Two-storey extension in central Norwich
To carry out a rear, side and front extension
This late 20th century, detached house in Norwich appealed to our clients because of its attractive, leafy setting.
They loved its close proximity to a number of established trees, including a giant redwood, which is 3m high and 2m in diameter at its base – and just 5m from the house.
While the property itself was not in a style our clients were seeking, it offered a good quality structure and fabric, lending itself to interesting development.
We discussed the possibility of extending out to the rear and side, as well as carrying out a two-storey front extension.
The idea was that the large rear extension would accommodate a modern, open-plan family kitchen, incorporating generous living and dining space.
We also considered building out over the garage to create a large master bedroom and en suite bathroom that would look out on to and embrace the beautiful redwood tree.
In order to do this, we discussed creating contemporary additions with cantilevers incorporating materials such as red cedar to echo the tree.
There were, of course, architectural issues to overcome but exploring them was an exciting challenge.
For example, the redwood tree is protected by a tree preservation order (TPO) and therefore the front extension needed to be of a size that would not impact on its spreading branches and root base.
We also had to find a solution that made a contemporary statement while integrating comfortably with the existing house and its typical 1980s/90s’ styling.
We looked at building out over the existing garage, but instead of coming out towards the tree decided to extend laterally.
This enabled us to achieve the footprint without impacting on the tree.
The plans now are for the extension to oversail the garage at the front to create a cantilever covering the new front door entrance.
We are also looking to adopt micro-pile foundations where new foundations are required to mitigate root damage.
Early on, we decided on a planning strategy which would include seeking early advice from the local authority to ensure our concept would be acceptable to the planners.
We also submitted the pre-application request for advice with an arboricultural report on the adjacent trees.
This was commissioned to seek specialist advice on measures to be taken to protect the trees of value from the proposed building work.
Following the submission, we were pleased to receive pre-application advice that was supportive of our design and described the proposals as bold and striking.
We were then able to proceed with confidence in further developing the design and submitting it for full planning consent.