Planning within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Cirencester home by coombes everitt 2

From tennis courts to out buildings, previously used spaces can open the door to AONB development. John Everitt, Director of coombes everitt architect explains…

Securing planning permission for a modern style residential property in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) may not be an easy task, but if the land is already available then it may not be as challenging as you think. Much residential land may already be regarded as previously developed and therefore be viewed as suitable for planning – which means you are off to a good start.

For example, we recently obtained planning permission for a single-story residential dwelling in the grounds of an old manor house near Cirencester.

The manor land included a disused tennis court which provided the perfect position for the desired new home. We were able to produce a design which was both sympathetic to the environment and landscaping, while ensuring any occupants could extract the maximum benefit from natural light and beautiful views.

Depending on the location for your new build, you will of course need to be sensitive to any visual and landscape impacts. In the case of our manor house, we needed to make sure that the existing occupants would not be overlooked by the new property, and vice versa.

We also had to make sure the floor-to-ceiling triple glazing we were proposing would not cause any light spillage or glare which might impact on the surrounding community.

Planning officers are naturally keen to ensure any redevelopments or new builds in AONBs are not intrusive and blend in, as far as possible, with the local environs, and that important issues like light pollution or inappropriate cladding are addressed head on.

In this instance we chose to use the services of SF Planning to help us work with the local authority in an efficient and effective way. It meant we could concentrate on fine-tuning the right design while SF Planning were able to deal with any planning department issues or concerns.

It’s easy to overlook the land that’s quite literally in your back yard, or to assume that if your preferred location is in an established village or AONB that there’s little point in pursuing any planning potential.  But with the right advice and expertise, we’re proving it’s perfectly possible.

Whether you are an agent, owner or surveyor, if you think you’ve got some underused space or want to find out if your client’s land has hidden opportunity, get in touch with us and we’ll come and take a look.