Our clients own a converted outbuilding in the open countryside but was clearly too small for their family requirements. An initial application was submitted by themselves which was promptly refused as being too large. Upon our instruction we argued that a smaller extension would be the direction to go rather than fight a refused permission. They agreed and redesigned the extension. Even though we spoke at committee on their behalf and the planning officer was 'sympathetic' to the family's needs this second application was also refused. A third submission was also turned down on the basis that it was too large. A fourth application however was finally approved and whilst not fully meeting the clients' requirements it does give them hope that in the future they could apply to extend again to achieve their ambitions. The clients' tenacity paid off here, but it was disappointing that slavish adherence to a subjective design policy was not interpreted in a more sympathetic manner.