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Hamsterley Mill

New Build House

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The resident's association were keen for an Arts and Crafts feel to the new build house.  Many of the surrounding houses are inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement.

The site is surrounded by mature trees and already had outline planning permission for a dormer bungalow. Given these constraints the property would have a large roof span to  accommodate the rooms in the roof. 


Work by arts and crafts architect  C.F.A. Voysey provided inspiration-large sloping roofs and overhanging eaves,


We moved away from this Edwardian precedent internally, with internal layout  considered to provide open plan, light, airy spaces.

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We were approached to provide a detailed design to submit for Full Plans approval for a new house.  The site already had outline planning permission (some matters reserved), meaning issues relating to the design and final scale of the house were subject to further discussion with the planners.

The planning permission suggested the planners would support an application for a dormer bungalow on the site.  The footprint of the bungalow required careful consideration given the proximity of several mature trees on the site. 


Moor Crag in the Lake District by CHA Voysey provided inspiration for the external appearance to the rear of the property.


The development is within a tree preservation order area, meaning removal of trees required planning permission.  An Arboricultural report including a tree protection plan was commissioned to establish which trees (if any) could be removed as part of the work.   

The larger trees around the perimeter of the site were not impacted by the house, located centrally on the site, but a young copper Beech was identified as a quality specimen to remain.  The site survey identified the tree being closer to the proposed house than was shown on the original drawings, resulting in late stage design amendments stage to protect the tree roots, allowing the tree to grow unhindered.  

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It was important to ensure all habitable rooms at first floor provide sufficient space for a house of this size.  We identified a red and blue line on the plans, indicative of 2m headroom, the light blue line 1.5m (this helps visualise the space available and informed the design layout.

The First Floor provides 4 double bedrooms 2 with en-suites.


Velux rooflights provided much of the light in the larger bedrooms, given windows at First floor are limited due to the design,  3 bedrooms are located to the East (facing the quieter Long Close Road), allowing them to benefit from the morning sun and views onto the trees adjacent.


A key feature of the design was providing future design flexibility to allow for later changes on site, allowing the client and builder to evolve the design as work on site progressed.  Such an approach also provides future design flexibility.

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The internal layout is open plan and modern.  We worked closely with the developer client to provide dramatic internal spaces.   A feature of the double height Hallway is the provision of a balcony linking the master Bed with the rest of the house at First floor, providing a gallery with views down onto the kitchen/Dining area and through to the garden.

architect gallery overloking kitchen
Modern methods of construction

The property is extremely well insulated, with the large roof having over 120mm of insulation between and below the rafters.  The construction was considered to allow for the roof to be built quickly on site, resting directly off a single storey masonry shell with blockwork internal walls. 


This design allows for a reduction in masonry as there is limited stonework above the Ground Floor, with the exception of the feature gables to the front and rear.  The roof timbers were factory made and manhandled into site (the large trees and limited site access meant a crane could not be used). Some of the larger trusses came in 2 parts.  The advantage of a factory designed and constructed roof trusses is speed of construction on site, with limited waste. 

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Talk to us about your plans.

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