Architecture Magazine

The Importance of Fitting in

By The_woodlouse @the_woodlouse
The importance of fitting inBefore deciding to make an offer on the bungalow I went to talk to the local planning officer again.  We needed to know what the planners' reaction might be to a strawbale wrap and extension of the bungalow.  The short answer is "mixed".  Normally, within certain criteria to do with size and materials that match the existing structure, side or rear extensions are covered by "permitted development" rights.  As long as you meet the criteria you can go ahead and build once you have building control approval (to ensure the construction meets current standards).  As Bridport lies in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) all side extensions here need planning permission, as do any that don't match existing building structure.
So straight away, our project quite rightly does require planning permission.  This is then more likely to be given if the plans still comply with the restrictions normally covering permitted development.  Our plans clearly won't...  The planning officer was extremely helpful and generally supportive, but of course he has to work within the guidelines and regulations governing planning and development.  He explained that the main problem we might have comes down to the visual change from a brick bungalow (in a street of brick bungalows) to a rendered one, as the strawbale walls will have to be rendered.  He said that just extending with straw, but leaving the main building as brick would probably be fine, but was hesitant about the wrapping of the whole building due to the conflict of this with the guidance that development should be in keeping with surrounding structures.
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