19th October 2017

David Darkin Andrew Stephens David Craddock Llanelli Chamber of Trade and Commerce 2017

23rd August 2017

Bricks and Mortar

21st August 2017

BIM is the future for the delivery of Architect's services. Click here to read our blog.

BIM Model of House Revit Highlighted

Public Consultation Success
12th May 2017

Yesterday and today, Menter Bro Dinefwr, in partnership with Darkin Architects, consulted the public on proposals to renovate the Shire Hall in Llandeilo. Currently under development, the proposals are part of a package which Menter Bro Dinefwr are preparing to apply for lottery funding. If successful, the project would see the renovation of the Shire Hall into a Heritage Centre and Officer for Llandeilo Town Council and Menter Bro Dinefwr.

The proposals were well received by the public which bodes well for the upcoming application. Proposals will be finalised by September, with the intent to start construction works in 2018 if successful.

Shire Hall Llandeilo Public Consultation

Llanelli Star Awards Sponsorship 2017
7th March 2017

We're proud to announce that for the 7th time, we will be Sponsoring the Llanelli Star Awards. This year, we will be sponsoring the category of Teachor/Mentor.

The Llanelli Star Awards recognises the valuable contributions that people in Llanelli make to their communities. We've sponsored the awards since they were first started in 2010 and you can view details and photographs from previous years by clicking here.

Llanelli Star Community Awards 2017

Back to the Drawing Board?
9th January 2017

It's been 10 Years since Darkin Architects went digital! Click Here to read our blog.

Drawing Board with scale rule and stencil

Darkin Architects Win Exemplar Employer Award
23rd November 2016

Darkin Architect have been recognised for our commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace. Click on the image below to read the article from the Llanelli Star.

Llanelli Star Article Exemplar Employer

Darkin Architects Are Proud to Continue Sponsorship
2nd June 2016

Llanelli Star Community Awards 2016 Teacher Mentor Darkin Architects Logo

Tomorrow night, Darkin Architects once again look forward to rewarding a positive contribution to the community at the Llanelli Star Awards. The even honours members of the Llanelli Community in a number of categories and Darkin Architects are sponsoring the Teacher Mentor Category.

Planning Permission Granted for Replica Lighthouse
16th May 2016

Further to last month's story below, we are pleased to learn that Planning Permission has today been granted for the replica lighthouse on Moreb Roundabout, Burry Port.

Replica lighthouse set for Burry Port roundabout
By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: April 20, 2016

Burry Port Lighthouse

BURRY Port is set to welcome an additional lighthouse.

But all is not quite as it seems.

The new lighthouse will be added to Moreb Roundabout and will form an eye-catching part of the display ahead of this year's Wales In Bloom competition.

The application for the structure was submitted to Carmarthenshire Council's planning department on April 15, but no decision has yet been made.

The lighthouse will stand at four and a half metres tall and has been designed as an exact replica of the town's iconic harbour structure.

However there will be one crucial difference between the original and new lighthouse, revealed architect David Darkin.

"There is no light in this lighthouse, ironically," he said.

"It could be a hazard to traffic so we were unable to add a light."

Councillor Shirley Matthews said the lighthouse design would symbolise a gateway into Burry Port and reflect the town's rich heritage as they prepare to enter the Royal Horticultural Society competition once again this year.

She said: "This lighthouse design shows off a part of our heritage and there is nothing like it anywhere else.

"The flower beds last year were very attractive and attracted so many people to Pembrey and Burry Port, but they were very labour intensive.

"This year we are looking to make a more sustainable and cost effective display.

"There will be more sustainable planting which will require very little maintenance.

"We are aiming to reduce our spending on flowers and have received donations towards the lighthouse to keep the costs down."

The plans also include planting wild flowers on three other roundabouts in the towns, with the overall costs estimated to be around £4,000.

Architect Mr Darkin said his team had to consult with the highways department ahead of constructing the lighthouse to ensure it does not obstruct motorists' views.

Top Tech Offering
23rd March 2016

Llanelli Star VR Headset Newspaper Article Virtual Reality Architects

Architect gives chance to view home virtually
By Llanelli Star  |  Printed: March 23, 2016

UNLESS you're an architect or a builder, chances are thar picturing a building in 3D from looking at flat plans doesn't come easy, if at all. Thankfully, a Llanelli Architect has come up with a novel solution using the latest technology from Silicon Valley - Virtual Reality.

"Clients have really taken to it," said David Darkin of Darkin Architects. 

"People are immersed in a virtual world and can get a really good impression of how their new home or extension will look. VR is revolutionising the way we design." 

Virtual Reality or VR has been around in its current format for around two years with tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Samsung investing heavily in the technologies. Products such as the Gear VR and Oculus Rift have been in development for use in gaming and films, but David believes there's more to the tech than just video games.

"It's not just a novelty for video games," he added. "I've even taken the headset t building sites to show builders. The builders are amused to say the least, but seeing how the building will look when its finished in a 3D environment helps them better plan the building process."

Mr Darkin said VR is only one of the state of the art innovations at the practice. "As well as new BIM design software, we've also acquired a Thermal Imaging Camera which allows us to check a building's insulation performance."

Westminster Business Forum
7th December 2015

Darkin Architects were invited to attend a forum on Welsh Business in Westminster. Hosted in the Houses of Parliament, the forum was an opportunity for Welsh Businesses to discuss business policy with First Minister Carwyn Jones and members of the Shadow Cabinet team.

Shadow Cabinet Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones Darkin Architects Business Forum group Photograph

Consultation Success
27th November 2015

Today Darkin Architects, together with the Friends of Llanelli Train Station and Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Nia Griffith, consulted on the proposed renovations of the corner plot at Llanelli Train Station. The proposed scheme will transform an unloved piece of derelict land into a new public space housing a new heritage board. The heritage will commemorate the famous Llanelli Railway Strike amongst other historical events and will be prepared by the Llanelli Community Heritage Team. The scheme was very well received by the public and the project is due to move forward with funding applications in the new year. To date, all work has been prepared by volunteers, free of charge.

Llanelli Train Station Consultation Lee Waters Nia Griffith Heritage Community

Llanelli Chapel Fire
14th August 2015

In the clip below, see Managing Director, David Darkin being interviewed for Channel S4C's Evening News, talking about the architecture of a Llanelli Chapel destroyed in a recent fire.

Town Centre CCTV Cutbacks
24th March 2015

Axing of Llanelli CCTV would make it easier for criminals to operate, it is claimed
By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: March 25, 2015

A MOVE not to monitor CCTV in Llanelli town centre would be "disastrous", making it far easier for criminals to operate — according to two leading businessmen.

Architect David Darkin and shop owner Jonathan Armstrong met with police and crime commissioner Christopher Salmon to raise their concerns.

David Darkin Jonathan Armstrong and Christopher Salmon

Mr Salmon has now agreed to a review in 12 months.

With police funding being pulled, Carmarthenshire Council has also axed £100,000 towards the CCTV partnership, meaning there will be no live monitoring.

Mr Salmon said crime remains low in the other counties after their CCTV was cut last year.

But both Mr Darkin and Mr Armstrong, senior members of the Llanelli Chamber of Trade, have insisted having someone in the control room who can view CCTV and alert police to incidences was "vital" for making people feel safe in the town centre.

"The Chamber of Trade has serious concerns that losing such a vital, essential service would be disastrous for the town,"Mr Armstrong said.

"Working with live CCTV, Storenet, PCSOs and town centre security, we can quickly identify prolific offenders and cut crimes so how he can say it has no impact amazes us."

Mr Salmon confirmed he would review the situation next year.

"I understand their concerns about CCTV and explained to them research I commissioned — in partnership with county councils and the police — produced no evidence that live monitoring cuts crime," he said.

"That's why my funding for this element of CCTV will end this month; I won't spend taxpayers' money on things that evidence tells me don't work."

Swansea Council to Charge for Pre-Application Advice
24th March 2015

Swansea City Council have announced that they are going to start charging for pre-planning application enquiries. This follows the trend seen in England and in Cardiff and the spread of this policy does not seem to be abating.

Why this move? Swansea City Council says that it is "to encourage and promote high quality development and to ensure that any significant planning issues are raised as early as possible in the process."

Application fees are dictated by the Welsh Assembly Government and applied the same to all authorities. With no increase in these fees for a number of years and with departments facing cut backs, it's no wonder that the Councils have had to review alternative income sources. However, will this stifle development? Will it reduce the number of pre-application enquiries and will it clog-up the planning system with straightforward issues that could have been resolved before an application?

Cardiff City Council have been charging for pre-planning applications for a few years, and our experience has shown that there are pitfalls with the system, in particular when it comes to permitted development. Permitted development is the term for certain works that don't require planning consent e.g. small extensions under a certain size. However, upon sale, it can become apparent that purchasers aren't happy to be told that building works 'didn't need planning permission' and so for years, Darkin Architects have recommended a simple pre-planning enquiry that allows the local planning department to confirm this is the case. 

In Cardiff, given the upfront fee and hourly charge rate for these simple enquiries, we've often recommend to our clients that they submit a planning application anyway as the fee is fixed at £166. This situation effectively makes permitted development pointless.

There is some hope, in that Swansea City Council's announcement categorises simple extensions as an exemption from these charges, so hopefully it will be business as usual for our domestic clients.

Llanelli Train Station Revamp, featured in Llanelli Herald
13th March 2015

Llanelli Train Station Revamp Herald

David Darkin,
5 Sep 2013, 04:35