Attractive and sustainable home in AONB and Conservation Area
Our client was living in the family’s large Cotswold Stone home in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within the village Conservation Area. The children have long since grown up with families of their own and were living nearby, so our client was keen to downsize and remain in the village. Fortunately, the grounds of the family home were spacious enough to consider the siting of a new dwelling, suitable for the long-term needs of our client.
Given the sensitive nature of the site, in an AONB and Conservation Area, with the added complexity of being located next to a Grade II listed building, it was essential that the design met not only our client’s needs but also satisfied the local authority.
A new home would allow for the release of a large family home which has become a practical and financial burden to our client. The NPPF would allow for sustainable development in the area, so long as there was no adverse impact on the setting or the neighbouring houses and as long as the design met the local authority’s design guide for the Conservation Area.
Our objective was to build an attractive, sustainable home for our client that would meet her needs as she grows older with an easy flow around the house and low maintenance inside and out. Therefore, it was important that the design followed the principles of the Lifetime Homes standards to provide long term access throughout the building and into the garden and driveway.
Sustainable development was also high on the design agenda. The orientation of the single storey home is such that natural daylight and solar gain will benefit the internal spaces whilst also making the most of garden views to the south and south-east.
In order to minimise the impact on the setting and on the neighbouring buildings, we designed an ‘L’ shaped form with simplified, shallow roof elements to reduce its scale. The 2-bedroom home will be constructed with an oak frame and will utilise good quality materials from a pallet of West Oxfordshire vernacular materials, supporting what we regard as an historically sensitive, yet modern development.
The planners granted approval for our design and we have since developed the technical drawings necessary to gain approval from Building Control and to enable us to negotiate a fixed price contract with a local builder for our client. Work has recently started on site and the foundations are now complete.
We are looking forward to our client being able to move into their new home, in the meantime, we are continuing to support them throughout the build process, ensuring everything is built as designed and to our high quality standards.