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Innovative, Carbon Neutral House (NPPF Paragraph 55 Home). Architects Norfolk
SMART AND STRIKING SUSTAINABILITY IN NORFOLK
Hunter Architects & Planners have obtained their third planning approval for a NPPF Paragraph 55 house in open countryside in Norfolk. The approval creates an unique and exceptional quality house in the Breckland area. A previous scheme by another Architect had been refused by the Council immediately prior to our involvement.
The wording of Paragraph 55 generally permits such houses where “the exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design of the dwelling” is “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.”
The proposals seek to create a new Carbon Neutral family home in Norfolk. The dwelling aims to reflect the existing context, history and previous uses on site and was informed by traditional building forms within the villages and rural areas of Breckland. 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 Norfolk location and history, namely the use of lime render and timber cladding.
The history of the Norfolk site as a working windmill and the current siting of two energy generating wind turbines indicate the site as being useful and suitable for the use of wind power.
Elevationally the building has two distinct elements; firstly the more solid protective elevation which has fewer window openings and is taller that the other half of the building. This physically and metaphorically helps to provide shelter from the wind and privacy from the more open aspects of the site although is juxtaposed by the use of smaller section timbers. 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.
This is the third NPPF Paragraph 55 Homes for the company and the second in Norfolk. In the report to the planning committee the planning officer stated: “It is considered that the proposed dwelling represents a very high quality and innovative design which reflects the highest standards in architecture and would significantly enhance its immediate setting whilst being sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area”.
Some comments during the planning application process:
“Wow! It’s amazing. People should look forward to this and build more.”
“I’m going to camp outside the gate, it’s stunning. It’s beautiful architecture”
“To have the opportunity to build an original building like this is wonderful. This is what dreams are made of.”
“This is fabulous. It looks like something from “Grand Designs”. It’s the sort of house you dream of and it’s a breath of fresh air.”
“The design looks amazing. How exciting it would be to have our own ‘Grand Designs’. I’m all for originality and innovation.”
Summary: A Circular, Unique and Innovative, Carbon Neutral Family Home (Paragraph 55 Home) with roof mounted wind turbines. Architects Norfolk.
Photographs/Images © Hunter Architects & Planners
Planning Officer’s comments
“It is considered that the proposed dwelling represents a very high quality and innovative design which reflects the highest standards in architecture and would significantly enhance its immediate setting whilst being sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.”