Last night we experienced our first planning board meeting, which we’d like to think is a good thing – to date we have had a very strong approval record for our planning applications. However, this application caught us off-guard. We thought that our proposals for a loft conversion and front porch was a clever overhaul and conversion to an otherwise unassuming bungalow, and modest in scale compared to what is otherwise typically allowed by for example permitted development rights. So we were rather surprised when the planning officer recommended refusal.
However, our proposals had been highly commended by the local Parish Council and the application therefore went to the Planning Board. So last night we nervously awaited the councillors’ debate which in the end didn’t last long – we gained approval by a clear margin! One councillor even exclaiming “I’m not sure why such a good design has even been put in front of us by the planning officers – it’s great to see this sort of intelligent re-use of fairly average houses. This clearly should just be approved”.
Our proposals seek to convert a poor existing loft conversion by inserting a dormer to the front elevation, and continuing the structural walls of the existing rear outrigger extension to form a 2 storey volume. Both additions will be largely glazed to take advantage of the stunning rural views over the Mendip Hills and the Somerset countryside, with glazing set deep into Douglas fir timber fins that will provide necessary solar shading.
Along with a generous front porch extension, providing a covered entrance for muddy boots, the house will get a general overhaul to bring this pebble-dash bungalow into the 21st century.