Bespoke Dwelling at Mildenhall, Wiltshire

IPS have been engaged as planning consultants on a site in Mildenhall. Wiltshire, both in the successful application for a Certificate of Lawfulness for an independent annexe and an application for a bespoke single dwelling which is now nearing completion.

The site formerly comprised a large modern detached bungalow set on the edge of the village of Mildenhall. The site benefited from an extensive residential curtilage surrounding the property and also lay within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB – North Wessex Downs).

Certificate of Lawful Development

IPS were initially engaged with the project in 2016, and submitted an application for a Certificate of lawfulness, confirming the use of an annexe as a separate rented bungalow. The annexe formed part of an extension to the main single storey dwelling house on the site and had been occupied and rented independently from the main dwelling for a period in excess of 4 years. Building work completed in 2009, enabled the separation of the two residential units, with two separate curtilages which shared pedestrian and vehicular access arrangements from the public highway.

Wiltshire Council were satisfied with the information provided by IPS to support this CLEUD submission and a certificate was issued in December 2016. This confirmed the principle of two separate independent residential units on the site.

Replacement Dwelling

The proposal has evolved since IPS engaged with Wiltshire Council via a pre-application discussion in March 2018 to erect a bespoke replacement dwelling to take the place of the separate annex. The Council’s response to this pre-application clarified that a replacement dwelling was acceptable in principle on the site and that the key elements of the proposal were the potential impact on the AONB and the creation of sufficient private residential amenity space.

A final design and application for the proposed dwelling was submitted in December 2018. The development represented a high architectural quality of design, working with Daykin Marshall Studio to create this bespoke proposal. The Architects undertook an assessment of local architectural vernacular and ensured that the scale, proportion, massing and architectural design and materials were locally appropriate. The proposed exterior finishes of the building contain elements of both black stained or painted timber cladding and red brick found throughout the village, while adopting an agricultural and familiar “barn like” form.

Image credit Daykin Marshall Studios

Despite receiving an objection from the Parish Council, the application received support from 10 local members of the public who were impressed with the design of the proposal and the amount of detailed information provided supporting the planning submission for this replacement dwelling. Comments received regarding the proposal considered that the attention to detail provided with the application has obviously been given a great deal of thought and presented a very well-designed replacement dwelling on this important site.

The Case Officers’ report echoes this:

‘The dwelling has been designed in a contemporary manner but reflective of architectural elements / materials seen throughout the village and as such, will display some of the local character that is present. The simple plan form of the dwelling, gable ends, traditional materials and lack of dormer windows are positive features that are enough to ensure it responds positively to the existing townscape and the character of the area in general. essential for this dwelling to reflect them.’

Officers’ considered that on balance, although the proposal conflicted with Development Plan Policy HC25, this was purely based on the issue that the scheme is significantly larger than the original annex. There were no other material consideration that would outweigh this conflict, and the development would make an efficient use of the land whilst reflecting local context and character in a contemporary manner. On balance the scheme was considered to conserve the landscape character of the AONB, particularly when considering the additional planting proposed, and the application was dealt with via a delegated decision for approval in February 2019.

Current progress

IPS is pleased to see that construction work on site in Mildenhall is progressing well and nearing completion.

The below images show the progress so far. Despite the recent COVID restrictions and set backs, we are pleased to see that good progress is being made on site and look forward to seeing this exciting and high quality dwelling completed.