Update 28.09.2020.

Loosehanger Oak is thrilled to announce that our Arts and Crafts Oak Extension project has been listed as a finalist in the “Custom & Self Build Project Of The Year” category for the Structural Timber Awards 2020. 



The clients for this oak extension case study were referred to us by two other friends for whom we had already completed projects for in the local Dorset area. The property lies within the New Forest National Park, Hampshire and is also located in a prominent position on the Western Escarpment of the Avon Valley. Although not listed the property is a classic arts-and-crafts type property and therefore, from the planning point of view, was a property deemed to be important and of historic value.

We understand that the property was originally commissioned for the Bishop of Winchester. It consists of a stone cottage with mullioned windows to the ground floor with a rendered oak framed structure to the first floor, with oak windows under a thatched roof. It has remained generally unchanged for many years.

The layout of the property meant that none of the views to the West were easily seen from the ground floor and in fact, due to chimney location, the seating layout in the main living room actually faced East! Adjacent to the main room was a dark and gloomy kitchen/dining room with
NO windows facing West – a real shame considering the beauty of the views from that aspect.


Our brief, in short, was to create an oak framed extension to allow the clients to take full advantage of the stunning westerly views available from the front of the property and to take full advantage of the location of the property.

We knew immediately that our main challenge in this case was going to be planning. We discussed possible options with our client and prepared an initial draft layout. To streamline the process, we personally took this to the Planning and Conservation Officers of the National Park to take advantage of their pre-planning initiative and receive their initial views.


Our initial plans were met with a polite – OK in principle, but please think again – attitude. This response was largely due to the orientation and forward setting prominence of the oak extension, which we had already advised our client was very unlikely meet with agreement from the planners. We next embarked on design number two, which addressed this issue.  Initially the client was somewhat reticent and did not like the revised layout but agreed that we should take it further, progress through the system and see what we could achieve. To cut a long story short, and after seven further amendments and some twelve months later we achieved a design which met both Planning/Conservation and the clients’ requirements and we were able to submit it through the formal planning system.

Approximately ten weeks later we were granted full planning permission without any onerous conditions – a success conclusion to what had been, at times, a complex and difficult journey. The moral of the story is that when it comes to planning, if you work closely with your local Planning /Conservation Officers from the outset, it is remarkable what can be achieved even under challenging conditions. While not all planning applications will go through without a hitch, creating relationships and fostering a spirit of co-operation is the best way to get things done.

Bespoke Project

As is usually the case with all our projects, we were tasked with undertaking the entire project from beginning to end. The clients decided to remain in residence throughout the build, yet in spite of the added complication, we succeeded in keeping the house fully powered and water and sewage connected throughout the whole construction process. We also had to contend with a cellar located under the existing kitchen with an access chute which would be under the floor of the new extension. Upon excavating the footings we found a myriad of sewer pipes, power cables and water supplies which served both the house and the adjacent bothy. Loosehanger Oak changed the layout of these essential services no fewer than four times to keep the system integrity, ensuring throughout that the Client experienced no inconvenience due to the build.


Once out of the ground, we built the dwarf walls with stone, sourced from the same Somerset quarry that was used to build the original cottage nearly 100 years ago. It was a perfect match and helped to ensure that the extension blended well with its setting and the existing dwelling. Above these dwarf walls we constructed our oak frame extension, designed specifically to allow uninterrupted views to the West, whilst also allowing access to the garden at the front through the french doors to a Purbeck stone patio which we installed to match the adjacent existing.

At the rear of the property we extended to roof level with a rendered block wall with the oak frame exposed internally and two oak windows to allow the early morning sun into the extension and create a beautiful new living space. The roof was tiled with clay tiles to compliment the existing Oak Garage to the South of the property, again helping to ensure that the new build could ‘settle’ into its surrounding environment, and blend with existing structures in a harmonious way. The feature vaulted oak ceiling together with the extensive west-facing double glazing created a real feeling of a light and airy space. Utility, function and design also all came together in a new galley kitchen on the rear wall which would allow the lady of the house to take full advantage of the views during the day.

We removed the original kitchen window and opened up this area to provide access from the old kitchen, which we remodelled to become a boot/storage and utility room. We also tiled the old and new areas throughout to create a coordinated feel and give a greater feeling of space.

The Final Result

We have created a space which has transformed the way the clients live in the property and finally allows them to watch the sunsets over the valley in quiet harmony. A fitting reward for them, and for us, a sense of satisfaction at a job well done.

Gary Parker

About Our Location in Dorset

We here at Loosehanger Oak from our location in Dorset, can take care of your oak building, oak extension, oak framed conservatory or any other oak structure project from beginning to end from the initial idea planning stages right through to the moment you step through the door. We always aim to make everything run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and our excellent craftsmanship and dedication to high quality means that all our work will always leave a smile on your face. Invest in the future by contacting us today, and begin your own oak framed construction project with a free site visit and consultation. Before long, you too could be enjoying the natural and sustainable beauty of your own oak build.

Loosehanger South West

2B Beresford Gardens
BH23 3QW

Email: sw@loosehangeroak.co.uk

Direction to our Workshop






BH23 3QW

TEL: 01202 985158










TEL: 01273 569280