Keep up to date with the most exciting and interesting news. Here we can tell you about our latest planning approvals, design awards, recent publications and more news from across Dorset, Hampshire and the South West.

On Site at Laurel Farm


WDA are happy to see Laurel Farm on site and underway. We look forward to the Oak frame arriving on site early in the New Year.

Planning Approval at The Crown


WDA are very happy to have gained planning permission to convert the old Crown Inn at Tisbury into five quirky and characterful dwellings. our proposeal sailed through planning and we look forward to seeing this beautiful building getting a new lease of life.

Congratulations Rosie


Massive congratulations to Rosie Baron, who has just been named as WDA’s newest Associate!

Celebrating six years at WDA this summer and having recently completed her RIBA Part III (just a few of her bar-raising accomplishments), this is a pretty great way to end a fantastic year. 

Three New Architects


Western Design are very proud to announce that three of our students, Rosmary Baron, Jessamy Knowles and Peter Robinson have passed their professional practice examinations and subject to ARB Registration are fully qualified Architects.

Many Congratulations to them all for their hard work.

Congratulations Rosie and James!


Saturday 19th September saw the joining of two of Dorset's most respected design practices, thanks to the fairy tale romance of Rosie Sidwell and James Barron.

We wish them a long and happy life together.

Success at Weymouth


Detailed permission has been granted at committee for 97 new housers in Weymouth, Dorset. Following 3extensive negotiation with Weymouth, Portland and West Dorset Council, the approved development includes a wide range of properties from single storey bungalows through to three storey houses with 30% affordable housing provision.

Planning Approval at Winterborne Stickland


WDA have recently gained planning permission for a partially sunken dwelling n the heart of Dorset. Using a palette of natural materials, including local stone, timber and a grass roof this dwelling benifits from the far-reaching views, with minimal impact on its neighbours.

New Promotion For Jonathan


Congratulations to Jonathan Turvey, who has been made a Director of Western Design Architects. His prior experience of practice management, as well as the four years he has spent with us as Senior Architect, will prove invaluable going forward.

New Part 1 Students


Western Design are pleased to welcome two new faces. Lizzie Cross graduated from the University of Kent, while Rianna Hollis joins us from AUB. They are both settling in well into the Western team.

New Approval in Weymouth


Planning permission has been granted at committee for a new four storey apartment development in Weymouth by WDA. The proposal makes the most of the great views across Radipole Lake from the top floor.

Planning Approval For 8 Contemporary Houses


We have just gained planning approval for 8 contemporary houses on a sloping site in Spetisbury, Dorset. Maximising views across the valley and minimising excavation through stepping up the site.

New Traditional Family Home


Recently completed on site, this traditional style family home designed by Western Design incorporates several sustainable technologies including a photo voltaic array and air source heat pump. 

Planning approval for office refurbishment


Planning has been granted for the refurbishment of an existing six storey office building in Farnborough, Surrey.  Internal works include modifications to the layout and provision of a new main reception whilst externally the building is being reclad to give the building a new modern appearance.

Curtis Fields Convenience Store


Construction of the convienience store commenced on our site in Weymouth this week.

Curtis Fields, Weymouth


Construction of housing at Curtis Fields has begun in earnest with the foundations of the first 25 houses poured and the external walls are now rising out of the ground

New Employees


It's about time we introduce you to our newest employees.

Jacques Steventon is our new IT guru and will be covering Kathryn whilst she is away on maternity leave for the next 10 months. He will also be assisting with the marketing and keeping our social media profiles up to date.

Gemma Campbell- Smith has replaced Louise Aspden as our office manager. She has previously worked at another Architects office and more recently worked as a prison officer - so she should manage to keep us all in line!!

We wish them both the best of luck in their new positions.

Planning Permission granted for 500 houses in Weymouth


Western Design Architects are pleased to announce planning permission has been granted for up to a further 500 houses at Curtis Fields in Weymouth. This is in addition to the 180 already granted permission last year on a different area of the site.   

Our Client Betterment Properties (Weymouth) Ltd are delighted with the outcome. With 30% affordable housing provision, this will provide a significant boost to local housing provision.  The development also includes contributions to the local school, sports facilities and will include a neighbourhood area of play and large area of public open space.

Success at LABC North Dorset Awards


Great result at North Dorset DIscrict Council LABC awards on friday night as we recieved:

A Highly Commended accolade for 'Best New Housing Development' for Damer Close, Milton Abbas also known as Catherines Well.

Winner of 'Best Sustainable Delevopment' for Tarrant Hinton Village Hall in collaberation with Rob Hescroff and the Tarrant Hinton village hall commitee.

A nomination for Mospe for 'Best Individual New Home'

Agricultural to Residential Prior Approval


Prior approval has been granted for the Change of Use of two Agricultural Building into dwellings.  The Lower Stable and The Coach House will be converted into two new dwellings with dramatic views across open fields near Bentley in East Hampshire.

Planning permission for change of use from barn to home


Western Design Architects, working with a commercial partner, have secured prior approval planning permission in East Dorset for the change of use from an agricultural barn to residential use under the conditions contained within Class MB of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order.  The planning approval is excellent news for our client who may now build a large family home in the countryside

Follow the 'Broadchurch' Path


Why not visit the locations and setting for hit series Broadchurch, taking in sites such as Western Design's Folly or 'Broadchurch Police Station' as it's better known. Western Design designed this building as part of a larger residential and mixed use development call Quay West in West Bay.

For more information check out

Farm Office Approval, Verwood


A smart new farm office had gained Full Planning consent located in open countryside in Verwood, Dorset Verwood

Planning Approval for 10 new apartments


We are please to announce that we have gained planning approval for 10 new flats/ apartments at a gateway site to Amesbury in Wiltshire.

Planning Approval in Bridport


WDA have obtained full planning approval for a new modern venacular dwelling outside the village envelope in Bridport. 

Shortlisted for RIBA Awards 2015


Western Design Architects are really pleased to announce that Bury Road in Poole has been shortlisted for a Regional RIBA Award. The building has been wittled down from 48 projects down to just 16 great buildings.

See the shortlist

Shortlisted for RICS South West Awards


Western Design are deligted to be shortlisted by the RICS South West Awards with their design for a contemporary House located in Poole, Dorset. Judging commences in March.

Planning Approval for office entrance in Basingstoke


WDA have just recieved planning approval for a new entrance to an existing office building located in Basingstoke.

Find us on Instagram


You can now follow Western Design Architects on Instagram. Search for wda.architects or follow the link below

Looks Familiar?


It's one thing throwing yourself into your work, it's another to become it.

We think our Principal Architect has an uncanny resemblance to the New SketchUp man. 

Ask the Architect - Homebuilding & Renovating show in Somerset.


Homebuilding & Renovating show in Somerset.
Our principal Architect Phil will be appearing at the Homebuilding & Renovating show in Somerset on the 22-23 November.

Phil is an RIBA Chartered Architect, and will be on hand in the 'Ask an Architect' area of the show to answer any questions you might have about design, the planning process or just simply to give you peace of mind. 

So why not pop along to get FREE advice and support in a 15 minute consultation.

Take a look at our facebook page to get FREE tickets

Highly Commended at Homebuilding and Renovating Awards


Maypool Boathouse has recieved a highly commended accolade in the Homebuilding and Renovating Awards 2014. We are really pleased to gain recognition for this fantastic waterside project located on the River Dart.

Maypool Boathouse, Devon

Nickie goes back to school


Associate Nickie Yeates has just embarked on a 2 year Part Time Master’s degree in the Conservation of Historic Buildings at Bath University.

At Western Design, Nickie is predominately responsible for overseeing, designing and submitting planning applications for the majority of the traditional builds in the office including conversions and extensions to existing historical buildings.

She has always had a keen interest in building conservation and has worked on a number or Listed Buildings throughout her career.

Nickie is excited to be extending her knowledge with further study and has come back from her first day very enthusiastic.

Photo: Nickie in front of one of her design projects - the conversion of a derelict barn into a wine shop.

Sail Away


A great day was had by all at the Great Boat Race.

Members of the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) and RIBA Dorset, including Western Design Architects, took part in a public event to race boats made from recycled materials down the river in Bournemouth Gardens. 

The event was part of the Bournemouth Arts Festival 2014 and was part of a number of interactive features happening across the centre of Bournemouth.

Each local practice had to make a prototype using the recycled materials. By using plastic milk bottles and card we created a sea-worthy milk-float that we believed had a strong concept due to its simplicity and scope for flare and embellishment. We were right. The designs the children produced were beyond our expectations.

The variation in colours, shapes, materials and sparkles were ingenious.

For the full story visit our blog:

WDA welcome back Hannah


Hannah originally came to Western Design as a work experience student back in 2008, enjoying her time so much, Hannah embarked on an architecture degree at Nottingham University, and took a placement with us last summer. Hannah graduated in July with a 2:1. 

Well done Hannah!


First Prior Approval in North Dorset for change of use from Agricultural to Residential


We are really pleased to announce that Western Design Architects have been the first to achieve prior approval in North Dorset for the change of use and conversion of an agricultural building into a dwelling.

As a result of the recent permitted development changes in 2014, full planning consent was not required providing the agricultural barn met a number of pre-defined criteria. Having worked closely with North Dorset District Council, the new house located in Lydlinch, Dorset is the first development of this type to be to be permitted in the area.

Please contact us, if you think you might have an agricultural barn you would like to convert under permitted development.

Shortlisted for The Daily Telegraph Home Building and Renovating Awards


We are pleased to announce that Western Design's recently completed boathouse in Devon has been shortlisted for The Daily Telegraph's Home Building and Renovating Award.

Maypool is located on the banks of the River Dart and is a great example of quality work by local craftsmen.

See images of Maypool here.

Gillingham Consultation


Members of the public were invited to a public consultation at Gillingham Town Hall on Wednesday 10th September to discuss our proposals for the construction of new bungalows, flats and houses on the site of former North Dorset District Council garage blocks.

Local residents were able to put questions to representatives of Spectrum Housing Association and the Western Design Team.

While some people's minds were put at rest, others were able to voice their concerns, particularly over parking and fill in questionaires.

The team are making various alterations to the proposals to respond to some of the residents comments.

New Architect joins Team at WDA


Western Design are pleased to announce that Kelly O'Driscoll has joined the team.

Kelly worked for Western Design as a Part I Student back in 2007. She has since studied for a Masters & Part II qualification at Oxford Brookes University and Bath University for her Part III. Kelly is now a fully qualified Architect.

Having worked for ADP for the past 2 years, Kelly brings with her expertise in large scale projects in the Healthcare and Education sectors. Kelly is highly experience in BIM software and has great illustration skills.

We are happy to have her back and we are sure she will be an asset to the company.

Exciting news for Blandford, North Dorset


After a long planning process WDA are pleased to announce that the new Arts Barn in Blandford has been granted Outline Planning Approval. 

The proposed site is to be used as a public amenity for the residents of Blandford and surrounding towns and villages. The multifunctional space will provide a cultural venue for both arts and exhibitions. 

The venue will be called The Fording Point and will include a 225 seat cinema and theatre, of which 50 seats will be removable, the design will include dressing rooms and visitor toilets. The space may also be used as a gallery or for workshops. There will be a seating area outside the entrance of the venue.

There will be a small exhibition space from the courtyard. A small domestic scale kitchen/cafe may be included in the design. This would supply beverages and light snacks such as sandwiches and cakes.

Blandford Arts Centre

New Planning Approval in North Dorset


Western Design have successfully gained a challenging planning permission for a new replacement four bedroom dwelling in North Dorset. As the site lies within a beautiful rolling agricultural hillside setting, it was very important for the design to nestle into the landscape. The design is vernacular in form and materiality but contemporary in detail. Photovoltaics will be carefully concealed into the south-facing roof structure and the house will utilise other renewable systems such as a high-efficiency biomass boiler and rain water harvesting. 

Bournemouth Design Panel


Western Design Architects are pleased to announce that both Phil Easton and Jonathan Turvey have been selected to be members of the Bournemouth Borough Council Design Panel. 

The aim of the Panel is to encourage excellent design and sustainable development within the town and will provide constructive critiques of development proposals. We look forward to meeting with other Panel members in September.

Opening Day for Affordable Housing Scheme


Phil and Nickie of Western Design took great pleasure in attending the recent opening day for the newly built affordable houses located in Milton Abbas for Spectrum Housing Group.

Designed by Western Design, the 6 generous houses are sited on large plots with south facing panoramic views in a rural location in North Dorset.  Primarily brick, the houses have timber clad elements and are completed with slate roofs.

The houses which are all 'affordable' are for people with a connection to the local community. 

WDA met some familiar faces at the event including John Hammond, Chief Planning Officer at North Dorset District Council, Richard Hill & Stephen Dunhill, Chief Executive Officer and Neighbourhood Team Manager respectively at Spectrum Housing Group as well as members of MATCH (Milton Abbas Trust for Community and Heritage) and the employees of CG Gry & Son Ltd who build the properties. 

Contemporary House, Poole nears completion


The contemporary house in Branksome Park is coming along great. The expected completion date is early August and we can't wait to see it. 

Bury Road Images.

New sedum roof on Eco House


A family house is under construction in North Dorset with great sustainable credentials. Most notably it has a 'green roof' as a result of the lovely sedum that covers it. The sedum roof will help blend the house in with it's context of trees whilst offering a great environment for wildlife, reducing rainwater run off and increasing thermal insulation.

Photos of Beech Cottage

Conservation Architect Accreditation


Great news at Western Design! We are really pleased to announce that our Principal Architect Phil Easton is now a RIBA-accredited Conservation Architect.

Over the years Phil has worked on a number of Conservation Projects and Listed Buildings (of all Grades) ensuring the future survival of our traditional buildings.

Extension to thatched cottage is Highly Commended


Western Design has received recognition for an extension to a thatched cottage in Tarrant Gunville. The extension received a 'Highly Commended' in the LABC North Dorstet District Counci Building Excellence Awards 2014 for Best Extension / Alteration 

The Cottage

New Contemporary House gains approval in Wiltshire


The Croft - A new contemporary house locatated in a village setting has gained approval in Wiltshire.


Maypool features in the news section of website.

Planning Approval in Lyme Regis


The re-modelling of an existing house in Lyme Regis to a contemporary 4 bed dwelling has just been granted planning permission by West Dorset District Council.

View images of Somers Field 

New Recruits


WDA offer a warm welcome to our new employees, Ross Hennigan and Peter Robinson.

Ross has a BA (Hons) in Architecture as well as a HNC in construction and is joining us as a Part I Architectural Assistant.

Peter has a Masters in Architecture and joins the team as a Part II Architectural Assistant.

Harbour Ridge, Canford Cliffs, Poole wins Award


We are pleased to announce that our client Wyatt Homes has been awarded twice for our design for four luxury homes in Canford Cliff.

'Harbour Ridge' won Bronze for Best Exterior Design & Silver for Best Luxury Development in the What Homes Awards 2013

Conversion of barn into shop receives 'Highly Commended' Award


Western Design has received recognition for the conversion of a dilapidated barn into a wine merchants in Tarrant Hinton, Blandford. The Old Calf House received a 'Highly Commended' at the LABC North Dorset Building Design Excellence Awards 2014 in the Best Change of Use of an Existing Building category.

Planning Approval for a Contemporary House in North Dorset


We have received another planning approval for a new contemporary house within a small village in North Dorset. 

Find out more about the project here: St Peter's Close

Planning Approval for contemporary house in Dorset


Western Design have gained planning approval for a contemporary 3 bed dwelling located in Donhead St Andrews, Dorset.

The proposed house although contemporary in detailing is traditional in form and character.

More images for HersanMine

Tree House Features in MailOnline


Western Design's exciting tree house home has been featured in the Mail Online. The timber house consists of three pods on stilts and is situated amongst ancient oak trees. The house is currently on sale for £700,000.

Tree House Article

Maraleen, North Dorset Approved


New three bedroom house in Margarets Marsh, nr Shaftesbury has been approved.

Maraleen photos

Sandbanks plot worth more after house demolished


It's always worth remembering the benefits of selling a plot WITH Planning Permission. 

The 1920's bungalow along the waterfront in Sandbanks, Poole was bought for £1.5 million and soon demolished. Western Design achieved planning permission for a contemporary 5 bedroom house with boat house. The plot in Dorset, has now doubled in value.

Mail Online article 


Approval for contemporary single storey extension, Lyme Regis


This low key contemporary extension to a house in Lyme Regis has just been granted planning consent. 

The simple extension replaces a number of outdated extensions that have been added through the years

Cobb Road, Lyme Regis


New wine shop opening


Friends and family of our client enjoyed a wonderful private viewing of the new wine shop 'No 8 Wine Co' to mark it's opening.

The Wine shop located at Manor Farm next to Hinton Business Park (where Western Design Architects are based) sell both to wholesale and retail offering customers a wide range of wines to suit every budget.

Planning permission included a change of use from Agricultural to A1 Retail and required the part demolition and conversion of a very run down, dilapidated calf house to make the barn suitable for commercial use.

For further images visit The Old Calf House

Approval in Southampton for new office fa├žade


Planning permission has been approved for the design of a new office entrance façade to existing offices located in Southampton.

more information


Planning Application Approved in Weymouth


Western Design Architects are delighted with a decision to grant planning permission by a Government Inspector for a Western Design Architects proposal for 170 dwellings, offices and a convenience store at Curtis Fields in Weymouth, Dorset.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council were to refuse planning permission alleging that the scheme did not reflect the character of the area and that the layout would be likely to give rise to conditions prejudicial to highway and public safety.  However, Inspector Christina Downes found the application scheme “would result in a high quality and safe built environment, which would enhance its surroundings and create its own sense of place” all in a sustainable location.

The application was considered in the policy context of there being no up to date adopted Local Plan and the Inspector confirmed in such circumstances the relevant policy direction comes from the National Planning Policy Framework.  Within this context, the Inspector also confirmed the proposal would make provision for infrastructure, inward investment to support employment growth and would make an important contribution to the Council’s housing land supply deficit.  

Working with Sibbett Gregory and a wider team, the original planning application was for a hybrid application of 80 dwellings, offices and a convenience store in detail as Phase 1A and Phase 1B of 90 dwellings in outline.  Phase 1 will be the first of several phases across a larger site owned by the applicant which could deliver approximately 500 dwellings across a 38 hectare site.

The scheme will deliver significant benefits including flood alleviation measures to help reduce flood risk downstream, access to open space on what at present is private land and improved links to footpath and cycle links across Weymouth.  Approximately 29 affordable dwellings will be delivered with Phase 1A, far in excess of that currently required by the Council.

We were able to successfully demonstrate to the Inspector that the proposed development is a carefully designed, properly informed development which responds to the landscape and the character of its setting. 

HRH Princess Anne visits VEC


HRH Princess Anne visited the new Victoria Education Centre in Poole to formally open Phase 1 of the new Hydrotherapy Pool. The Princess took a tour of the new swimming pool facilities before meeting staff, students and the design and construction team.

West Barn is Nearer Completion


The project in West Barn is coming on well with the lead roof complete. Now for the windows!

West Bay, Plush

The boys visit Battersea Power Station


Last week members of the team were given the chance to visit Battersea Power Station.

This was one of the last opportunities for anyone to be taken on a tour of the site before the start of the multi-million pound development for the area.

They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were thrilled to have had the opportunity to see the site and London from such a unique perspective.

Moorview Music Studio received Planning Approval


Planning Approval has been granted for the conversion of an agricultural barn into a contemporary music studio with stunning views across rural Dorset.

Phase 1 of the VEC is Complete


Phase 1 for the upgrading of the Victoria Education Centre is now complete.

Have a look at the finished space on youtube: VEC Therapy Pool


on our Project page: Victoria Education Centre, Poole

Planning Approval for a Contemporary House in North Dorset


We have received another planning approval for a contemporary 4 bedroom house in a small village in North Dorset.

The site is particularly unusual in its topography and location to a Grade I listed Church.

More about this project here: Church Cottages


Housing in Later Life


Have a read of our latest blog about the soon to be crisis regarding the housing shortage for the aging generation and its impact on first time buyers.

Retirement Living

Planning approval for two new houses in Branksome Park


Western Design Architects overcame planning restraints and neighbour objections to win an approval for the construction of two houses on a site with an existing bungalow.

View more details here; Lakeside Road, Poole

Planning Approval in South Wales


We have just received planning approval to remodel a dated bungalow in rural South Wales into a striking contemporary house.

Have a closer look: Hunters Hollow, Swansea

We Won!


We have been informed that we are amongst the winning companies of the esteemed UK Property Awards in the 2013 UK regional competition.

We competed against a number of architects in the South West region to receive this recognition.

To have a better look at both our schemes please click here for Oxleaze, Wiltshire (single residence scheme), then Click here for Chaddesley Glen, Sandbanks (multiple residence scheme)

We've been nominated for Inbuilding's Design of the Month!


Our recent project, Salterns Way, has been awarded for its design quality by . Champagne for the office!

Have a look at our project page Salterns Way

Planning Approval for The Warren


Western Design have received planning approval for The Warren.

A 60-bed care home in Ferndown that will help to support the growing elderly population in the area.

Planning Approval in Salisbury


The planning application is for a lightweight two-storey extension to Fisherton Mill in Salisbury.
Fisherton Mill is a historic building built in the 1880s that has expanded to house artisan studios and galleries.

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