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AJ Design has successfully obtained planning permission to convert a redundant building, located in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), into a new dwelling.

Development within AONBs and the creation of isolated dwellings in the countryside are strictly controlled to preserve and retain the character of the area.

To increase the living space the client considered a first floor extension to provide additional room, but it proved difficult to sit this sympathetically against the existing building. As an alternative we suggested a large ground floor extension wrapped around the building.

The planning authority felt the proposed works would comply with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as they would reuse a redundant building and enhance the immediate setting. The officer’s report concluded ‘The proposed extension will be almost indistinguishable from the existing stone retaining wall and grass bank behind the cottage due to its siting, finish and roof construction and although a modern, contemporary addition, it is considered the extension respects the scale and form of the existing building.’


Before the introduction of the NPPF in 2012 it is likely the application would have been refused.


The new extension when viewed from the hillside on the opposite side of the valley will be almost indistinguishable from the existing retaining wall and grass bank behind the cottage. This will be further enhanced by allowing sightlines through the building onto the existing stone retaining wall behind.


old cottage in Tamar Valley (AONB)

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Planning drawings