On this project we were initially contacted by the client's estate agent. The house was to be sold in probate as part of the family's estate and we were asked to assess the likelihood of obtaining Planning Permission for additional building sites in the large garden.
A few generations of the family had lived here and, in the honourable interests of neighbourliness, were averse to any dense development such as apartments or townhouses. The Executors of the Estate do, however, have a duty to realise the estate's maximum value and our professional opinion was sought.
The site was zoned in the Local Area Plan as being within a designated 'Area of Townscape Character', with limitations placed on development density, house styles, etc.
The site as a whole was also the subject of an extensive number of Tree reservation Orders, prohibiting removal of the vast majority of mature vegetation.
Existing driveway access to the site was below modern standards, especially in view of the fact that the adjacent road was designated in the Area Plan as a 'Protected Route'.
The Design Process
We initially undertook a site visit to note the specific features of the site and the surrounding area. We then conducted a desk study to identify the limitations placed on potential development in the area with particular regard to local Planning Policies, recent Planning decisions, relevant precedents, etc. From this we were able to establish the main issues as set out above and, working within these restrictions, we produced a Feasibility Report indicating the potential for two large detached houses to be built, in addition to the retention of the existing house. This report also included a preliminary conceptual site layout to justify our findings.
Following completion of our Feasibility Study and Conceptual Layout we were further instructed to apply for Planning Permission for the two detached houses as recommended in our report.
We used the fact that the existing house had to individual driveways and an additional bridle path access, all within the site's frontage onto the Protected Route, to negotiate with Roads Service in relation to our proposed access to the new sites. This involved abandonment of the bridleway and improvement of visibility splays at one driveways to serve the existing house in exchange for permission for the second driveway to be used for access to the new sites.
Careful detailing of the site boundaries and the footprints of the new houses not only enabled compliance with the Tree Preservation Orders but also resulted in each new site benefiting from mature settings which add greatly to their value and their integration into this established residential area.
Detailed designs for each individual house were then commenced, taking into account the need for them to blend with the area's predominant 'Arts & Crafts' style as stated within the local Planning Policies. This resulted in each house having a highly individual period design, of exceptional character, each with accommodation in excess of 3,000ft².
All of these details were submitted as a Planning application, backed up by an extensive Design Concept Statement, and full Planning Permission was awarded. The existing house and new sites have now been agreed for sale at an excellent price to the benefit of the family's estate.
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