INFILL RESIDENTIAL PLOT
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 application site is situated within the defined Settlement Boundary of Garvestone and previously formed
the external amenity space for Kings Villa. The area around the site is characterised by residential
development to the east and west, agricultural land to the north and Dereham Road to the south with
agricultural land beyond that. Access to the site would be to the south via a shared access off Dereham
Road, which would serve both Kings Villa and the new dwelling.
Garvestone is a small village located in the county of Norfolk, England. It is situated approximately 11 miles west of the city of Norwich. Garvestone is a rural village known for its peaceful and picturesque setting.
The village of Garvestone has a long history, with evidence of human habitation in the area dating back to prehistoric times. It features a mix of architectural styles, including traditional thatched cottages, farmhouses, and more modern houses. Garvestone is surrounded by beautiful countryside, with agricultural fields and woodlands in the surrounding area. It offers a quiet and tranquil environment, making it an attractive place for those seeking a rural lifestyle. While Garvestone may not have significant amenities within the village itself, nearby towns and villages provide necessary services such as shops, schools, and healthcare facilities. The village is well-connected to other areas by road, and public transportation options are available. As for specific attractions or conservation areas in Garvestone, I couldn't find any notable ones in my training data up until September 2021. However, being situated in a rural area, there might be local conservation efforts or natural areas of interest nearby. Local authorities or community organizations in Garvestone should have more information about any conservation initiatives or natural attractions in the vicinity.
The site is situated within the defined Settlement Boundary of Garvestone where the principle of new
housing development is considered acceptable. The application is therefore in accordance with policies CP1
and DC2 of the adopted Core Strategy and the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework
The character of the area is mixed comprising semi-detached cottages, detached bungalows, two storey
and one and a half storey dwellings set within gardens of varying sizes. The proposed dwelling, which
represents infill of a site, would be a detached three bedroom bungalow with a barn style appearance. It
would measure approximately 14.3 metres in width by 10 metres in length and 3.9 metres in height to the
ridge line. It is considered that the proposed dwelling is of an acceptable design and appearance, which
would compliment the existing built form within the locality and would have an acceptable impact on the
street scene. A condition requiring full details of the proposed materials is considered appropriate. The application is therefore considered to accord with Policy DC16 of the adopted Core Strategy.
Policy DC1 of the adopted Core Strategy seeks to protect residential amenity. The applicant initially
proposed a two storey dwelling on the plot. However, following objections raised during the consultation
period in relation to the impact of the proposal on the amenity of neighbouring occupants, the applicant has
revised the scheme and now proposes a three bedroom bungalow on the site. The relationship of the
revised scheme to neighbouring dwellings and private open space is such that visual dominance, loss of
light, overlooking and overshadowing impacts all fall within acceptable parameters. To minimise the impact
of the development, in terms of noise, a condition is recommended to restrict the hours construction work
takes place. The Parish Council raised no objection to the proposal, subject to the inclusion of a condition to prevent light pollution as a result of the new dwelling. This is considered acceptable. On that basis, it is concluded that the proposal will maintain an acceptable level of residential amenity for neighbouring occupants and future occupants of the proposed bungalow, consistent with Policy DC1.
Taking into account the overall planning balance of the scheme, the revised proposal was considered acceptable by Breckland Council and in accordance with adopted national and local planning policy, including DC1, DC2, DC1,DC16, DC19 and CP1. It is therefore recommended for approval, subject to conditions.
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 an 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.
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.
Design Principles for an Infill Plot
When designing for an infill plot, which is a vacant or underutilized space within an existing built-up area, several key principles should be considered to ensure a successful and harmonious integration.Take into account the surrounding architectural character, scale, and materials of the existing neighborhood. The design should be sensitive to the context and fit harmoniously within the existing urban fabric. Developers need to pay attention to the scale and proportions of adjacent buildings to ensure that the new development is compatible and doesn't overwhelm the surrounding context. The height, massing, and setbacks of the infill structure should be carefully considered.
Design the massing and form of the infill building to create a visually appealing and coherent composition. Consider setbacks, rooflines, fenestration patterns, and overall building proportions to ensure the new structure integrates well with neighboring buildings. Select materials and finishes that are consistent with the architectural style and character of the area. Aim for materials that are durable, sustainable, and visually pleasing. The choice of materials should contribute to the overall aesthetic quality of the development.
Incorporate well-designed open spaces, courtyards, and landscaping to provide visual relief and enhance the quality of the development. Consider greenery, pedestrian access, and the provision of outdoor amenities to create a pleasant environment for residents and the surrounding community. Incorporate sustainable design practices, such as energy-efficient building systems, use of renewable materials, stormwater management, and provision for green infrastructure. Consider incorporating green roofs, rainwater harvesting, or renewable energy sources to reduce the environmental impact of the development.
Prioritize pedestrian access, connectivity, and safety within the infill plot. Consider providing sidewalks, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, and appropriate lighting to encourage walkability and create a sense of community. Involve the local community and stakeholders in the design process. Seek their input and feedback to ensure that the infill development meets their needs and aspirations. This can contribute to a stronger sense of ownership and acceptance within the neighborhood.
Remember that these principles should be adapted to the specific site conditions, local regulations, and community preferences. It's essential to work closely with architects, urban planners, and local authorities to ensure compliance with planning guidelines and create a development that benefits both the inhabitants and the existing community.
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.