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Hunter wins go-ahead for windmill-inspired 'country house clause' home

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Hunter Architects & Planners has won approval under Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework for this house in Litcham, rural Norfolk

According to the practice, the new proposals will create a carbon-neutral family home which reflects the surrounding context, history and previous uses on the site - namely a windmill.

The scheme in Breckland was granted permission under paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on the basis that the scheme is ‘outstanding and an environmental and design exemplar’.

NPPF paragraph 55 replaced the former ‘contemporary country house’ clause officially known as Clause 11 of Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7) and sets out a number of exceptional circumstances where homes can be built in ‘open countryside’.

The architect’s view

‘The siting and circular form has been influenced by the historic windmill which occupied the site in the 19th century and has also led to a series of circular forms for the landscaping features, including patio, garage, parking and main garden spaces.

‘Simple linking paths create an overall high quality layout. The use of materials is also influenced by local materials, the unique location and history, namely the use of lime render and timber cladding.

‘The building has been designed to feature two distinct elements. A initial solid protective elevation has fewer window openings and is the taller half of the building, which ads a physicality and shelter from the more open aspects of the site.

‘The use of timber in the material also helps to tie in with the “street scene” elevation of the rest of the site, which is in effect a screening of trees. The timbers of the elevations will evolve over time, and soften into the landscape like the surrounding trees and help to root the building into the site. It is proposed that the timber will be grown on site for the re-cladding in future years.’

Hunter Architects&Planners Breckland House

Project data

Location Litcham, Norfolk
Type of project private dwelling
Client private client
Architect Hunter Architects & Planners
Funding Private
Start on site date Spring 2016
Completion date Autumn 2016
Gross internal floor area 240m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Traditional, JCT contract
Total cost TBC


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