Darkin Architects Featured in Llanelli Star
10th December 2014

Architect in meeting
By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: October 24, 2014

A LLANELLI architect joined a discussion on the economic recovery with senior MPs including Ed Balls and Peter Hain.

David Darkin was invited by local MP Nia Griffith to travel to London for a Business Round table meeting.

"It was fascinating to listen to, and be a part of the dialogue between Welsh business and the Shadow Treasury Team ahead of the Autumn Statement" said Mr Darkin.

"Ed Balls said the key to recovery would be through the creation of good jobs."

The meeting took place in the House of Commons and was attended by MPs from the shadow treasury team and businesses from different industries from across Wales.

House of Commons Silhouette

Llanelli Star Architect David Darkin in Meeting with Ed Balls

Darkin Architects Featured in South Wales Evening Post
24th October 2014

Llanelli architect and businessman says 'town centre is improving'
By Chad_Welch  |  Posted: October 24, 2014

Photograph by Terry Morris Left to Right:  Simon Rees - Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Meryl Gravel, Claire Lewis - Owner of Utopia Hair Salon, Councillor Kevin Madge - Leader of the Council, David Darkin RIBA

Photograph by Terry Morris Left to Right: Simon Rees - Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Meryl Gravel, Claire Lewis - Owner of Utopia Hair Salon, Councillor Kevin Madge - Leader of the Council, David Darkin RIBA

A LLANELLI architect and businessman claims the “town centre is improving”, despite a retail survey listing it as the second worst town centre in the UK.

David Darkin, 31, owner of Darkin Architects believes Llanelli’s town centre is getting better thanks to inward investment.

On the very same day that specialist retail property experts Harper Dennis Hobbs released its list of 500 town centres, with Llanelli pipping only Dudley to last place, the town’s Assembly Member Keith Davies unveiled his plan for its future.

In the National Assembly, Mr Davies said he aimed to “inject vibrancy” into the town.

But, Mr Darkin, a fellow Labour supporter, believes Llanelli is already heading in the right direction.

“Everyone’s seen the Eastgate Development, Llanelly House and the library, but there’s a lot more going on to help independent retailers,” he said.

“Many grants have been given out by the council to help local businesses.”

A member of Llanelli Chamber of Trade, Mr Darkin claims that over the last few years Carmarthenshire Council has awarded more than £100,000 in grants to businesses from the European Regional Development Fund.

This cash boost, he said, has helped to refurbish the fronts of many shops in Llanelli including Amy’s FashionsUtopia Hair Salon, Pebbles and Timeless Tattoo — projects Mr Darkin’s business has designed — and he hopes more will follow in the future.

“That recent report, damning Llanelli as the second worst shopping centre in the UK was misleading,” Mr Darkin claims.

“If you read their methodology, you can see that it only focuses on the ‘retail offering’.

“That means that the service sector and our new cultural and leisure facilities such as the theatre, library, cinema and restaurants aren’t factored.”

He added that the survey had also ranked the spend potential of the centres, with Llanelli ranked 196th with a value of over £235m.

“In an increasingly digital world, I think that Llanelli is heading in the right direction,” Mr Darkin said.
Does New Wales Planning Policy Make Life Easier for Developers?
20th October 2014

July 2014 saw the introduction of the New Planning Policy Wales 2014 (PPW14). This will make life easier for anyone building a new home and we'll tell you why.

To start with, the policy clearly states that the Planning System is not meant to duplicate the role of Building Regulations - Great! This should cut out a lot of red tape. We'll all have the same challenges to face, but will only have one point of contact for the technical challenges - Building Control. Also, the Code for Sustainable Homes has effectively been scrapped. From 2010 to 2014, new homes had to comply with the code, which essentially meant paying a Energy Assessor lots of money to point score home design before and after planning as well as after construction. This will certainly save some developers thousands of pounds in fees, but will probably most benefit self-builders.

Does this mean that new homes will be less sustainable? 

Our thoughts - no. Alongside the new PPW14, Wales also got it's own Building Regulations Part L. Part L is concerned with Energy use and has aspired to greater standards than those currently set in England. Furthermore, now that it's down to Building Control, there is a department that has the technical capacity to oversee the works and, where necessary, take enforcement action to ensure compliance. Technical Construction matters are not something the planning system was ever equipped to deal with.

Will it work? Only time will tell.

     

Planning Permission Received for Fields Twins' Extension
14th September 2014

Darkin Architects are proud to announce that we have gained planning consent for Kirsty and Catherine Fields to extend their home. This extension will bring much needed facilities to their home and improve their lives.

We're looking forward to working with other professionals and trades to making these plans a reality for Kirsty and Catherine.

The twins suffer from a condition so rare that it is named after them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fields'_disease