3-D View created using Sketch FX pro
3-D View created using Sketch FX pro

Planning Application Reference 3PL/2018/0865/F - Three Bedroom Detached Residential Unit. EN-PLAN: Planning Consultants Norfolk.

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Presentation Elevation Kings Villa Norfolk
Presentation Elevation Kings Villa Norfolk

Presentation piece submitted alongside the planning application for the new residential unit in Garvestone, Norfolk.

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Location & Block Plan for Kings Villa Norfolk
Location & Block Plan for Kings Villa Norfolk

Location & Block Plan that were submitted and approved by Breckland District Council for a new residential unit in Garvestone, Norfolk.

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Kings Villa Dereham Road Garvestone NR9 4QT


Proposed Development: Erection of a three bedroom detached residential unit.

Following a refusal for a planing application submitted by a different consultant the owners of an infill plot in the village of Garvestone turned to En-Plan for help in how to deal with the plot .  The site itself is constrained by the adjoining residential properties and the staggered nature of development in the locality that makes the placement of a unit in the plot difficult when trying to balance the requirements of the owner to maximise profit with the requirements of the Planners at Breckland District Council who will be seeking to protect the amenity of adjacent occupiers.  The added constraint was the issue of parking and access as a safe turning area also had to be provided in order to allow vehicles to leave the site in a forward gear in order to allow safe access and egress to the site.

With the above issues in mind En-Plan were able to design a three bedroom bungalow that also allowed for a parking and turning area to the fore that along with Kings Vila provides access and parking for both properties and thereby unlocks the potential of the plot.

The approved design utilises traditional weather board and brick and tile materials and will blend seamlessly into the built up area of Garvestone and this is reflected in planning approval being received for the development.

Further information on Infill Plots

Locating Suitable Plots

Whether you can build on an infill plot depends very much on its location and the policies that apply there.

If you spot a promising infill plot, look at the plans attached to the Local Plan or LDF. You can find these on the council’s website or at their offices. They will include a document containing policies, and also maps showing where those policies apply. The maps show lines drawn around built-up areas. These lines are known variously as development boundary, settlement boundary, built-up-area boundary and so on. The lines are usually drawn fairly tightly around the main built-up areas of towns and villages and often exclude peripheral areas of low-density housing.

Most councils allow for infilling and small scale developments within towns and villages. Some define categories of settlements, from larger towns down to small hamlets, with differing rules for each.

Contrary to the political and media hype, councils are still encouraging property development. Government planning policy still allows for building in gardens in built-up areas. Most councils still allow infill developments, including within gardens. There are, however, areas in towns and villages where infill is restricted. These might be conservation areas or areas with some special character.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t build, but permission is going to be harder to come by. There are likely to be design constraints as well, particularly in conservation areas.

Outside the boundaries, on the edges of towns and villages and in hamlets and small settlements, there’s no general rule on how infill is treated. Some councils have specific policies allowing infill where there are more than a certain number of houses in a row. Others specify areas on their Local Plan maps where infill might be allowed, such as built-up road frontages and ribbons of development. Many councils elect to keep life simple and allow no new housing at all, infill or not, outside development boundaries. This means it’s essential to check the policy status of a plot, before making assumptions about whether you can build on it. Always look at the Local Plan or LDF first.

Assessing and Infill Plot

So, you’ve found a plot with infill potential, but how do you know what you can build on it?

The things to look at are the types of houses on either side of the site and in the area generally.

You should also consider the pattern of development, plot privacy and whether the new house will be excessively overbearing. You should also review access, and any particular features of the site such as a slope, trees, existing buildings and so on.

Neighbouring houses

You can get a good idea of what can be built on an infill plot by looking at its neighbouring properties.

If they’re bungalows, the likelihood is you’ll have to build a bungalow. If the neighbours are houses, then another house would probably fit in best. There are no hard and fast rules, but an infill house must fit in with its neighbours to a reasonable degree.

Pattern of development

This refers to the sizes of plots and the position of houses within those plots.

If the pattern is close-knit, you might be able to squeeze an infill plot in a gap of little more than 10 metres between houses. If the pattern is more spacious, a house that was too crammed in might look out of character and would be resisted by the council. The same goes for position in the plot. If all the houses in the road are set well back, then your infill house should be too.


The key questions here are: would the plot have adequate privacy; and, most importantly, would a new house on the plot affect the privacy of neighbours? Hedges and fences usually protect privacy at ground floor level, so the issues tend to arise from upstairs windows either looking into neighbours’ windows or down into their private garden space. Privacy issues rarely affect whether a plot can be built on, but they do affect how.

Windows must be carefully positioned to avoid overlooking. Often this means putting obscured glazing in landing or bathroom windows on the sides of the house, with the main bedroom windows facing to the front and rear.

Overbearing and overshadowing

An infill house is bound to have some effect on its neighbours in reducing the light to their windows and perhaps to their gardens. There’s a fine line between what’s a reasonable level of overshadowing and what’s not. Look at the neighbouring houses carefully to see where the windows of the main rooms are.

If the main living room or kitchen windows are on the side of the house, you might have to site the new house a little farther from the boundary to ensure it won’t restrict light too much. In the same way, a new house could be regarded as overbearing if it’s too close to another. Although no one has a right to a ‘view’, planners do get concerned about the more nebulous concept of ‘outlook’. Where a house enjoys an open outlook, hemming it in with a new house might be seen as being harmful to the amenities of the occupants.


Infill sites are often narrow, making it difficult to provide adequate access, on-site turning (where necessary) and parking. An integral garage can save space, and sometimes it’s possible to share a drive with a neighbour.

Parking requirements are less onerous these days and in central areas of towns, where there’s good public transport available, on a really small plot it might be possible to build without any on-site parking at all.

If the land you have identified a parcel of land and would like to explore the development potential  please CONTACT US for a free no obligation consultation.

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