Planning permission achieved through unique new-builds, adapted to their surroundings


Embarking on a self build journey? You’ll benefit from working with an architect that creates a bespoke home to your brief while respecting the spirit of the site. We take a look at one such architectural practice…

contemporary home with stone clad ground floor and white cantilevered first floor

Image: MortonScarr Architects

Each project is unique

When it comes to building a dream home from scratch every project and site is very different so it’s important to find an architect that will tailor a building to your requirements while coming up with original solutions to help it blend into its surroundings. A key part of this is finding a team that is flexible and accommodating, whatever the challenge.

This is the approach taken by MortonScarr Architects. For example, answering a recent brief to replace a worker’s cottage on an exposed site at the top of the South Downs, the practice took into account the site’s National Park location. The solution was to design a simple cottage with a single pitched roof and fully glazed gable ends to take in the sensational views. A robust traditional flint cladding teamed with a standing steam steel roof echo the agricultural buildings of the surrounding farmland.

remote landscape with a flint clad steel roof house with panoramic glazing

Image: MortonScarr Architects

Tricky sites, no problem

Swift planning permission is essential to the smooth running of a build and the level of consideration put into the layout and materials can have a big impact on whether a project achieves planning approval, especially on tricky plots.

MortonScarr Architects has a reputation for creating bespoke homes that achieve planning permission on challenging sites. One such project was a new build located on a greenfield site in Sussex. In order to include several mature trees at the clients’ request, the team designed a home formed around a series of landscaped courtyards with the building clad in contemporary larch to complement the surrounding woodland.

contemporary new build with white and timber clad facades and stone peripheral garden walls

Image: MortonScarr Architects

Standout buildings that blend in

MortonScarr works hard to ensure every building embraces its setting. Whether designing a bespoke home for a rural, agricultural plot or a unique dwelling for a remote location, the team ensures that form and materials gel together to produce a design that respects the site's surroundings and bonds with the natural landscape.

contemporary new build clad in zinc metal to look like farm buildings

Image: MortonScarr Architects

The practice is also experienced in Paragraph 79 homes.  When tasked with designing a home on a sloping hill so that it could make the most of the amazing views across the valley in Wiltshire, the team created an ‘upside down’ house with living rooms on the first floor and bedrooms below. The panoramic triple glazed sliding windows on the upper floor frame the breathtaking scenery while the western red cedar exterior cladding marries harmoniously with the surrounding trees.  

contemporary timber clad house on a sloping hillside

Image: MortonScarr Architects

To discover more about MortonScarr’s projects and to find out how they can help you create a unique home, visit

Morton Scarr Logo

Kevins Column

Grand Designs Live Online: Self Build & Renovation Weekend 31 July – 1 August 2021

Discover free home project advice and product recommendations from the comfort of your own home. Register now to express your interest.
Self Build Homes

Create your dream eco home with modern post and beam

For a state-of-the-art eco home at a reasonable price, choose a high-quality German modern post and beam or closed panel construction
Self Build Homes

10 stunning period home renovations

Learn how the owners of these period properties made contemporary changes whilst retaining and respecting their original character and charm.
Self Build Homes

Inside the future of sustainable prefab homes

Inside a modern prefabricated homes factory, designing and producing unique and sustainable modern homes
Self Build Homes

When to consult a structural engineer for your self build or renovation

A structural engineer is an important part of a self build, extension or renovation. Here's what you need to know about their role in your...
Self Build Homes

Making distinctive dream homes a reality

Discover why any self-build home needs architectural inspiration, planning knowhow and service that puts you first.
Self Build Homes

6 self builders who carried out the building work themselves

To beat budget restraints, these have-a-go heroes rolled up their sleeves and tackled the construction of their homes themselves.