BCP Council (Poole): Matt Annen, a director of the firm is pleased to share the news that he has recently secured planning permission for a revised scheme for a new infill detached dwelling on Bingham Avenue in Poole. The revised scheme was designed by Strom Architects for mutual client Kubo Homes who following the success of their recent Tree House development on Canford Cliffs Road (see photo – scheme won on appeal by PTP) are building a strong reputation locally for developing Sustainable Smart homes on the South Coast.

The scheme followed a previous consent on site, however following the demand for their Treehouse scheme, Kubo Homes saw the potential for the site to meet their model and deliver a new highly sustainable dwelling which far exceeded the Councils minimum sustainability standards. Therefore a revised design was required to achieve this because sustainability has to be an integral ethos in the design philosophy to deliver a successful Sustainable Smart Home. From the sourcing of materials, orientation of windows, method of construction, internal floor to ceiling heights (to enable airflow throughout the structure) and the generation of renewable energy through the use of photovoltaics fixed on the garage roof (stored within a battery fixed to the rear elevation of the house).

Another advantage/point of interest of this revised design was the way the method of construction allowed a larger dwelling to be achieved coming closer to protected trees. The tree officer initially objected on the grounds that, the footprint of the building had been extended significantly compared to the previously approved scheme; that ground intrusion works had been extended into the root protection areas and that external terrace areas were underneath tree canopies and would be subject to debris from litter drop resulting in additional pressure from future occupiers to have protected trees removed. Following a site meeting and an explanation of the screw pile supported, ring-beam floating foundation system the tree officers gave confirmation that the concerns would be addressed subject to appropriate conditions being imposed.

The appointed planning officer was highly supportive stating that ”the proposals represent high quality, sustainable design and will provide a new family dwelling in an established residential area without causing harm to the character of the area or the amenities of nearby residents”. Unfortunately the Team leader, having never visited the site and seemingly not to have fully understood the highly innovative sustainable home being put forward did not share the officer’s view and ‘almost’ refused the scheme. This resistance to a high quality, innovative, super-sustainable dwelling is worrying when the Council’s should be encouraging such initiatives. Thankfully the Head of Planning agreed to meet the applicant on site and after further clarification and submission of an amended elevation the scheme was approved.

If you are thinking about pursuing your own “grand design” and have found the plot but are looking for a firm of Chartered Town Planners to assist you with maximising the potential of your new family home then look no further. Call Pure Town Planning on 01202 585524 or email info@puretownplanning.co.uk for a FREE 30 minute consultation on how we can help you.