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  • Writer's pictureSoba Faris

Planning consent for an extension to a contemporary countryside home

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

The proposed on the left with the existing to the right

We are pleased to announce the successful planning application for an extension to a contemporary home in the Gloucestershire countryside. This application has been challenging, but the high quality design and coordinated design process with collaboration with the local authority case officer ensured that planning permission was secured.

About the Project

The client approached us to design an extension that would accommodate a separate lounge area as this was a key space missing from the existing dwelling. A small lounge area exists in the open plan kitchen but it's not very cosy and it's difficult to relax if the kitchen or dining areas are in use by others. As part of the extension, the client also wished for an extra bedroom, bathroom, a sheltered garage and workshop space so they could work from home when needed.

The biggest design challenge was providing all the necessary spaces without creating a sprawl on the site which would otherwise harm the openness and character of the area. The existing dwelling is set across a single floor and as a result, the overall height of the dwelling is low.

After a few design ideas and thoughts about where to position the extension on site around the existing dwelling, we decided to set the extension across two floors in order to provide the desired spaces within a small footprint and we positioned it on site to take advantage of the beautiful rolling hills surrounding the site. We ensured the eaves are of a similar height to the existing dwelling when viewed from the public domain. We also proposed similar exterior material finishes so the two buildings seem as though they were conceived as one.

The Planning Process

The journey through planning on this project has been long and arduous. Most planning authorities in the UK provide guidance for extensions, a key piece of guidance being that an extension is subservient to the existing building. In order for a two storey design to work, we would need to ensure enough internal head height which would result in a roof height that is higher than the existing roof. We knew this would cause issues with the local planning authority but we persevered with our design principles and were successful in demonstrating that the extension is subservient to the existing dwelling through its form, function, and materiality. When viewed from the driveway, you are unable to differentiate the height difference of the two roofs. The second storey accommodates a balcony allowing for beautiful views across the open site which the client is exceptionally happy with.

Overall, the planning journey took a lot longer than anyone expected but we stuck with our design convictions and were able to get this project through planning. The client is eager to begin construction and has already got relevant trades underway on site.

We are very proud of our work on this project, as is the client who got more than they had hoped for. We will continue to provide updates to this project in the near future as construction progresses.

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