Why us?

It can be difficult choosing who to work with on your project.

You need a planning application – that’s just a few drawings, isn’t it?

How do you know that you even need a professional? Couldn’t you just do it yourself?

We hope that the below helps to clarify how we can help you. We don’t just provide you with pretty drawings, we also include the following as standard:


We really understand planning policies in rural areas, at the last count we received 48 permissions out of 50 applications. We are super-efficient at producing the multiple reports that often need to accompany planning applications – design and access statement, method statement (for listed building repair), heritage statement (for conservation areas and listed buildings), because we have done so many!


We don’t just design bog standard (read building regs) levels of comfort. This isn’t good enough in general anyway, but don’t worry, we aren’t going to get on our soapbox here. We understand how a building works holistically. This means you will have a warm home, a light filled home, a home that does not overheat, a home that feels fresh. Not only this, but we also understand renewables and Passivhaus (should you want to go down that path).


We attend regular conferences (with some very long names*). These contain the very latest case study research about how to design energy efficient, well ventilated and healthy homes. All this research and knowledge means you benefit by creating a much better than standard home.


We understand what conservation officers are after, because this is often what we are trying to achieve ourselves. Historic buildings need to breathe – obvious to us, but surprisingly not so obvious to others.


We help you budget by providing early ball-park figures for build costs. We don’t just design in a vacuum, we understand that this isn’t Grand Designs. Your budget is final.


We will recommend several local builders that we know and trust. We produce drawings that they understand and can build from with very few (or no) queries.



…did you know Clare wrote a book? It contains 25 case studies of high quality and sustainable housing case studies from the UK and abroad. This is partly a mission to improve housing standards in the UK. Clare didn’t just interview designers, but also housing associations, homeowners and tenants to get realistic feedback about home quality. All this research feeds into our work at CNA. This means your home will benefit from this top level research.
*AECB – The Association for Environment Conscious Building
STBA – Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance
ABSP – The Alliance of Sustainable Building Products
SPAB – Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
The Passivhaus Trust Masterclasses

Read more about Clare’s book here