House in Staplefield

Project Details

Location: Staplefield nr Cuckfield, West Sussex
Local Authority: Mid Sussex District Council
Size: 365m2 / Existing 205m2
Completed: 2023

A bold extension and whole house remodelling of a single storey dwelling in a conservation area and within the High Weald AONB.

Our client had recently purchased the property with the intention of refurbishing and extending the building and approached us to provide planning and technical services.

Situated on the edge of a conservation in a prime location, and understood to be on the footprint of a former stable building, the existing building was in need of modernisation throughout.

Our proposal sought permission for an increase in the ridge height of the existing west bedroom wing to enable an attic bedroom conversion with east facing dormer windows. A verandah was formed below to provide solar shading to the ground floor bedrooms and create an entrance canopy. The existing glazed sunroom and porch (later additions) were removed and a single storey extension was proposed to the east to provide further living accommodation with ridge line to match the existing to create a cohesive form. The living spaces were proposed as ‘open vaulted’ spaces to create a feeling of space and volume. Windows and roofllights were carefully considered to maximise natural daylight and views as the existing building was single aspect with boundary walls to the perimeter.

From research of historic maps we identified that previous structures were located on the boundary adjacent to the driveway and this informed our design approach with further enclosure of the courtyard, creating a private garden and terrace area and south and west facing roofs for integrated solar panels. Impact on neighbour outlook and amenity was carefully considered and our proposals responded carefully to the site context and views from the road.

To improve the sustainability of the property, an air source heat pump was installed for heating and hot water including underfloor heating to replace the existing oil tank and boiler. A grey water recycling system was also proposed.

The extension was clad externally with oak timber cladding, with window frames and detailing to be in oak to respond to a rural language respectful of the buildings former use as a stable block. A plain clay tile roof integrates the extension with the existing house to create a cohesive appearance. New plain clay tile dormers provide natural lighting to the proposed attic bedroom. A feature glazed window on the gable provides natural daylight into an open-vaulted living space. Bifold and sliding doors open onto the terrace adjacent to the kitchen providing a sheltered and private outdoor sitting and alfresco dining area.

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