Southbrook: A project in two halves

Case Studies, General

When you want major building work completed on your home and you want to continue living there, the process of planning and carrying out the build becomes a little more complicated.

The builders at Southbrook, Leckhampton Builders Ltd, took on this challenge and used creative ways to build a stunning extension and triple garage with annex, all while minimising the effect on the homeowners – something they can rightly be proud of.

Southbrook is situated in a leafy part of The Park in Cheltenham and required a sympathetic design that was high quality and beautiful, but also suitable for someone with a disability. This included the building of extensions including a pyramid living room, a dressing room and a carport – all with easy access ramps. The second phase was a linked triple garage with an annex above that required the installation of a lift. The link needed to allow access from the annex to the main house.

By separating the work into two phases, the owners were able to enjoy staying in the property and the disruption was minimised for everyone (including the neighbours!). The work was also carried out to time and budget – great for all involved.

Phase one required full planning permission, however phase two was submitted via a building notice. Of course, as with most building projects, some conditions were attached to the permission – mostly to do with the location of trees on the property. This also meant that structural engineers were needed and Building Control got involved (especially on phase two). Structural engineers were able to confirm the positions of pipework and foundations – giving true peace of mind.

The owners were involved in every step of this process. It was comforting for them to know that the work would be signed off by Building Control as it progressed. But also to know that the extension would be suitable for everyone that lived in the home, without affecting the environment.

Sustainability was an important factor. Not only to meet building regulations, but for the comfort of the homeowners. This meant a new boiler and a sustainable solid fuel burning appliance. This means cheaper bills for the homeowner and it is highly efficient. Considering the fact that the annex was designed for the homeowner’s elderly mother, this was more important than usual.

While all of these more ‘hidden’ features are great, the way the project looks in its surroundings is so important. The architects, Stanley Partnership Architects, had thought about this carefully and worked hard to ensure that the features required for the disability of the occupants did not affect how the project fitted into the landscape. Working closely with Building Control from the start helped in this process enormously, giving all involved the time to make changes and improvements at an early stage.

All involved in this project knew that they were building more than an extension – this was a home that was bringing a family together. It needed to be accessible and yet provide independence. The builder and architects worked hard to create a home that met every expectation and more.

The Southbrook project was Highly Commended at the LABC West of England Building Excellence Awards 2018.

Project team

Leckhampton Builders Ltd, Stanley Partnership Architects, Polydron 

Building Control

Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Building Control 

Further guidance

The LABC/Cheltenham and Tewkesbury ‘Guide to Extending your Home’

The LABC/Cheltenham and Tewkesbury ‘Guide to Converting your Property’

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