Finding plots for new individual houses is notoriously difficult and the planning rules understandably deter and indeed prohibit a development outside the established settlement of village boundaries. One way of ‘creating’ a plot to build on is to find a site with an existing dwelling which might be built on to or perhaps demolished entirely, and a replacement constructed in its footprint.

However, this is often an expensive option. Demolishing a dwelling, whatever its condition, is not something undertaken lightly. The definition of a ‘dwelling’ is that it is habitable, which of course increases the intrinsic value of the existing building and its plot.

In this scheme, a quite basic single-storey house, thought to have formerly served as a government ‘shed’ or ‘hut’ for meetings and possibly storage, was replaced with a much larger two-storey dwelling. The client also wished to locate the building on a better part of the site and so this was negotiated as part of the application. There was an added complication in that the site was registered as being on the edge of, and technically just inside, the flood zone.

To obtain permission for the scheme we co-ordinated an independent flood risk modelling study in order to demonstrate that the actual edge of the flood plain was slightly different than that previously recorded and that the proposed location of the house was in fact safely outside the flood zone.

The house was designed to be environmentally sustainable with natural lime render and timber cladding externally with Warmcell shredded newspaper insulation. The scheme incorporates a vaulted, curved aluminium clad roof, heat recovery system and underfloor heating.

Property Name



South Norfolk

Planning District

South Norfolk District Council







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