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Hunter Architects wins planning for thatched 'P55' house in Suffolk

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[First look] Cheshire-based Hunter Architects has won planning permission for this thatched country house in Suffolk

The project was approved under Paragraph 55 of the NPPF which permits ‘truly outstanding or innovative’ houses to be built in open countryside

Formerly known as PPS7 or the contemporary country house clause, the policy was included in the government’s revamped planning framework to encourage schemes which ‘raise standards of design in rural areas and reflect the highest standards in architecture.’

Hunter Architects’ project will create a new ‘carbon neutral’ family dwelling on the site of a Grade II-listed farmhouse.

The scheme features on-site grown timber cladding, thatched walls and a thatched roof - delivering a ‘modern twist’ on Suffolk’s vernacular architecture.

According to the studio: ‘The construction of the thick walls protects and shelters the dwelling on its most exposed elevation. On the more private side of the building facing onto the woodland, the building is clad in black vertical timbers.’

The statement continued: ‘The timber frame of the building is intended to reveal itself, almost as a skeletal framework, which exposes itself from under a heavy coat.

‘Vertical folding sliding shutters are proposed to the large ground floor windows, and sliding shutters are proposed to the first floor windows such that the building could be closed up in its entirety.’

The scheme is Hunter Architects’ second to be approved under P55.

Paragraph 55 of the NPPF

55. To promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities.

For example, where there are groups of smaller settlements, development in one village may support services in a village nearby. Local planning authorities should avoid new isolated homes in the countryside unless there are special circumstances such as:

●● the exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design of the dwelling.
Such a design should:
— be truly outstanding or innovative, helping to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas;
— reflect the highest standards in architecture;
— significantly enhance its immediate setting; and
— be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

 

 

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Vertical thatched walls are certainly innovative, but I wonder if I'm alone in thinking that the whole assemblage is something of a dog's breakfast, rather than raising standards of design in rural areas and reflecting the highest standards in architecture - as specified in para 55 of the NPPF.
    And with the apparent destruction of a Grade ll-listed farmhouse in favour of a 'family dwelling' that can be 'closed up in its entirety' this is surely rather more posture than architecture, and designed for part-time occupation in a rural area seen as a weekend / holiday destination rather than a viable community.

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