As I discuss in my last post, we have a large garden that is side-on to our road, and it is large enough for us to divide off a strip at the far end from our farmhouse to act as the plot for our new build, whilst leaving an acceptable plot for the farmhouse. However it is just large enough to do this, and neither plot is going to be generous. We therefore need to balance where we position the new boundary so as to give the new house a sufficient plot, whilst leaving the existing house with a plot that won’t impact its saleability.
The site plan shows a plot of some 26 x 14.5m with the new house 11.5m long sitting in the middle of this. This is where the garage currently is and between our neighbour’s extension (which is largely obscured by a plum tree in her garden) and the plum tree in ours. We have little freedom in the build orientation or placement given the overall floor space (and which I discuss below). The plot is within the centre of the village and parallel to the road, so this means that we have quite a few neighbours who could be impacted by the new development – ten in all, though only five have gardens that border the new development (if we include the farmhouse itself). So we need to be sensitive to the views of our neighbours views and the planners in positioning the new build.
I’ve orientated the site plan so the adjacent road and access onto it is at the bottom. Our farmhouse is to the right; this was first built in circa 1680 and added to in later centuries. A friend owns the cottage to the left (visible in the photo); this and most of the adjacent houses on the road date to the mid 1800s or earlier and are built in the locally quarried stone (excepting one 1990s in-fill). On the opposite side of the plot from the road is an estate build in the 1970s on what was originally the farm’s land. Three of these estate houses back onto the plot, so these neighbours will have the new-build at the bottom of their garden. The main axis of the house is aligned with the adjacent cottage extension, with the trees in its garden breaking the visual line between the cottage and the new build. The small mature plum will be retained within the remaining farmhouse garden to right, near the boundary and centred on the gable, will also soften the visual impact of the house from the farmhouse. To the front we have an old stone wall and hedge and along the road boundary with some damsons in the hedge. There is a 10ft high laurel hedge to the rear.
The planners want the build to be sympathetic to the local style, that is faced with local stone, a slate roof and having a general cottage style in terms of doors, windows, etc. We agree that this will help the house to sit well in the street context. We can’t have windows in either gable in order to avoid overlooking issues, and so the house has a very “front and back” feel to it. Also the fore and aft positioning of the house is pretty much dictated by the aesthetics of the axis alignment and the need to balance distance from the rear neighbours and having adequate off-road parking to the front. Overall, we feel that our proposed position for the new-build sits well within the plot.
We’ve had our first round of planning application, which we unfortunately had to withdraw after Highway Agency comments (to do a traffic survey during school term-time and to address some details with the new vehicle access to the farmhouse plot – which I’ve already discussed in an eBuild topic). However, the overall the LPA feedback in regard to the new-build itself and it’s positioning within the plot was very positive.