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Gaining planning approval after an initial refusal

The proposal in relation to surrouding properties. Photo credit: Oakwrights

Having an application refused doesn’t always mean the end of the line for your dreams of a new home. This was the case with a recent project Helen Needham and David Bryan, members of our in-house Architectural Team, had in the New Forest National Park.


Helen visited the clients and their site on the outskirts of Southampton in late 2015 where discussions led to the formation of a brief and the development of a concept design for a bespoke green oak framed replacement house. The site itself is unique in its locality due to the generous size and open nature of the rear paddocks, which interested the clients initially.

Front and side elevations of the proposal. Photo credit: Oakwrights

David drew up a 3D model to complement the ideas agreed with the clients. The intention was to create a dwelling that both assimilated with the neighbouring properties to the principal elevation but utilised the openness and large size of the garden to the rear in a more contemporary way.

Floor plans of the proposal Photo credit: Oakwrights

The design progressed and was presented to the clients; with a few small tweaks it was ready for submission to the National Park for consideration, this was undertaken by the client’s Planning Consultant, a former member of the Planning Authority. Despite a general aura of support from neighbours and the local Parish Council, there was an assertion that the proposed dwelling did not comply with policy based on permissible additional floor area in relation to the existing property on the site. Furthermore, we were advised that the existing house was a non-designated heritage asset and the proposal was therefore refused planning permission.

We were confident in our design and believed there were no unreasonable ideas being proposed, the decision was taken to appeal. 


Appealing to the Planning Inspectorate can be a long process and has to be carefully considered. An appeal MUST be lodged within 6 months of the decision date; in late 2016 the appeal was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate under Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


When the final decision was received in May 2017, it was unfortunately to dismiss the appeal; however, within the appeal there were a number of arguments in the client’s favour. These were namely that the existing house was not a non-designated heritage asset as it was in no way ‘original’ due to the poor structural condition and 20th Century extensions. Additionally, the fact that the new dwelling “would not result in material harm to the character and appearance of the area” was raised.


This gave us the support we needed. The only thing left now was to satisfy the strict acceptable increase in floor area condition, which was the main point on which the appeal failed. The design was reduced slightly to meet this condition and re-submitted to the National Park Authority in June 2017.  The approval was received in August 2017; showing consents can be achieved even after receiving a refusal.


The process then moved onto our detailed 3D design with Barbara Bajena, Oak Frame Designer, James Carden-Dare, Encapsulation Designer and Lee Wilson, Architectural & Building Regulations Technician working their magic to translate the planning drawings into reality.


Initial hurdles and challenges may seem daunting, but with the use of our teams wealth of knowledge we can give you the best advice possible in order to aid your dream project. The construction of the new dwelling in the New Forest National Park is now progressing on-site and as with all our designs, we look forward to seeing the finished building being enjoyed by its proud owners.

Site photographs of the build and frame erection Photo credit: Oakwrights