Reflections; Securing Planning Permission

Published on 12th August 2022 by Collette Raine

"the committee was positive in their review of the proposal for Old Brickmakers, attesting that it "was an exemplar for good contemporary design and was welcome" NFNPA Planning Commitee

Securing several exciting planning permissions in the last few months, despite the protracted and challenging planning process at present. Tackling redesigns and planning committees, with engagement and dialogue throughout the process leading to successful resolutions and securing planning permission. We feel this is a good reason to celebrate.

Our first and most challenging project we have received permission for is Community Copse.  This application is for a small community of high-quality, crafted eco-houses with Belmore building. The dwellings seek to maximise their woodland setting and aim to foster a strong sense of place. Purposefully designed to shape their context and respond to beneficial solar orientation the dwellings offer the residents an intimate relationship with the surrounding woodland and its ecology.

On the site our biggest challenge was the ecology, both existing and potential. We worked in close collaboration with the ecologist to develop a solution that would blend ecological enhancement with development.  The solution, an ‘ecology buffer’ strip, is a haven for wildlife particularly a colony of slowworms and badgers. Protected throughout the the construction and use, the ‘buffer’ a zone for nature, and demarcated with a low-concrete wall. This distinct separation from the residential gardens is important to protect the future of the wildlife. In developing, redesigning and securing the scheme it has been a collaboration between us, the client, consultants and the local authority. This will progress to site early 2023.

Concurrently our second approval received great praise from the planning committee. The Old Brickmakers, was described as “an exemplar for good contemporary design” and stated that it “was welcome in the New Forest”. Further reinforcing the benefits of dialogue and collaboration throughout the process. This family retreat celebrates the sites history as it sits partially sunk into an old clay pit used to make the historic local bricks. Facilitating the gathering of the family and enjoyment of the new forest surroundings, large openings are sheltered with deep overhangs whilst a lightweight upper floor blends into the tree canopies.

Supporting the enjoyment and indulgence in the beautiful dark skies of the national park for a retiring couple. We have in the last month secured an exciting redevelopment and new observatory in the forest. An exciting learning process understanding the impact of materiality on the equipment and positioning. The project is due to start on site in the autumn.

Rounding off we have secured a further development scheme for Belmore Building, Hampshire Housing. An infill development in a suburban town along the edge of the New Forest National Park. The approach taken sought to maximise the potential development area while retaining the feeling of spaciousness on the site and rhythm of the street frontages. The design simultaneously respects neighbouring buildings and creates a unique proposal that contributes positively to the place.

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