Town and Country Planning

Rural Exception Dwelling in the Open Countryside - Prestbury

HPP are delighted to have secured planning permission for an 'exceptional dwelling' located at Land at Headlands, Mill Lane, Prestbury.

The application was submitted under Paragraph 55 of the NPPF. This states that Local Planning Authorities should avoid new isolated homes in the countryside unless there are special circumstances. One of the circumstances is where a dwelling is of exceptional quality or innovative design.

HPP argued that the proposal's design was of exceptional quality due to the following reasons;

  • Extensive research was undertaken into the site's location and its context, which has informed the design of the proposal;
  • the new dwelling represented a holistic proposal which assimilates into its site while addressing a number of considerations presented by the site including its wider and immediate context, orientation, water flow, solar radiation, ecology, biodiversity, landscape character etc.
  • The dwelling is innovative (incorporating recent advances in renewable energy technologies) which is located respectfully within its setting
  • The proposal significantly enhanced its setting and demonstrates sensitivity to the defining characteristics of the local area in a design consistent with the highest standards.
  • The landscape proposals would have a beneficial impact on the quality and longevity of the landscape features and habitats.

As such HPP argued that the proposal was consistent with the tests set out at Paragraph 55.

One of the key technologies adopted in this case was the Earth Energy Bank. This is a system which was acknowledged as being of an innovative nature by Harborough District Council and has won numerous awards. The proposed scheme incorporated an advanced form of the Earth Energy Bank technology and as such represented a truly outstanding technology that will help raise the standards of designs within the area.

The design was supported by the Gloucestershire Design Panel who acknowledged that the design is sensitive to the surrounding area. The proposed scheme was also supported by Tewkesbury Borough Council's urban design officer.

With reference to the impact upon the AONB, HPP argued that the design strategy of the proposal was landscape led with the assessment of the landscape forming a fundamental part of the process. The LPA agreed with HPP that the building would not have any significant impact on the overall views or experience of visitors to the AONB and elevated escarpment to the north. Furthermore, it was accepted that the layout allowed for the protection, enhancement and longevity of key landscape features such as the woodland, orchard and ridge and furrow.

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