Darley Eco-House


An existing residential property in Estate ownership, at the fringes of a rural village, was in need of refurbishment and an opportunity was identified to seek planning permission for the properties redevelopment in order to maximise value prior to any potential sale or let.

Initially a pre-application enquiry was undertaken led by Rural Solutions on the principle of demolishing the existing cottage and replacing with a new larger house in this rural, edge of village location. The local planning authority were however resistant to the scale of development being proposed.

A strategy was therefore adopted to instead apply for planning permission for a scheme of extension to the existing cottage, which sought to maximise opportunities available under permitted development rights to add extension and outbuildings. The scheme also included the creation of a lower ground floor where the resulting floorspace would have less visual and landscape impact. The objective was to maximise the scale of development achieved to establish the principle of an acceptable scale of development on the site in order to create a ‘fall-back’ position to use in support of a second application for demolition of the cottage and establishment of a larger replacement house. Through protracted engagement with the council’s planning officers, officer support was gained for a scheme of extension which was acknowledged to exceed the guideline 30% increase in size recommended in local policy but was considered would appear subordinate to the original dwelling.

The resultant scheme is of such quality that the client now has the option of selling the property with the approved extension scheme or as an opportunity for a replacement house, the planning permission adding clear value to the site.

All imagergy courtesy of James Bell Architecture Ltd.