Overcoming a plot’s challenging planning history


Plots can come with a planning history that requires sensitive handling and an innovative approach.

Project Background

Our client came to us having bought a site with such a history. The former site owners had made two unsuccessful planning applications for a number of houses on the site, first for seven houses and then five. The plot was next to a Grade II listed cottage, previously part of the village pub. Another challenge was to secure the status of the plot as separate to the cottage and not within its curtilage as both had previously been in the same ownership.

Once the site’s status as a stand-alone plot had been established to the planning department’s satisfaction, we were able to focus on designing a home that met the clients’ brief and worked in the sensitive location.

The House

The clients wanted a contemporary five bedroom home for their young family. It was important the plans not only met their needs but took into account the nearby listed cottage. Our design created a low level home built around a courtyard with a tree in the centre. An innovative approach was to create accommodation in the roof space utilising every part of the house to make it as cost effective as possible. Glazed gables flood the home with light and an attractive feature are the in touch balconies that sit flush with the building bringing the outside into the house.

Architect Josh Wood said: “The steep pitch and overhanging eaves were inspired by the thatched roof of the neighbouring listed building. Whilst this helps to harmonise the design with the vernacular and site, it also enables maximum useful space on the upper floors using minimal resources.

“It enabled an off-the-shelf attic truss to be used helping to reduce costs. The result is a building with its own character, a great sense of space and a palette of high quality materials which were made possible by saving money on the structure.”


The project was granted detailed planning permission, the first scheme to be successful on the site. When giving permission, the planning department commented positively on the design and the care that had been taken to ensure the new home complemented the neighbouring listed cottage.

This house is currently under construction.

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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.