This paper explores the use of the meta-heuristic search algorithm Simulated Annealing for solving a minimum cost network synthesis problem. This problem is a common one in the design of telecommunication networks. The formulation we use models a number of practical problems with hop-limit, degree and capacity constraints. Emphasis is placed on a new approach that uses a knapsack polytope to select amongst a number of pre-computed traffic routes in order to synthesise the network. The advantage of this approach is that a subset of the best routes can be used instead of the whole set, thereby making the process of designing large networks practicable. Using simulated annealing, we solve moderately large networks (up to 30 nodes) efficiently.