The site is located in a semi-rural location on the outskirts of a popular village. The site originally contained a tired and unattractive bungalow. Out client purchased this site for its location, views and development potential. We were asked to extend the bungalow at the rear and to add an additional storey to meet the needs of a growing family. Ceiling heights and headroom in the upper storey was of particular concern making a loft conversion impractical. This project therefore evolved into a new build.
The site location is characterised by low scale detached properties with large rear extensions. We therefore divided the building into two halves with ancillary spaces and smaller bedrooms being placed at the front and the larger bedrooms and principal living spaces being placed at the rear. In this way we were able to lower the scale of the front elevation, whilst maintaining generous proportions at the rear.
We believed this approach, coupled with gabled elevations on the façade would ensure the scale of the house respected the character of the existing street scene. Despite an initial setback approval was awarded by the planning inspectorate who praised our design for being “coherent and high quality.” Our client had high expectations for the performance of their new home: the building envelope was designed to have very low air leakage rates; a heat recovery system manages ventilation and minimises heat loss; heating is provided by an air source heat pump linked to underfloor heating; and the house will be provided with roof mounted solar panels and chargers for electric vehicles.
Feedback from Planning Inspectorate
The design of the proposal, particularly as seen within the street scene takes cues from some of the more traditional dwellings, utilising dormers at eaves level. Furthermore, the proposal would utilise a varied palette of materials reflective of the local area, including traditional local materials of stone and plain clay tiles. As such, whilst clearly a contemporary design, it would show references to the traditional local vernacular and local distinctiveness. The design would be an interesting and innovative architectural response to an already varied street scene.