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Ellis-Miller hopeful for PPG 7 win

Ellis-Miller is hoping to clinch approval for a modest home on 400ha of farm land under the threatened PPG 7 'country-house clause'.

The 650m 2home for a local farmer is due before Fenland District Council within three months and, said director Jonathan Ellis-Miller, epitomises the spirit of the rule being championed by the AJ.

Ellis-Miller said the design for the house and landscape 'exemplifies the firm's responsiveness to the site's history and features'. It will 'lever' into features of the flat fens in Cambridgeshire, which include earth mounds called berms and 'bog oaks'- jet-black prehistoric oak buried in peat.

'The four-bedroom house will be woven into the landscape and take cues from fenland history, 'Ellis-Miller said. 'Its palette includes terraced earthworks, wattle fencing and green roofs. The frame will be darkstained wood, recalling the black soil and old oak forests.'

Ellis-Miller said the project would 'cost millions'and take in the entire 400ha of land, three miles in length. A 'parallelogram tartan grid'of trees planted in rectilinear patterns would create vistas across the entire site while providing wind shelter.

The house is surrounded by 17th-century canals and stands beside a wedge-shaped reservoir, strong in form, he said. 'We saw the land as an abstract painting and this generated ideas of creating perspectivetype shapes like '60s art by Bridget Riley, ' Ellis-Miller added.

'The building will be more like a geological outcrop and we see the landscape on a massive painterly scale. We've explored the nature of a modern house in a substantial landscape.

'The design team, including the Landscape Partnership, saw landscape architecture as big architecture and architecture as small landscape, 'said Ellis-Miller. Building dates have not yet been finalised.

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