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Loyn & Co’s Northamptonshire house wins ‘country house’ clause approval


Loyn & Co’s designs for a house on farmland in rural Northamptonshire have won approval under the ‘country house clause’

The Cardiff-based practice’s proposals will create a 475m² family home set on a 3.3ha site of open grassland east of Market Harborough.

The project was approved under Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (now paragraph 79 of the revised framework) a clause that allows new-build homes to be constructed in open countryside under special circumstances. 

According to Loyn & Co, the plan of the house reflects the unique geometry of the surrounding field patterns.

The practice said the scheme’s design quality, in addition to its environmental credentials, meant the house fully satisfied the stringent criteria for a Paragraph 55 home.

Loyn & Co was behind Stormy Castle, which won the RIBA’s 2014 award for the best new home in Britain, as well as the Outhouse, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Stirling Prize.

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Architect’s view

The client’s brief was to design a home suitable for a young, growing family to begin their married life in rural Northamptonshire. 

The form and placing of the proposed four bedroom dwelling are derived directly from the analysis of this unique site. The proposals have as much to do with the existing landscape of ‘banks’ and valleys (where the name of the nearby village is thought to be derived) as it has to do with the architecture. The plan form of the house reflects the unique geometry of the surrounding field patterns. Two ‘landscape lines’ enclose the building form - leading up to and extending from the dwelling – creating the overall, geometric form. An existing track which crosses the site from North East to South West completes the broadly triangular footprint. These existing factors (landscape, existing route and topography) dictate the overall siting and form of the building.

The proposal fully satisfies the stringent criteria for a Paragraph 55 dwelling, both in terms of the quality of architecture and in relation to its zero carbon design. The combined result is a dwelling that exceeds current sustainability standards and significantly enhances the context by way of the careful landscaping and treatment of the site. Moreover, not only will this dwelling meet the zero carbon target, but it is estimated the proposed energy strategy will displace more than six tonnes of carbon emissions per year (which is more than the total annual CO2 emissions of 2.5 new cars in the UK) and continue to do so for at least 20 years.



Project data

Location - Northamptonshire
Type of project – New Build dwelling
Client - undisclosed
Architect – Loyn + Co Architects
Landscape architect – Andy Sturgeon Design
Planning consultant – Insight Planning
Structural engineer – PRP
M&E consultant - WSP
Quantity surveyor – Richard Julian Associates
Planning supervisor – N/A
Lighting consultant - Arup
Main contractor – N/A
Tender date – To be confirmed
Start on site date – To be confirmed
Completion date – To be confirmed
Contract duration – N/A
Gross internal floor area 425m²
Form of contract and/or procurement – N/A
Total cost – N/A


Readers' comments (3)

  • Beautiful watercolours, great to see. Very nice project. Reminds me of Utzon's Ahm house.

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  • What a shame that having worked on this project for well over a year neither the architects or the AJ feel it necessary or courteous to mention us as the Landscape Architects. How terribly forgetful. It's about time that the profession lost some of this arrogance and acknowledged the importance of other professionals.

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  • Apologies Andy, the full project data list spelling out who has worked on the scheme, which we do always try and include on our stories, has now been added.

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