Woodland House, Newnham Court, Kent

The owner of Newnham Court, a woodland plot on the edge of a village, approached Le Lay Architects to secure a proposal to replace their existing single room cabin. On the face of it planning restrictions would not allow a building much larger than 1.5 times the size of the cabin. Careful exploration of the planning guidance, the nature of the inclined site and discussion with the local planning authority enabled us to propose a two bedroom detached house on the plot. This significantly increased the value of the land for the owner.

Planning officers at Swale Borough Council were very much in favour of the design approach taken that respected the local vernacular style of building. The house featured red clay roof tiles, brick and horizontal black weatherboarding, materials found in agricultural buildings and sited to the woodland site. The design responded to the inclined site to allow a two storey structure, with large light-wells to the lower floors. A larger house could be developed without significantly increasing the footprint of the original single room cabin.