Approved Proposal

Planning permission was approved on the 3rd of January 2013.

Cornwall Council Planning Application Number PA12/11116
Planning application documents

The proposal went through a lot of input and inspiration (a lot of key early days work was done by Robert at ra-studio) and 2 exceptional valuable pre planning meetings with Cornwall Council. This was a great & cost effective way to get a strong understanding of what Cornwall Council policies etc.

Please read other posts in this blog re the construction detailing so that the property will have low embodied energy (it’ll be built using mostly wood and sheeps wool) so that it is exceptionally well insulated and air tight. This, with an MVHR system, the solar panels, thermodynamic panels and waste water heat recovery should give a building who’s year round efficiency will require minimal external energy to have a comfortable home environment in terms of the air temperature, humidity, air quality and hot water.

I’m here describing some of the path taken to the layout, look and feel.

Below is an early concept sketches with annotations, that was a part of our first pre planning meeting:

1st pre-planning sketch

This evolved to the second pre planning meeting, where the top floor changed in size, became clad in thinner horizontal cladding than the middle floor and acquired an extending “cap” and corner window to break the massing.

corner window + overhang roof idea _640w

Corner-window-on-top-floor-office_roof-cap _640w 10 - 2nd Pre Planning - N Elevations _640w

Option 3 (from those above) was the version put forward and accepted by Cornwall Council planning.

There is the issue of the scale given the plot and surrounding (already existing) neighbours. Here is a site plan to show the existing and then proposed middle floor size (the middle floor has the largest footprint.

1st Pre-Planning - Existing + Proposed Vs neigbours _640w

1st Pre-Planning - 1st Floor Vs neigbours _650w

The development of the layout etc. has been massively helped by using a Sketch model, from which the screen shots below are taken. The treatments (cladding colours etc) are often indication only:

2012-10-31 SketchUp from sky to NE _640

2012-10-31 SketchUp external from SE _640w

2012-10-25- SketchUp view - external from N _640

2012-10-25- lounge sea view _640w


The above images are screen grabs from the house in SketchUp.

  • The base version of SketchUp is free to download and install.


These screen grab images are from the approved planning application documents.

Site plan with garage and ground floor layout:

Site plan and ground floor

Ground floor layout:

Ground floor

First floor layout:

First floor

Second floor study layout:

Second floor - home office


At the moment the least eco aspect of the project is it’s size. If you build a smaller property, you use less materials and there will be less space to heat and maintain etc. moving forward.

The 1930’s built bungalow was about 58 sq m, + the old front (north) side and more recently built rear garage about 100 sq m.

The neigbouring properperties are Ramouth, approx 160 sq m and Kiephuis, approx 201 + a 22 sq m garage.

The approved Silver Spray plans give a total size of about 326 sq m:

  • 106 ground floor
    – lounge, kitchen, dining, toilet, plant room, boot room.
  • 97 + 39 (flat) first floor.
    – main house: 3 bedrooms + bahtrooms (2 semi open plan)
    – potentially self contained flat: living area, bathroom and bedroom
  • 39 second floor
    – study / home office.
  • 45 garage

So a 242 square meter 3 bedroom house with a self contained home office
+ a 39 square meter, potentially self contained flat
+ a 45 square meter, separate garage.

The main reason for the large size are:

  1. Firstly to meet my desire of the living space + 2 bedrooms + a home office all having a sea view. This resulted in the contemporary 3 boxes on top of each other design.
  2. The second was to create and adaptable house, that can accommodate a growing and changing household (wife, kids, elderly relatives, home office). Building a house that could require future building work to accommodate a changing household could give a great financial and environmental cost.
  3. The third was return on investment. The cost of the plot, meant putting up a small house would not make financial sense for when (hopefully a long time in the future) the house is sold. The likely outcome would be that the next owner would bash down what I build and build something bigger.