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Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects (FCB) has won planning permission for this new country house, the first development to receive the green light under the PPS7 planning exception. The London and Bath-based practice learned earlier this week that the local government office has decided against calling in the CABE-backed scheme - a project that will become the largest new country house for several decades. The decision to back the proposals will come as a relief to activists, including this magazine, who campaigned two years ago to force the government to retain the clause, which allows for the building of one-off houses in open countryside. It permits the occasional new country house providing it reflects 'the highest standards of contemporary architecture' and provides 'significant enhancement' of the surrounding setting. FCB's scheme, in the north-east Lincolnshire countryside, won planning permission from the district and parish councils, despite being contrary to the local plan. The 3,500m 2 development, which sits within a vast 82ha site, is mammoth compared to any other country house approved in recent years.

The extraordinary scale of the ambition is comparable to Blenheim Palace. The house, which has major environmental credentials, takes in an equestrian centre with the capacity for 20 horses, and may well be used as a training facility in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. FCB senior partner Keith Bradley said he was delighted to win planning for the 'Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired plans'. 'This is a wonderful opportunity to take forward Lincolnshire's countryhouse tradition using natural resources and new technologies to make this a truly exemplary project, ' he said.

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