Love Property: Design and planning expertise

Clear Architects recently contributed to two articles for online homes and interiors publication, Love Property. The articles focus on designing and obtaining planning permission for self-build schemes.

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Design specialists

The first article, entitled ‘How to design your own home’, is packed with expert tips and guidance on how to put together the plans for your very own self-build home – including guidance from Melanie Clear, the Founder and Managing Director of Clear Architects.

According to Melanie, it’s vital to pay attention to the unique characteristics of your plot when you start to draw up potential design schemes. She says: “Sunlight, for example, will shape the orientation of the property to ensure it receives enough natural light. The locality and height of any neighbouring properties will also need to be taken into account, as will the street scene, to ensure the property is sympathetic to the local area.”

Melanie also emphasises the importance of introducing natural light into the property. She says: “Courtyard pockets are very effective and will provide an outlook, which is so important. Also, look at the local council’s policy on what amenity level is required. This will dictate how much outside space is needed in order to comply.”

The practice’s stunning Hill Road self-build scheme is also featured in the article as an inspiring example of contemporary design.

Planning expertise

The second article focuses more on the planning side of the self-build process, including plenty of tips and expert advice from specialists in the field. Arron Breedon, Clear Architects’ Planning Director, was quoted several times throughout the piece.

If you’re keen to build on a plot that already has outline planning permission attached, Arron emphasises the importance of looking at the council’s Local Plan. He says: “Look to see if the Local Authority has a design guide, as these can often give prescribed minimum separation distances to consider, which will ensure the plot is sufficient in size.”

Arron also provides his top tips on building in restricted zones, such as Conservation Areas. He says: “If you’re building in a CA, good design and materials are everything. The right architecture practice with planning expertise will bring forward a model that relates to its surroundings, without necessarily copying.”

Arron heads up Clear Architects’ new studio in the New Forest. He has strong relationships with planning departments in the local area and works closely with the practice’s design team to preempt planning related issues. This expert contribution helps underpin the practice’s planning successes at first time applications and victories at appeal.

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