Reserved matters approval for 4x self-build dwellings outside the settlement boundary

self build dwelling elevation

A well-deserved outcome for this self-build scheme in a complex location, for which we managed to secure both outline planning permission and reserved matters approval in a project which has truly been a scheme of two halves.

Project background:

From the outset the site’s location just outside the settlement boundary and opposite a Grade II* listed building created a particularly challenging context which required careful analysis and a strategic planning approach.

Our first aim was to secure the principle of development on site, offset any risks and highlight the demonstrable need for this type of scheme. You can read more about how we achieved outline planning permission for the project here.

Applying for a reserved matters planning application:

The second stage of our process for this project was to submit a further planning application, but this time for the reserved matters.

Reserved matters are the finer details of a scheme, and represent the final stages of the planning process. These applications are time sensitive and usually need to be made within 3 years from the date of outline planning permission.

Our application focused on details relating to:

  • access;
  • appearance;
  • layout;
  • scale;
  • and landscaping.

From access to landscaping, considering the finer planning details for self-build:

Although on paper the site location had complex issues, our pragmatic approach had identified how in practical terms it benefitted from proximity to both the settlement boundary and to the built-up area of Great Notley.

Taking this into consideration, our planning team reviewed the local context and evidenced how the dwellings would complement the nearby street scene. Our research also fed into the design proposals, the site layout, orientation and scale of the individual dwellings.

Furthermore, our positive negotiations also resulted in a sensible outcome regarding access to the site.

Protecting the boundary and listed building:

A key project challenge to overcome related to the nearby Grade II* Listed building. Following useful engagement with the Council’s heritage consultant we identified how the scheme had considered this sensitive context and would not harm the listed building, would protect the privacy of neighbours, and preserve local character.

Negotiating between conflicting consultees:

Whilst our application responded to the comments and feedback from Braintree Council, during the application process we found ourselves caught between the conflicting viewpoints of the Council’s heritage advisor and the Parish Council.

Resolving differences of opinion between two consultees is commonplace for our team, and with this case, our planners had to formulate a way forward for our client.

Making the right justifications for development at planning committee:

Due to the sensitive location of the scheme and the interest in it, the application was determined at committee. We prepared a robust speech for our client which highlighted why this high-quality development was an important contribution to the local housing land supply and that it was in accordance with the NPPF and represented sustainable development.

We worked proactively with the Council to amend the scheme and iron out specific issues and formed a very positive working relationship with our client, engaging with them regularly to ensure that any amendments still meant the project met with their aspirations.

We are therefore thrilled that our reserved matters application was approved by members at the committee and that our client can now realise their development project of 4 self-build dwellings, including their ‘dream’ family home!

About Us:

Our planning consultants work across England to help applicants get planning permission for their projects. We listen to your aspirations and present to you the best strategy to tackle your goals and to offset the risks. If you would like our guidance and expertise then please get in touch today at or alternatively give the office a call on 01242 501003.

 IMAGE SOURCE: e+m design partnership 2017