Last night, at a planning committee meeting held at Forest Heath Council in Suffolk, we received a unanimous 13 to 1 vote in favour for a new dwelling application set within a lovely Suffolk village. Great news of course…. What made this decision sweeter though? Well, basically, the application site sits outside of the village development boundary so there is a an immediate presumption against development. Furthermore, it is in contradiction to some elements of the local plan policy.


This was however not an overnight success.

I have been working with these great clients since 2007. We have a previous planning refusal behind us together with an appeal that went against us so it was not looking good. This was for a different design to the approved scheme which was larger and in a different location.

However, during the last couple of years, the planning landscape has changed drastically and with the publication of the NPPF in 2012 and the weight that this now carries when read against local plan policy, we thought there may be a way to secure a planning approval for our clients on this beautiful plot. There were also a number of other technical legalities that we had to overcome such as trees, the affect the proposal had on adjacent listed buildings, etc etc….

The application not only consisted of the right design on the plot but also we spec’d in a lot of renewables such as fully encapsulated air tight construction, recycled insulation, ground mounted solar panels, ground source heat pump and rainwater harvesting, all of which played a part in the approval.


With lots of hard work and strategic interpretation of various policies and guidelines we got it! This truly is a landmark approval for us and just goes to show that more often than not, there is a solution. This solution may take time and money, blood, sweat and tears but if you really want to do something then just keep following that dream and approach it in the right way, at the right time, with the right team.


I bet their coffee tastes good this morning…… 🙂


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