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Architecture's very own Basil Fawlty gives council a damn good thrashing

A Somerset architect is set to become famous as the industry’s very own Basil Fawlty after he threw the architectural equivalent of Fawlty’s much-loved car-thrashing scene.

John Jessop, of Somerset-based Carlisle Jessop, became so frustrated by the planning process needed to build a farmyard shed, that he blew a gasket and submitted a sarcastic design-access statement to Mendip County Council.

Under the contextual analysis section, Jessop wrote: ‘The use is compatible with a farm because it is a farm building. It is located where it is because it is the most convenient place, being on the farm and near the farmhouse… The historic environment is a farm, the density is like a farm, the social context is a farming the country.'

Jessop continued: ‘The economic context is farming in the United Kingdom in 2008 (which is not very economic), the opportunities are to store equipment inside rather than outside, the constraint is the planning system.’

And under scale he wrote: ‘the building is single storey… it cannot be lower because nothing could be stored in it. It is not made higher because that would be silly.’

Jessop’s partner Ben Carlisle said: ‘It has caused a stir – John has gone into hiding. We haven’t heard from the council yet, and we are wondering if we ever will.'

Click here to read the full document.


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