We were recommended to the owners of a large detached house in Greenisland who were looking to downsize for their retirement. They felt that the garden of their house had potential for a building site, the sale of which could maximise the value of their property and give them a more comfortable future.
They appointed us to assess the suitability of the plot for a potential building site without this detracting excessively from the value of the existing house.
Whilst access to the site was achievable from an adjacent minor road, the garden area available was quite marginal in terms of plot size and predominant development densities in the area. There was also substantial resistance to the proposal from neighbours, including two from houses that themselves had been built on adjacent greenfield sites only the previous year.
The Design Process
Due to slightly elevated site levels the entire site of the existing house and garden was dimensionally surveyed both on plan and elevation, enabling accurate site sections to be produced. The proposed boundary between the existing house and new site was then established and the area for the new house footprint set in relation to minimum separation distances, required amenity spaces, etc, all informed by a Site Analysis drawing which established principle views into and out of the site. The house layout and elevations were then designed to take advantage of all of these factors.
As the plot, and therefore the building footprint, were limited in size it was necessary to push for a two-storey house. This was contrary to the necessity to limit overlooking of neighbouring gardens to the rear which naturally suggested that only a bungalow might be acceptable to the Planners. To overcome this problem the house was designed as 'storey-and-a-half' which enabled 1st floor rooms at the front of the house (overlooking only the public road) to benefit from dormer windows whilst those at the back of the house could be fitted with large velux windows therefore reducing overlooking effects on neighbouring gardens.
The proposals were submitted for Planning approval and, in spite of objections from two neighbours, they were proved to have the design merit necessary to be awarded Planning Permission. On receipt of this the existing house and new site together were agreed for sale to a developer who then retained us to progress our design through the Building Control process and simultaneously oversee the refurbishment of the existing house.
As all of our Planning drawings are produced with an inherent focus on final construction details and 'buildability' the Building Control application was approved within weeks of submission and shortly thereafter the existing house was sold on and construction of the new house commenced.
On this project we not only achieved the full aims of the original client in realising the added value they desired but we were also then able to secure additional profits for the developer who took on the project at that stage.
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