Our Planning team secured planning permission, granted under delegated powers, for a house of exceptional architectural quality in Daventry, located within an open countryside setting designated as a Special Landscape Area. The exception to building an isolated home in the open countryside was achieved via paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
To satisfy the requirements of paragraph 79 a bespoke response was taken to the design of the proposed dwelling focused on enhancing its immediate setting. From initial discussions with the applicants to understand their brief ‘to deliver a home that will meet their lifetime needs’ a site appraisal was undertaken. The site’s constraints and opportunities were identified and considered, and it was agreed that a landscape-led approach was the most appropriate.
To help provide the client with a degree of certainty before proceeding with a formal planning application, we advised making a pre-application enquiry to the planning authority to gauge feedback on a detailed design concept. The initial concept was informed by a baseline Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment undertaken by our expert Planners. This assessment was used to inform the design process, utilising materials reflecting the local character of Daventry’s Ironstone Hills (recognised within the Council’s local landscape appraisal), but also mirroring the historic use of the site as a stone quarry.
Design and sustainability
The dwelling has been designed to attain high standards of sustainability and utilises renewable technologies within to ensure the home is sustainable, reflecting the applicants’ ambition to build an environmentally friendly house.
The overall layout was guided by the aim of ensuring solar passive gains from the south, with the dwelling orientated to ensure maximum daylight to internal living areas; whilst seeking to achieve snippet views across the wider countryside. The site’s gentle change in topography was utilised to ensure that the dwelling would be neatly nestled into the landscape, with any soil excavated being re-used to form gentle landbanks providing a degree of shelter whilst strengthening levels of amenity. This later evolved into the formation of a ha-ha feature with a water feature leading from the dwelling into the wider field which the client uses for hobby farming, providing a source of drinking water for their sheep. To help attain bio-diversity net gains a drainage pond was proposed, with the aim of encouraging newts and breeding birds from a nearby area of sensitivity, but also to support a grey water recycling system being incorporated.
Following a positive pre-application response from the planning authority, Haywood McMullen Architects were appointed to engage with the regional design review panel and refine the design proposals. The architects were able to satisfy the design panel, helping Aitchison Raffety to ensure the case officer was in full support of the scheme leading to an approval granted under delegated powers.
The approval will inevitably help the local planning authority raise design standards in the wider area, with a Reserved Matters Application due to be submitted for a large urban extension of 1100 dwellings nearby.