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Sometimes a client presents to us a site that, to them, seems almost impossible to develop. Howard Pease Architects has a growing reputation for being able to build what initially seemed impossible.

The story of the building challenge posed by a plot of land, bought at auction, in Gustard Wood, Wheathampstead, says a tremendous amount about the contribution that a skilled Architect can offer. The plot of land was speculatively bought by our client in the hope that planning permission for residential development could, one day, be sought.

The green belt plot wasn't sold as land for property development, the land was covered with several large trees and shrubs and, with no existing built structures on the site at all, had no precedence to follow.

In this case, Howard Pease wasn't initially commissioned to design a home but to examine both the site and the Conservation Area of Gustard Wood. Howard's objective was to devise an architectural scheme that exposed the site's residential potential and demonstrated, to the planners, how a new build home could be legitimately built in this protected green belt area of Hertfordshire.

Securing a change-of-use involved many lengthy discussions with the Planning Department of St Albans District Council. Howard was able to prove to the local authority that a new build development on the green belt site would compliment the nature of the surrounding developed neighbourhood. Once the Planning Department had given its approval and consent for residential development Howard's role reverted back to that of architectural design, planning how to make best use of the available building plot.

Howard continued to break new ground with not one but a succession of plans and building regulation drawings submitted for review and approval. Each architectural design submission enlarged the footprint of the house as a design was negotiated that made the most of the space but kept within the boundaries of the original Planners' consent.

A building of this calibre in Gustard Wood, Wheathampstead, seemed impossible at the beginning. Yet, through an iterative design process and close communication with client and Planning Department, Howard Pease Architects has pulled-off a larger and more spacious home than anyone thought possible.

Our client's original vision drove a speculative investment but it was trust in Howard Pease's architectural design process that has now brought about a substantial four bedroom, two storey detached home in a highly enviable, tranquil, green belt situation.

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