Clever use of difficult site unlocks planning potential for exciting 4 bed split level oak frame home


‘How about we build over there instead?’

Sometimes tricky projects just need a fresh approach to unlock them and resolve challenging issues.

Project Background

Our original remit was specifically to help produce the design plans for a four bedroom home on a landlocked, sloping plot in Kent. The client had seen a project we had handled on a plot very similar to theirs and approached us to work on the design plans.

With their planning consultant, they had identified a location for the build on an elevated ridge in the middle of the plot, which was part of a large garden belonging to their parents. This had raised planning issues of potential overlooking, visual impact on neighbouring properties and the need for a lengthy access road from a new estate development due to be built on neighbouring land.

The House

As we began to work on the design it became clear that an alternative site offered a better solution. Lower lying and tucked at the back of the plot among trees, it offered the opportunity for an interesting split level home with the main living spaces upstairs to maximise the views across the garden. A retaining wall built into the bank enabled the creation of a terrace area and the position in the plot meant the access road could be much shorter and have less impact on the site.


Relocating the house resolved potentially difficult planning issues and offered the clients features that they had thought they might not be able to achieve including a garage and glazing to maximise the views.

By working closely with the clients and their planning consultant, we were able to identify and deliver a much improved scheme which has now been granted planning permission.


Architect Jon Llewellyn said: “It became obvious when viewing the site with the clients there was a missed opportunity, both in design and planning terms. Their idea of siting their house in the highest and most attractive part of the site created several issues, not least the house being too prominent for planners.

“In design terms it was obvious that siting the house tucked behind some tall trees on lower ground allowed an exciting split-level design that, most importantly, then looked out on the most attractive part of the site.

“This also dealt with the main concerns of planners in terms of impact on neighbours and views from outside the site and importantly allowed a bigger, more dramatic house to be given consent.”

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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.