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John Pardey appeals after New Forest Council refuses lakefront house


John Pardey Architects (JPA) has lodged an appeal after its proposal to build a lakeside house in Ringwood, Hampshire, was rejected by councillors

In February the practice submitted plans to New Forest District Council for the demolition of an existing cottage and creation of a new 490m² house, The Haven, on a 2.4ha site by Blashford Lakes.

But in June, the council’s planning committee rejected the project on the grounds that the new house was ‘unacceptably large’ in relation to the original dwelling.

The refusal notice read: ‘In order to safeguard the long-term future of the countryside, the local planning authority considers it important to resist the cumulative effect of significant enlargements being made to rural dwellings.’

JPA has pointed out that its proposal only results in a slight increase in land take, from 0.08 per cent to 0.09 per cent of site area, and is appealing the decision. 

Its scheme is for a house raised above the flood level on stilts, with panoramic views of the lake from the main living space.

It says the aim of the design is to create ‘a house that appears to be weightless, that floats above the water’.

The building will power itself from water source heat pumps, powered by rooftop photovoltaic panels.

The planning committee rejected the house on the grounds that it contravened New Forest District Council (NFDC) policy DM20, which is intended to prevent urban sprawl on inappropriate sites. 

An appeal decision is expected by May 2019. 

03 First Floor Plan

03 First Floor Plan

Project data

Location Blashford Lakes, Ringwood, Hampshire
Type of project One-off house
Client Ian and Helena McGrath
Architect JPA (Pete Humphry Project Architect)
Landscape architect BD Landscape
Structural engineer Momentum
Funding private
Tender date Spring 2019
Completion date 2020
Contract duration 15 months
Gross internal floor area 490m²


Readers' comments (3)

  • No 'before' shot of the original cottage, so who knows?

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  • MacKenzie Architects

    There looks to me more than meets the eye here, the existing property is not a 'wee bungalow' cottage, there is a business park within 100 metres, and the next lake, separated from this one by a narrow causeway, has about 50 houses around it.
    Looks quite a nice place to live.

    This may not be the case to make an issue of, but I think the Architectural profession should be fighting the continuing politicisation of the planning system. This site is clearly large enough for a financially-successful home-owner to build the home he wants, why shouldn't he/she be allowed to? The reasons cited in the article don't appear to bear scrutiny.

    Does the RIBA even have a committee who monitors planning heavy-handedness?

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  • We are encountering the same issues. Planning policies intended to protect for instance the "Openness" of the Green Belt, ie urban sprawl and ribbon development as it manifest itself in the 1930's, now being interpreted to prevent sensible intensification by enlarging existing properties. This has reached its ultimate absurdity where Guildford have rejected a completely buried and hidden basement as being damaging to the greenbelt. There are many rural 1930's bungalow estates which could be intensified without damaging the green belt, yet enhancements are refused on the basis of proportional increase alone rather than subjective assessment. Planning officers have become jobsworths, applying rules like a script, without any rational basis other than to protect themselves from criticism. This is not helping the housing crisis or mobility of labour. In this regard the planning proffession has lost its way and become intellectually bankrupt, delegating decision making to appeals that are often awarded against the councills decisions (ref recent AJ article citing the huge number of residential planning approvals won at appeal). Having attended planning committee mtgs recently I have been astounded by the inadequacy of the members to understand the complex issues they are dealing with and to make decisions based upon personal bigotry and political bias rather than acting as custodians of a fit for purpose planning system. All the result of the govt opting out of responsibility and leaving NIMBYsm to take too high a profile in decision making. A complete dichotomy of central government mindset considering that the UK population is increasing by 1m every 3 years, 85% due to immigration (govt's own statistics).

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