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.
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.
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.”