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Stately home victory spells hope for rural housing

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Robert Adam Architects has won a landmark appeal over plans to build a new stately home on virgin Hampshire farmland. Government policy is that no new country houses should be built unless the design is 'of the highest quality' and 'truly exceptional', and Adam's plans for the 1,400m 2house near Winchester were originally rejected by Test Valley Borough Council. But the appeal decision earlier this month gave the scheme the green light and the planning inspector Keith Durrant described the design as 'based on sound principles of composition, proportion, space and style'.

Adam welcomed the decision and said: 'Although it is theoretically possible under government policy to build substantial new houses in rural locations, in practice local planning pressures make it virtually impossible. This is an important precedent which gives real hope that other similar projects might see the light of day.'

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