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Darren Blackwell, a partner of the Oakwrights design team, writes the following planning case study…

 

The initial meeting with Simon and Karen took place on the site in the June of 2008. The site in question is on the periphery of the historic and picturesque village of Abinger Hammer, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of the Surrey countryside. The purpose of this meeting was to assess the site and its immediate surroundings from a planning perspective and to develop a design/lifestyle brief. An application for extending the existing property had recently been withdrawn from the planning register due to issues raised by the Planning Case Officer over the scale and mass of the proposal.

 

As a result of the issues raised by the planners, Simon and Karen turned their attention to replacing the existing, tired looking, circa 1940’s chalet style property, as this would give them more scope and flexibility in realizing their dream of self-building their own family home.

 

As part of the design brief, both Karen and Simon mentioned their desire to develop a scheme inspired by a property known as Holly House, which featured in an Oakwrights brochure. Whilst this was a good starting point, consideration had to be given as to the topography of the predominately sloping site and the positioning and orientation of the proposal on the site.

 

With the conceptual scheme underway, the relationship between the rooms within the internal layout was established, with predominately free flowing, open planned arrangements to the ground floor and four generous sized bedrooms accommodated within the roof space of the one and a half storey, oak framed, structure. A single storey section, forming the lounge area was to be fully vaulted with exposed oak trusses forming the structural element of the roof, giving that instant ‘wow’ factor when entering the room.

 

After a couple of minor alterations the design was ready to be presented to the Planning Department of Guildford Borough Council in the form of a formal planning application. With supporting documentation, consisting of comparison floor area and volume calculations, we demonstrated that our proposal would result in an uplift in area and volume which was within the council’s prescriptive allowances. Whilst this was indeed the case, the Planning Case Officer was of the opinion that the single storey section forming the lounge area should be reduced in length. Rather than risk a refusal at this stage, this section was reduced and amended plans where submitted. Planning permission was granted in the December of 2008, with a subsequent approval granted the following March for a revised scheme, adding back on the section of the lounge area which had previously been removed.

 

Forward to 2016, the property which now occupies the site is one of a beautifully proportioned and aesthetically pleasing, sustainable family home for Simon and Karen which has mellowed to such an extent that it blends seamlessly into its rural setting.

Operating nationwide and abroad, Oakwrights are a multi-award winning company specialising in the design and construction of all styles of oak framed houses and outbuildings.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional or contemporary, cottage or manor house, Oakwrights Architectural Designers will put their extensive skills and knowledge at your disposal and produce designs to inspire you. From there the Frame Designers and framing team will turn your designs into a structural reality and once complete, an Oakwrights Encapsulation System will wrap your oak frame using the most up-to-date technology, giving you the healthiest of homes.

With years of experience of building oak framed homes, Oakwrights have developed a simple approach to the overall build process, designed to allow you, the self-builder, more flexibility. They call this ‘Building the Wright Way’.

Their unsurpassed reputation has been built on excellence of design, quality of product and professionalism of service – from the first meeting with Oakwrights you’ll instinctively know you’ve made the ‘Wright’ decision.

Proud to exhibit at the Homebuilding & Renovating Shows. Operating nationwide and abroad, Oakwrights are a multi-award winning company specialising in the design and construction of all styles of oak framed houses and outbuildings. Whether you’re looking for a traditional or contemporary, cottage or manor house, Oakwrights Architectural Designers will put their extensive skills and knowledge at your disposal and produce designs to inspire you. From there the Frame Designers and framing team will turn your designs into a structural reality and once complete, an Oakwrights Encapsulation System will wrap your oak frame using the most up-to-date technology, giving you the healthiest of homes.