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Little Acre is a 1950s bungalow lying on the edge of a Dorset village.  Within its rear garden was an attractive stone built barn once used for livestock. Our brief was to design a new dwelling, converting and extending this small barn.  Once again we were approached following several earlier and unsuccessful attempts to gain planning permission, and on recommendation from a previous client. It is not uncommon for clients to realise that their best chance of success lies in employing an experienced and qualified architect.

The barn itself was located in a Conservation Area and our design therefore had to enhance and protect the character and appearance of the locality, as well as ensure that any development did not impact significantly on the surrounding residential properties.  The application was supported by historical maps which demonstrated that the plot was used as a market garden business until the 1970’s, and we even obtained photographs of the old glasshouses which occupied the site.

The design for the new dwelling included a long low extension perpendicular, but subservient to, the original barn using stone wall cladding and clay double Roman roof tiles to match the existing.  The ground had to be excavated because of the slope of the site, but this helped to reduce the height and impact of the extension. A lead covering to the roof at the intersection between the barn and the extension, and a contemporary twist to the fenestration pattern, help to distinguish old from new. The application documents were prepared with a view to a possible appeal which was duly allowed providing our client with a planning consent for a new dwelling.

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