Hawkes Architecture has won the green light for this ‘PPS7’ country house
The scheme in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Surrey is one of the first to be approved under the new NPPF paragraph 55 - a ‘more generous’ replacement for the former ‘contemporary country house’ clause, officially known as Clause 11 of Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7).
The 600m² eco-house is the emerging practice’s second ‘PPS7’ victory, albeit through appeal, in the last 12 months (see AJ 01.11.2011). It is also Hawkes’ fifth consent using the country house clause, maintaining the firms 100 per cent record for ‘PPS7’ homes since setting up four years ago.
The architect’s view
The proposal consolidates various disused commercial stud farm buildings with a sustainable natural horsemanship school and a pioneering new low carbon family home for the owners.
The inspector noted the ‘significant benefits’ of the landscape enhancement proposals which will improve the openness of the site and ‘knit’ the 109 acre site back into the wider Green Belt.
Te scheme’s ‘cutting edge approach to energy conservation’ ws also noted. This includes Passivhaus building performance, phase change materials, voltage optimisation, rainwater harvesting and a combined solar photovoltaic and solar thermal system that will not only generate enough power for the site itself but also enough power for the neighbouring properties too.