In 2020, Edgars was approached by a private client seeking planning assistance with the demolition of a single bungalow and the construction of two three-storey dwellings. At this leafy suburban location in Oxford, the client intended to use one of the new dwellings as a family home and sell the second dwelling.
There were a number of challenges that we needed to identify and address accordingly. For one, the site was constrained physically, being in close proximity to neighbouring properties. Alongside this, the neighbouring properties had sensitively positioned windows that were lower in height than the rest of the road.
Taking this into consideration, it was essential that our proposed development responded to these constraints as well as ensure appropriate levels of amenity and privacy in order to comply with planning policy and achieve the best result for our client.
As well as these constraints, a challenging highway issue in the new local plan that was not clearly defined, meant that the client would likely experience difficulty in retaining their off-street parking. Furthermore, it was imperative that the designs maximised the redevelopment proposed for the client.
To begin with, we reviewed the baseline details of the site to fully understand the context in which a new proposal would sit within.
We then initiated a workshop session with the client. The purpose of the meeting was to analyse the merits of the possible design approaches in planning terms. Naturally, through this process, the plans evolved and became more robust.
Understanding the importance of establishing a strong relationship with local authorities, we organised a meeting with planning officers from the local planning authority. In doing so, we could effectively present our solutions to the officers and gain valuable informal feedback from them that would help to further improve the design process.
By building rapport with the local planning authority, we were also able to persuade the planning officers on the interpretation of the new policy to make sure the client retained their off-street parking.
The final stage of the process was to submit the full planning application on behalf of the client. Throughout the project, we regularly provided the client with updates on progress and realistic outcomes, allowing them to rest assured they were in safe hands.
The client was pleased that planning permission was successfully granted by the local planning authority, without the need to be heard by the Planning Committee, which meant that works could begin as soon as the client coordinated their discharge of conditions.
“We are incredibly grateful to Edgars, and Iain Summerwood in particular, for the assistance you have provided in negotiating the difficulties of a policy-driven planning process.” – Client
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