Contemporary Extensions to a House in the South Downs National Park and International Dark Sky Reserve

We secured planning permission for a contemporary home in the South Downs National Park.

Contemporary House Plan in South Downs National Park

The Brief

Our client’s objective was to replace their traditional brick-built home with a large contemporary dwelling within the South Downs National Park and International Dark Sky Reserve. The existing dwelling was positioned near Petersfield, within a private estate, with far reaching views across the open countryside. The client wanted to take advantage of these views by proposing a house with significant amounts of glazing.

To accommodate a new pool, games room and sufficient garaging, the proposed new dwelling was significantly larger than the existing. In addition, the design of the proposed house was contemporary, with a flat roof and significant areas of glazing.

Our Solution

Atlas Planning Group organised a multi-disciplinary team to prepare detailed reports to support the planning application. Owing to the increase in the number of openings, one of our primary concerns was the impact on the International Dark Sky Reserve (in May 2016 the South Downs National Park became the world’s newest International Dark Sky Reserve). The Local Planning Authority seek to protect the dark skies above the National Park as well as the landscape and the local plan has specific policies to fulfil these aims.

Given the policies regarding the protection of the International Dark Sky Reserve, we instructed a Lighting Design Consultancy to address concerns of light spill, and associated impact on the large glazed areas. This report provided calculations as to the existing and proposed light spill, and provided mitigation, such as automated blinds and window specifications.


In addition to this report, the application was accompanied by an Ecology Report to assess the potential of bats. A Landscape and Visual Appraisal was also undertaken by Atlas Planning Group to understand the potential landscape and visual effects of the proposed replacement dwelling. Different viewpoints within the surrounding area were visited and examined, and photographs towards the site taken. This primarily demonstrated that there were limited views of the development from the public realm and due to the nature of the proposal as a replacement dwelling in an existing residential estate, there would be limited landscape effects.

The findings of these reports were outlined in our detailed Planning Statement, which demonstrated that the proposed development accorded with all the policies within the current and emerging local planning policy.

Project Success

The replacement dwelling was approved without any objection within the statutory 8-week determination period.


Client: Private
LPA: South Downs National Park Authority


Rebecca Davis
Principle Planner & Planning Manager

t: +44 (0)1722 638 008
Email Rebecca


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For more information on any of our services please call us on 01722 638 008 or email

For more information on any of our services please call us on 01722 638 008 or email