Building in a Conservation Area

Building in a Conservation Area

Lynn Palmer Architects share the challenges of undertaking a self-build project in a conservation area

Oxfordshire based Lynn Palmer Architects, frequently receives briefs from clients for extension projects, often on listed properties and almost always in conservation areas. In 2017, the company were approached by Matthew Davis to assist with the design of a four bedroom family home, in a conversation area, they were immediately on board.  

Matthew purchased a property in the picturesque village of Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire and wanted to build a bespoke, modern, four bedroom family home in the garden. With the intention to sell the original property on site, Mathew set about completing the new build. 

When embarking on a project such as this, it is vital to engage with the planners and the community. Open and honest dialogue with your local planning authority and neighbours can save a lot of time and misunderstanding from the outset. If you engage a well-respected local architect early on, their relationship with the planning authority and experience of what you can and cannot get through the planning process is invaluable.   

You can build in a conservation area as long as you consider and understand the constraints of the site before you begin the project. The design must preserve the street view of the property. This may mean the property must be built in line with the neighbouring house with gable ends and roof pitches mirroring each other, giving a clear building line.

Matthew worked closely with Lynn and her team to design a 2,650 Sq. Ft four bedroom home, complete with a master suite and open plan living area. Vaulted ceilings, crisp white lines and a very modern interior make for a stunning self-build.

Matthew with the assistance of Lynn and her team, designed and submitted the planning application in Spring 2016. They received planning permission and work started almost immediately. Matthew project managed every aspect of the build, from engaging the various local trades to being physically on site to oversee the work. 

The house has a timber frame, which reduces the build duration as traditional methods take longer to install. When creating your own home, speed is paramount as you are often living elsewhere and paying to do so. Timber framed builds can be watertight within weeks which is a very appealing prospect to the self-builder. 

Matthew found his self-build a positive experience. “I found working with Lynn and her team invaluable; I’m convinced her experience, relationship and reputation with the local planning authority made a substantial difference to the ease of the process and successful planning application. While I managed the build myself, Lynn was always available to help with any questions that arose and offer her insight.” 

Lynn commented, “We find that this kind of relationship works well, our clients are building their own homes in areas that they love and want to live in for a long time. As a result, they also want to ensure their homes fit in with their surroundings as well as work for them. We work with our clients to achieve all those things in the most effective way possible.” 

Lynn Palmer Architects are a multi-award winning practice that specialise in self builds as well as contemporary extensions to listed properties. They offer a full range of services from planning permission to building regulations right through to project management, should it be required. They also have a pool of their own recommended award-winning building companies and listed building specialists. 

All build projects are designed in-house, and the use of 3D technology allows the client to visualise their build from the start.

For more information please