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Country house, Platt Hill Wood, Kent by Lee Fitzgerald Architects

[FIRST LOOK + PLAN] Lee Fitzgerald Architects has won planning permission for this house in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Kent

The home, described by practice co-founder Tim Lee as ‘unashamedly modern, yet modest’, will replace a taller 1920s dwelling on the Platt Hill Wood site.

Lee added: ‘The current building is like a pimple stuck on the brow of a hill.’

Designed ‘in subservience to the site’s natural features’, the proposed house boasts four bedrooms plus a guest suite as well as a swimming pool

Architect Mike Fitzgerald, saids their design approach ‘breaks apart the floor plan’ with the incorporation of an internal courtyard, to preserve the ‘beautiful enormous Oak and Beech trees’ on the site.

Other environmental features include natural stone walls and a green roof, designed by Bauder.

The new building will have a height of 2.9m, in contrast to the existing building’s 7m ridge height, which will reduce its visibility from the valley. However, the footprint will increase by more than double, from 330m2 to 658m2, while the area will be enlarged from 409m2 (or 587m2 including outbuildings,) to 658m2.

The Planning Officer’s report maintained the proposal ‘would not be materially larger in floor area than the one it would replace and, moreover, due to its low level design, would represent a significant reduction in visual bulk on the site, compared to the existing house.’

Additionally, the proposed replacement dwelling was considered to be ‘of high quality design and of a scale, layout, siting, character and appearance, which would respect the site and its surroundings.’

The scheme is being marketed for £1.5 million by specialists in contemporary design, The Modern House. Fitzgerald says he would like the eventual buyer to allow him to design the home as an energy efficient, Passiv House, with high level insulation and fresh air brought in via underground duct.

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