“Creating a new lifetime home within a restricted plot with highly constrained planning restrictions ”

Our clients came to us looking to build a pensioner friendly oak frame home on their garden plot. They currently live in a large house built by a developer situated on a large plot surrounded by mature trees. Our clients approached us with a brief to replace the existing dwelling with two new dwellings, one for them which would be a pensioner friendly oak frame home, with easy access into and out of the dwelling, which would be low maintenance, warm, comfortable and have low running costs.  The other plot / property would be to sell to fund the construction of the first plot.

The existing house was not particularly well designed with regards to the external and internal finishing, or for accessibility, and its position on the site was less than ideal. It is situated in an Area of Special Residential Character (ASRC). This is a special designation given by local councils where they want to protect an area from unsympathetic redevelopment.

As such, we knew we were going to have to think ‘outside the box’, and when we began to research the site we started to unravel an incredibly complex planning history with twelve previous planning applications, 7 of which were refused and a total of five planning appeals between 1990 and 2002 which were all dismissed.

In order to give us the best chance of a successful planning application, we focussed on developing proposals that would maintain the distinctive characteristics of the ASRC. This meant we needed to comply with the twelve criteria for development within an ASRC, whilst at the same time fulfilling our client’s brief.

“This has been a really interesting project from a design perspective and quite challenging due to the ‘Area of Special Residential Character.” says Luke Jackson, architect on the project. The designation meant the design has had to follow a number of criteria; footprint to plot ratio, average distances to boundaries and respecting building lines, to name a few. Within these planning constraints however we have been able to design two beautiful properties, which meet our client’s requirements for a pensioner friendly oak frame home, and are thrilled to have been granted permission.’

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If you have a plot, and would like to talk to one of our project advisors about getting planning permission, budgeting, building costs or anything else relating to building bespoke oak frame homes, schedule a call below to pick our brains!


The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 


The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 


We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.


To find out more about our client-led approach to design, have a read of our blog posts on bespoke architecture, designing from a blank canvas and our client lifestyle briefing process.

If you would like to speak to our Project Consultant, Ged Brockett, and have a FREE phone consultation about your project, please call 01249 479890.