Green light for couple’s self-build retirement home

A couple have been given the go-ahead to create their dream self-build retirement home after planning permission was granted following support from planning consultancy Marrons.

Peter and Linda Greene – who have lived in Kibworth, Leicestershire, for more than 30 years – have designed the eco-friendly four-bedroom detached property, which will be located within the grounds of their current home, and will manage every stage of the build process.

Developed in collaboration with DSA design studio architects, the house has been designed as a later living unit to be adaptable to future needs. The property will include a downstairs en-suite bedroom should the need arise for ground floor living, and there will be widened doorways and corridors linking together a larger open plan living area, enabling accessibility across the home.

Mr and Mrs Greene said: “Our current home was a small bungalow when we bought it over three decades ago. We have carried out lots of extensions over the years, adding onto whatever was there, but we have always said we would love to start from scratch one day and build our dream home.

“A year or so ago, we decided that day had come. We knew we had to go about it in the right way in order to get the best possible chance of success, so we got in touch with Marrons, which was recommended to us by a friend who does building developments in the area.

“We have always liked where we are and as we have the space in our garden, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to utilise that area for a new property that is more suited to our needs now and into the future. We knew we wanted to downsize but still have enough space for family to come and stay with us. We also wanted the house to be practical and easy to maintain as we age, as well as sustainable from a utility point of view.

“Getting planning permission was just the beginning – there is a lot of preliminary work before we can lay the first brick. To fund the build, we have to sell our current house, so we need to ensure that is separated off from the new property with a new entrance. We are also looking into getting a mobile home on the plot for us to live in while works are ongoing.”

The design has been driven to maximise the eco-credentials of the project. The build will harness energy-efficient materials, such as limestone and timber cladding, and utilise insulation and energy-efficient windows and doors to minimise heat loss and gain.

It will also embrace renewable energy sources to enable the use of clean energy to power the property, including air or ground source heating, in addition to solar panels; integrate passive cooling and natural lighting strategies to reduce energy consumption; and promote biodiversity and responsible landscaping, including wildflower green roofs.

Sachin Parmar, planning director at Marrons, who led the planning application, said: “We are thrilled Mr and Mrs Greene have been given the green light to create a home where they can retire in a safe and familiar area. The development contributes to Harborough’s housing supply, meeting a local need for self-build plots, while also incorporating sustainable design measures to foster an eco-friendly lifestyle and create a high-quality space for later living.”

Keshiv Sudera, managing director at DSA, added: “I am pleased to announce the successful approval of the bespoke self-build scheme for Mr and Mrs Greene. Notably, the scheme received approval on its initial submission, showcasing the exceptional collaboration and dedication of our team members and the wider consultant team.

“The design of the project, carefully crafted to complement its natural surroundings, offers captivating views of the Leicestershire countryside and maximises the potential of the expansive plot. The split-height layout, thoughtfully integrated with the neighbouring property, with one volume housing the spacious open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, while the other accommodates the bedrooms.

“We eagerly anticipate the implementation of this eco-driven self-build scheme, which promises to exemplify sustainability and architectural excellence in its execution.”

To supplement the planning application, Simon Macklen, director of economics at Marrons, completed a self-build needs assessment, which demonstrated a clear and significant demand for self-build and custom-build plots within the Harborough district that is not being met with current allocations.