‘I’m now able to continue living in the hamlet I grew up in’ – the cabin that solved a planning dilemma
Tucked away in a beautiful part of the Cotswolds is the new log annex home of farmers Rowland and Susan Blackwell. It overlooks the charming hillside hamlet Rowland grew up in and where many of their family still live - and they are delighted they too can still call it home.
Only a year or so ago, the Blackwells were not sure where they would be living as their attempts to build a bungalow next to their large family farmhouse had repeatedly hit the planning buffers. But thanks to Norwegian Log, and their new log cabin lodge, they can now continue enjoying life in the hamlet, surrounded by their close family and friends.
“We had brought our five children up in the farmhouse but we felt it was being wasted with just us in it. Our youngest daughter and young family needed a larger house and moving into the farmhouse proved the perfect solution. But as we live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we were refused planning permission,” explains Susan. “We then saw an advert for Norwegian Log and thought the cabins looked really nice, so went to see them. We were so impressed. I love natural wood and knew that I would be more than happy living in one.”
As their annex sits in the garden of their old farmhouse, planning permission was not needed, only a certificate of lawful use which Norwegian Log obtained from the local authority.
“The team who came to build it was wonderful,” says Rowland. “Everything arrived when it should. They said it would take six weeks and it took only five!”
Their home has a cosy farmhouse-style kitchen and living area with stunning views over the surrounding fields and local hamlet, including the house Rowland was born in. His-and-her bathrooms, two bedrooms and a small utility room make up the rest of the cabin. “It’s just great,” explains Susan. “We felt a little as though we were on holiday to begin with but we are getting used to it now. Visitors are very impressed with how spacious it is.”
Landscaping for their new garden has nearly been completed with a smart paved area and wooden pergola, softened with lawn and a large flower border, next to their raised vegetables beds and greenhouse. Everything is carefully protected from the farm animals in the neighbouring field.
Rowland and Susan are able to share the care of the farm dogs with their daughter, and pop in whenever they like, but still have the privacy of their own front door. And although only a matter of paces down the garden from the old farmhouse, as the annex’s outlook is in the opposite direction, their new home feels completely secluded.
“Being farmers, we always had to make do, outside was always more important, so it’s been great to go out and buy some new furniture,” Susan laughs.