Planning challenges in a Conservation Area and AONB


Project Background

Recommended to us by one of our other customers, this client approached us with a challenging garden plot in the centre of a Cotswold town. Sitting in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a conservation area and in proximity to listed buildings, getting planning permission on the site was going to require a well-considered design, a strong planning statement to justify the development and quite likely, a good deal of tenacity.

Being in a residential area with existing houses on each boundary, the planning argument was further complicated by the need to demonstrate that the proposed scheme did not impede on the amenity of light for the surrounding homes.

The House

Some of the key parameters of our client’s brief were to create a house with character, a bit of quirkiness, make use of natural stone and create a homely environment for their young and growing family.

Whilst the resulting design is quite a modest house to suit the site and the client’s budget, it has everything they are looking for. On entering the house, the entrance hall opens in to a spacious kitchen and dining area which is a key space for family interaction. This opens on to the garden with great visual connection so parents can keep a beady eye on young children making the most of being outside.

The sitting room provides a relaxing space and a generous utility room connects directly to the integrated garage.

Upstairs the master bedroom has a dressing room and ensuite and two further bedrooms share a family bathroom.

Externally a mixture of stone, render and timber cladding, a curved wall and some vertical glazing gives the house an individual and inspiring appearance.


Our architectural team love getting our clients fully engaged in the design process and this was no exception. With one of the clients being a long-haul pilot, our use of virtual meetings worked particularly well. Regardless of where he was in the world, we were able to share the design with both of them as it evolved. By setting up an online meeting they were able to see our designers screen and therefore the CAD model and fully contribute to the design process.

Following what was initially considered to be fairly positive feedback from the planning authority through the pre planning application process, we submitted a full planning application. Unfortunately, once the proposals were in the public domain several local people rallied to oppose the scheme. As is sometimes the case we took a strategic view and withdrew the application to address some of the concerns raised.

A second planning submission was made which sadly attracted further objections which we felt were unjustified. However, as is sometimes necessary we advised the client to allow the planning application to run its course so that the planning officers report would be available to us. This provides officers reasons for (in this case) refusal. In turn this gives us the potential for a further application addressing these specific issues or an appeal.

Once we had the officers report we recommended a planning appeal to our client.

In April this year we were delighted to hear that the planning appeal was a success and we obtained planning permission for this detached dwelling.

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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, Alan Chilton-Bates, and have a FREE phone consultation about your project, please call 01249 479896.