Peter Taylor and his family weren’t looking to self-build when they discovered a derelict farm on the edge of Ashdown Forest National Park. But they instantly fell in love with the location and decided it was the perfect place to establish a new home.

Peter approached Oakmasters and asked them to put a design together, assist with the planning process and handle the main construction phase.

While the family had originally wanted to develop a traditional Sussex farmhouse, after discussions with the local planning department they agreed a timber-clad barn would be more in keeping with the vernacular.

Aware of the site’s position on the edge of a national park, Peter was keen to work with companies from the surrounding area and to specify high-quality, locally-sourced materials to complement the unique location.

During the protracted planning application process, it transpired the local council wanted the new house to fit into the same footprint as the agricultural buildings that had previously occupied the site.

The designers at Oakmasters worked closely with Peter to develop a new plan, in which the location and angle of the house within the plot fit with the planners’ requirements.

As well as manufacturing and assembling the frame, Oakmasters also introduced the family to the contractor who would carry out the general building and groundworks.

Peter ran the project, including organising the site, scheduling the delivery of materials and ensuring everyone labouring on the project understood what their duties were.

“The process was exciting because it was so hands on,” he says. “I loved our designer’s vision. She genuinely listened to what was important to us as a family and translated that into all of the details we adore throughout the house.”

Find out more about the project here.

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