A Very Good Year…

As we reach the end of 2021 ZMA reflect on their last year, their achievements and their plans for 2022

2021 marked our fourth year in business at ZMA, and the first six months post-pandemic. This last 12 months has seen homeowners and businesses eager to improve, to grow and move forward at an alarming rate, and ZMA have been no different.

This year we have relocated our office to Whalley, in the heart of the Ribble Valley and have experienced significant growth within the business. We now have recruited two more members of our team, with two more joining before January.

The total projects we have worked on to-date is 135 and within 15 different local authorities. Over the last 12 months we have had 20 successful planning approvals, 17 of which were on sensitive sites (Greenbelt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Open Countryside).

We have continued our mission to ‘Transform sites, buildings and lives’ by adding value for our clients. From creating a family’s dream home, to maximising the development potential of sites to sell with planning permission. In all of our projects we push the boundaries of design to create proposals which are unique and add significant value.

Over the last year we have obtained approval for the conversion of Brockhall Farm in Old Langho to create eight luxury homes, a hillside house located in the greenbelt of Whalley Banks, a self-build eco-home in a greenbelt woodland, a zero-carbon 100 per cent affordable housing scheme in Hyndburn, two bespoke self-builds for the same family on a greenbelt site in Affetside, a ‘grand design’ retirement eco-home located on an open countryside site in Rossendale and numerous home transformation projects across the Ribble Valley.

We are currently developing designs for a number of super homes – isolated dwellings within the open countryside which need to satisfy the National Planning Policy Framework Paragraph 79/80 in that the design is of exceptional quality in that it is truly outstanding or innovative. These schemes are located throughout Lancashire and the Ribble Valley – so watch this space in 2022!

In planning news, the National Planning Policy Guidance was updated to reflect the requirements for high quality design pushing innovation and sustainability. This was a welcome development for our practice, as we have always pushed the boundaries of design for our sensitive sites, when the high-quality design becomes the key factor to achieve approval. We believe that quality, innovation and sustainable design can tip planning balance in favour of development, even when a site typically would not be supportable with a low-quality scheme.

The proposal from the government to improve the planning system hasn’t been without its challenges, as planning departments have reported an uprise of up to 50 per cent more planning applications in 2021, but with lower staff levels, reduced working hours and illness the process has resulted in significant delays. Our advice would be to plan your project accordingly by appointing your architect at least 12 months prior to requiring approval for a sensitive site, and six months for a non-sensitive site, and expect delays within the planning system!

If one of your 2022 goals is to begin project ‘dream home’, contact us to discuss your aspirations

Zara Moon Architects
We transform sites, buildings, and lives.
Unit 37, Mitton Road Business Park
Mitton Road, Whalley BB7 9YE
01200 403840



Tedd Walmsley

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