want more. This year is going to be another exciting year, with several large projects starting onsite we are planning to bring you behind the scenes of what happens on a building site as well as showcasing what is in development in the office. This year, KODA architects are expanding our portfolio as well as our team and the services we offer. 

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KODA appointed for Detailed Design at Dinham Hall, Ludlow

We’re excited to share with you that KODA architects are appointed to carry out detailed design at Dinham Hall in Ludlow

Dinham Hall is Grade II listed and is just located just outside Ludlow Castle walls. Built in c1792, by Samuel Nash for Richard Payne Knight of Downton Castle, the building has a long and interesting history, once a grand private home. The building was converted into a boarding school with fond memories and more recently a boutique hotel boasting fine dining, to critical acclaim.

KODA architects are appointed to carry out the planning and designed design to see this fine building converted into seven high spec apartments.

As part of historic interventions to the property, the building has lost a significant amount of historic detailing including coving, fireplaces and finer details such as architraves and doors. As part of the new conversion project, the conservation team at KODA architects propose to reinstate historically accurate features to enhance the buildings significance, allowing the building to serve to new purpose. KODA conservation team are complimented by a wider design team including agent, fire design, lift manufacturers tanking specialists, surveyors and mechanical and electrical engineers. One of the first appointments is the to have a full measured and topographic survey of the building and plot to carefully detail repairs and new interventions to the historic fabric. 

New apartments will have generous accommodation with lift access and use of the grand central staircase. Each unit will boast private parking and amenity space together with long reaching views over Ludlow, countryside and of course, the adjacent grade I listed and scheduled ancient monument of Ludlow Castle.

As the project progresses through detailed design, we will keep you updated with our progress. Stay turned through our new newsletters and other media platforms including: Instagram, Facebook LinkedIn and Pinterest boards 

Sign up for our regular newsletter here to keep in up to date in what we are up to at KODA architects


equestrian holiday cabins Herefordshire

Expansion of Equestrian Business Approved

The expansion of equestrian business and 

holiday cabins approved in Herefordshire

In association with Moule and Co., our scheme to provide 3 new log holiday cabins as part of the expansion of an equestrian business in rural Herefordshire has been approved. The scheme also includes a new outdoor arena and additional car parking allowing the applicants to develope their growing business. 

The location holds a prominent position in the landscape, KODA Architects scheme is designed to reduce its landscape impact but also shield new horse arena from the prevailing winds. 

The location offers exceptional views of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire landscape including the Malvern Hills and British Camp.  The site makes the most of the abundance of local footpaths and bridle ways for the guests to enjoy by foot or horseback. 

The expansion of Equestrian Business and Holiday Cabins will allow Tipton Hall Riding School to appeal to a much greater number of visitors and give the added attraction of being able to stay over night in this beautiful location. Tipton Hall will now be able to host equestrian events drawing further visitors to the area. 

The application was unanimously supported and adheres to the principles of Herefordshire Councils Policy RA6. It sets out the conditions under which the Council will be supportive of proposals, which help to diversify the rural economy and generate employment. This includes both sustainable tourism proposals of an appropriate scale.

The cabins will also be built by a local carpenter who will fell, prepare the cedar logs and build the cabins on site. We will be follow the progress and giving updates via our social media


Accommodation for vulnerable young adults approved

KODA Architects conservation team have secured planning permission and conservation area consent for the conversion of an underutilised Edwardian property to form accommodation for up to six vulnerable young adults.

The scheme will provide a vital service for homeless and vulnerable young adults and includes measures to restore the property by the removal of unsympathetic alterations. Furthermore the proposal returns period feature that had become eroded by its previous conversions.

KODA Architects worked collaboratively for the applicant and Housing Solutions with Herefordshire council and Environmental Health departments overcoming issues of noise and traffic pollution due to the buildings immediate proximity to a busy trunk road.

The proposal overcame concerns through implementing high performance acoustic glazing to the front façade and an innovative ventilation system to filter out airborne pollutants.

The Housing Solutions Team carries out prevention work which includes assisting applicants to find and secure their own accommodation. There have been a large number of cases in which homelessness prevention was successful in securing accommodation for vulnerable young adults helping them find their feet, find employment and in some cases kick addition.

We are extremely proud to have been a small part in delivering such an important local initiative, which has become acutely critical due to the effects of the on-going pandemic. Works are due to start shortly and we look forward to it opening its doors soon.

We would also like to thank M-EC Acoustic Air who recognised the importance of this project and carried out their consultancy work at a discounted rate. 

planning and conservation area consent
one of the elegant fireplaces being restored
Lift the moratorium in Herefordshire

Help Lift The Housing Moratorium in Herefordshire

The provision of thousands of new homes is still in limbo – help lift the Moratorium on new homes in Herefordshire.


Since the middle of last year there has been a moratorium on the majority of new housing developments gaining planning approval in the River Lugg catchment in Herefordshire. An area that covers most of the north of the County.

In brief Natural England have found that phosphate levels in the river are above acceptable limits. Therefore Herefordshire Council are unable to approve new housing development or planning applications that may increase levels of phosphate entering the watercourse. Phosphate pollution can be caused by the run off from digest fertilisers being spread on fields, sewage treatment works and package sewage treatment plants. High levels of phosphates have a harmful effect on the ecology of the Lugg and Wye which have Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) designations.

More detailed information can be found on Herefordshire Councils website.

As well as a reduction in new homes being built this has had a disastrous effect on the construction industry across Herefordshire. Faced with no route to a timely resolution a number of local planning agents and construction professionals set up the Herefordshire Construction Industry Lobby Group (HCILG) to represent our industry and force a resolution. Members of the group have dedicated a great deal of time and effort pooling their expertise. A funding page has been set up to pay for the appointment of a Specialist Barrister to challenge the ruling. Incredibly since being set up at the end of January over £13,000.00 has been raised to date – just short of the £15,000.00 target to cover the legal fees. If you are affected by the moratorium or wish to support by making a donation please do so on the gofundme page to help reach the target and assist in lifting the moratorium.

Holiday Cabins in Herefordshire

Holiday Cabins in Herefordshire approved 

KODA architects scheme to provide 7 new holiday cabins in rural Herefordshire has been approved.

The location offers a truly exceptional view of of Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains. The scheme includes ecological enhancements designed by the applicants, who are landscaped gardeners, which propose to restore a previous orchard and include local apple species such as Hereford Redsteak Cider and Hereford Russet. As well as supplementing new native hedgerows the ecological enhancements provide a large area of flower meadow complete with owl posts. The site makes the most of the abundance of local public rights of way for the guests to enjoy by foot and bicycle 

The cabins themselves are designed to enhance the enjoyment of the area, they feature a bench seat in a large oriel window to take delight of the unique vistas. Rustic materials in the walls and roof include reclaimed timber and corrugated metal cladding fitting the local context. The cabins will also be built by the applicants son Paul, who is a talented Carpenter

The application was unanimously supported and adheres to the principles of Herefordshire Councils Policy RA6. It sets out the conditions under which the Council will be supportive of proposals, which help to diversify the rural economy and generate employment. This includes both sustainable tourism proposals of an appropriate scale.

We can not wait to see them being built and look forward to updating you on their progress.

conservation architect Hereford

Archbishop to launch Mission and Mortar Tool

Archbishop Launch Mission and Mortar

The Most Rev Justin Welby to launch the Mission and Mortar tool which KODA architects have been developing with the Diocese of Hereford. Over the past three years, Conservation Architect Fred Hamer has been assisting the community and partnership and church buildings teams at the Diocese of Hereford in developing the new strategic online tool.

The Launch will coincide with the Archbishop’s visit to Hereford, the first time in 20 years. The Archbishop will be visiting churches across the diocese from the south of the county to the north, seeing first hand the forefront of church diversification Hereford Diocese are spearheading.

The tool, will be launching the new tool kit this week at St. Laurence in Ludlow which seeks to better provide resources for churches wishing to develop mission, repair and church reordering projects or advice on parish giving schemes, how to add to their tourism share and much more.

Conservation Architect Fred Hamer Said: “the tool will be a powerful tool in how to address the on going issue of sustainable growth in the church of England. Often churches are burdened by ever increasing church repairs and maintenance costs and with declining congregation numbers, the burden is often too much. The net result is the churches historic fabric declining to a point where the building is no longer able to hold congregations and services central to local communities.”

Wendy Coombey, Community Partnership and Funding Officer for the Diocese of Hereford, said: “Our church buildings are key to rural community life. They’re sacred and holy spaces, loved by many whether they’re Christians or not. But we must make our church buildings fit for the 21st century – we need more loos, more kitchens, more creative use of the space.”

KODA architects have a wealth of experience in bringing forth church reordering projects and other diversification schemes. We believe that it is vitally important to preserve these important community buildings as they are testament to our past which contributes heavily to our sense of place. However we cannot hold these buildings as museum pieces, they are ever changing and should be allowed to adapt as they would have been done on the past, meeting the needs of their congregations. Take a look at KODA architects church reordering page.

The new Mission and Mortar tool is based online and accessible through the Diocese of Hereford website.

KODA architects Hereford
conservation architects herefordshire
Diocese of Hereford
apartments - hereford city centre - koda architects

Breathing New Life into the High Street

KODA Architects have successfully gained approval for the conversion of a redundant commercial building close to the City centre of Hereford. 

It is a common problem to see City Centre commercial buildings become empty. This is not only due to pressure from online shopping but also due to the underutilised floorspace on the upper floors of many City Centre commercial buildings.  The tenant not only has to pay rent on this space but also local business rates based on total floor area. By diversifying these buildings we can make the commercial element more attractive to smaller businesses. 

The approved scheme modernises and efficiently re-orders the empty 1960’s three-storey building to provide much needed affordable accommodation. In total there are 10 spacious 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. The scheme also retains the fully occupied commercial premises to the ground floor.

This is one of a number of similar projects that KODA Architects have completed. It has enormous benefits in providing much needed affordable housing to the City by repurposing an underutilised resource.  The development will breathe new life into the high street and positively enhance the street scene.

Class Q Barn Conversions

KODA architects have a wealth of experience for planning and delivering Class Q Barn Conversions. We have recently been successful in a class Q Barn Conversion in Herefordshire as well as in neighbouring counties of Shropshire and Gloucestershire. 

Planning Permission

Formal Planning permission is not needed for the Class Q Barn Conversions under the General Permitted Development Order. Subject to a set list of requirements, some barns may be converted into offices and residential premises provided they meet the criteria set. The criteria list is quite long however the headline points are as follows:

  • The building is not listed;
  • The area is not in the a conservation area, national park or area of outstanding natural beauty;
  • The barn must have been in agricultural use on the 20th March 2013 or ten years prior to the conversion which ever is greater;
  • Once converted the finished building must not be greater than the original footprint;
  • The building must be able to be converted without any structural interventions i.e. no new footprints, floor slabs or load bearing walls;
  • No new significant openings i.e. windows and doors are permitted only ones to allow conversion.

Do I need an Architect?
In short – yes. As architects, it’s our job to ensure compliance with the legislation whilst maximising the design, getting the most out of the building. We can also assist with the additional information required including a structural appraisal of the existing building, landscape impact and submitting a certificate of Lawfulness to the local authority to ensure that your project complies with the order.

If you have a potential Class Q Barn Conversion and you would like to know more about our process and routes to convert the building, get in touch with us. 

Local Requirements:
Each local authority as an approach to Class Q Barn Conversion. As part of our process when approaching a Class Q application, we would seek out their requirements.

We have had a number of successful projects delivering Class Q Barn Conversion in Herefordshire and the neighbouring counties. For Herefordshire Local Requirements click here.