• Location: Hampshire
  • Client: Private
  • Project status: Planning
  • Project type: Extension/Renovation
  • Size: TBC

Planning Obtained March 2019

Richmond Bell Architects gained planning permission from Test Valley Council for this home in a conservation area in Hampshire. The project included restoration and renovation of the house, and the construction of an outbuilding and new garden walls. RBA included a new access route for cars and landscaping for the large gardens. We also designed an extension to The Boathouse, a separate building on the property.

The Brief

The clients’ brief was to refurbish the main house to create a home suitable for family life. They wanted to celebrate the river, allow in plenty of light and create better circulation space. They also wanted to keep the ‘baronial’ style of the existing building, popular in the late 19th century when Freelands was built. To do this, RBA suggested the replacement of internal and external features that had been lost over the years. In addition, the clients sought to make the property more energy and water efficient and to provide more storage.


Although an unlisted building, the Wherwell Conservation Area Appraisal identified Freelands as making a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. It was therefore regarded as a non-designated heritage asset.


RBA came up with a design that met the clients’ requirements and satisfied the conservation restrictions. The plans enlarged the house with a north-eastern extension, added two new canted bays to the riverside front and changed the existing square bays on the south-west front to more elegant canted bays. Internally, we suggested a reconfiguration suitable for modern family living. The resulting home would have seven bedrooms and five bathrooms across the top two floors. The ground floor space would provide living, drawing and dining rooms, library and bar space. A large open plan kitchen/dining/snug area was to have a separate boot room, pantry and utility room.

Developers have since bought the property with planning permission attached.

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