Para 55: a grand design?Local Authority perspective.          Kim Allen
Introduction• PPS 7 policy advice and examples of dwellings from this• Latest policy: Paragraph 55 of the NPPF• SMBC exper...
Policy Legacy• PPS 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas  Published 2004.• Paragraph 11 gave advice on granting planni...
PPS Para 11• Very occasionally the exceptional quality and innovative  nature of the design of a proposed, isolated new ho...
The Wilderness House,SuffolkPaul + O Architects
Etonbury Lake House, South GloucestershireSix-bedroom, 10,000 sq ft eco-mansion set in49 acres, overlooking a lake. It has...
Batts Hall.              Batts Hall , Warwick Rd              Knowle, Solihull              New Country House             ...
NPPF Para 55• Local Planning authorities should avoid new isolated homes in  the countryside unless there are special circ...
Solihull MBC experience• Has had two pre-application enquiries, one being advanced.• How do planners respond to the weight...
Planning Considerations:- Design Review• At pre-application stage:-• MADE design review was carried out quite early on.• M...
Planning Considerations:- Key Policy• Para 55 relates to houses in the countryside.• SMBC is surrounded by designated coun...
Planning Considerations: Landscape• How does the dwelling sit in its local landscape? Is the design  ethos to be a sculptu...
Planning Considerations:- Stewardship• Stewardship – how can the design philosophy of the  development, the passion and di...
Local Authority Perspective: Conclusions• Policy has evolved with the arrival of NPPF in March 2012.• Increased potential ...
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Paragraph 55- Kim Allen, Solihull Council

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Kim Allen from Solihull council gave a local authority perspective on dealing with proposals for Paragraph 55 (PPS7) houses.

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  • As well as main text, there were 18 paragraphs, covering 4 or so pages of Annex A.
  • Exceptional, innovative, outstanding, contemporary. As well as contemporary, the design of the new dwelling needed to be of an exceptional quality AND innovative Only 4 houses were of traditional design.
  • Sought demolition of Batts Hall and its outbuildings, located in the Green Belt. Erection of a new country house with a leisure wing Contemporary design with a traditional approach – exceptional quality. Members were more lenient for this reason. Footprint of building increases significantly to original.
  • Reduced level of guidance is intended to foster local interpretation. Local responsibility for the creation of national exemplars is never easy. Para 62 of the NPPF states that local planning authorities should have local design review arrangements. At SMBC, we use MADE.
  • With consecutive proposals – what does that mean to the ‘exceptional quality’... Does it dilute this? The first might be innovative, but would the second be a copy?
  • MADE Community Review particularly important for modern designs to help try and build consensus.
  • The legacy of purchase should be avoided. Analysis of the local context and its typology, together with site characteristics should help inform and justify Buildings can rarely be autonomous. The pre-app currently considered includes a wind turbine, photovoltaic cells (but not to occupy the entire roof area and remain flat to the roof to respect linearity of the building) but is also linked to the grid. The wind does not always blow, and there are cloudy days & winter. It is difficult to store surplus electricity so excess would be past to the nearby farmhouse. A sedum roof originates from Germany and does not include native species to England. A grass roof is advised, its growth would be self regulating by the depth of soil and over time would introduce a meadow fauna & flora.
  • Para 55 – buildings should not be diminutive, but should contribute positively to their landscape. The building should be a response to the site and not seen elsewhere. The building SMBC are looking at is 53m wide, and rectangular with a flat roof, 9m wide and 9m high. Question of scale was debated...DAS should make a case for its size and compare and provide evidence of other comparative footprints nearby, agricultural buildings which are readily accepted. A trick is not to put something small infront of the building as this would emphasise its scale, eg. Place orchard trees away from the house.
  • Paragraph 55- Kim Allen, Solihull Council

    1. 1. Para 55: a grand design?Local Authority perspective. Kim Allen
    2. 2. Introduction• PPS 7 policy advice and examples of dwellings from this• Latest policy: Paragraph 55 of the NPPF• SMBC experience• Planning Considerations – Design Review – Policy – Landscape – Stewardship
    3. 3. Policy Legacy• PPS 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas Published 2004.• Paragraph 11 gave advice on granting planning permission for isolated new homes in the countryside, supplemented by Annex A of the document.• Only 25 houses gained planning permission over the 18 year period PPS7 was in force.• Given the cost of construction, just half of these consents have been built out.
    4. 4. PPS Para 11• Very occasionally the exceptional quality and innovative nature of the design of a proposed, isolated new house may provide this special justification for granting planning permission. Such a design should be truly outstanding and ground-breaking, for example, in its use of materials, methods of construction or its contribution to protecting and enhancing the environment, so helping to raise standards of design and more generally in rural areas. The value of such a building will be found in its reflection of the highest standards in contemporary architecture, the significant enhancement of its immediate setting and its sensitivity to the defining characteristics of the local area.
    5. 5. The Wilderness House,SuffolkPaul + O Architects
    6. 6. Etonbury Lake House, South GloucestershireSix-bedroom, 10,000 sq ft eco-mansion set in49 acres, overlooking a lake. It has solarpanels, a rainwater collector and a boreholefor heating and cooling. The house, which is acompleted shell, has a cinema, a gym, asauna, a games room, a pool, a staff flat andgaraging for six cars.
    7. 7. Batts Hall. Batts Hall , Warwick Rd Knowle, Solihull New Country House (Replacement Dwelling)
    8. 8. NPPF Para 55• Local Planning authorities should avoid new isolated homes in the countryside unless there are special circumstances such as:• The exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design of the dwelling.• Such design should: – Be 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.
    9. 9. Solihull MBC experience• Has had two pre-application enquiries, one being advanced.• How do planners respond to the weight of public expectation and public interest to gaining a truly innovative dwelling?• How should the authority respond to cumulative proposals?• Draft Solihull Local Plan has reached an advanced stage in its preparation with its public hearing due to start in January 2013.• The Local Plan does not include any specific policy provision for isolated homes of exceptional quality & given the advanced stage of preparation, it would be difficult to retrofit a policy now.
    10. 10. Planning Considerations:- Design Review• At pre-application stage:-• MADE design review was carried out quite early on.• MADE Community Design review has taken place, with key stakeholders. Allows for wider participation, key to getting development accepted & provides positive engagement.• Has provided an architectural critique of the proposal and has established and re-enforced design principles, rather than providing a subjective interpretation.• Members of the Planning Committee were invited, which has helped educate & inform – ultimately they will be the decision makers.
    11. 11. Planning Considerations:- Key Policy• Para 55 relates to houses in the countryside.• SMBC is surrounded by designated countryside, the Green Belt. How would the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, be clearly outweighed by other considerations?• The Design and Access Statement should clearly evolve with the proposal.• A key consideration would be why the site was chosen and why the site is appropriate for a particular design.• A clear and robust narrative on sustainability techniques & energy should be provided.
    12. 12. Planning Considerations: Landscape• How does the dwelling sit in its local landscape? Is the design ethos to be a sculpture in the landscape, drawing attention to itself, or is the design rational one of assimilation?• Does the design respond to local distinctiveness?• Are materials sustainable and locally sourced, do they reflect the local landscape. How would they weather?• How is the curtilage to be defined? A more robust boundary would provide greater resilience to future occupiers.• How would storage of garden materials be provided for & what impact would this have on its landscape setting?
    13. 13. Planning Considerations:- Stewardship• Stewardship – how can the design philosophy of the development, the passion and discipline needed to live in such a home, be bestowed onto future occupiers?• How can domestic paraphernalia such as ornamental gardens, childrens play equipment be controlled? By covenant? Should the property be past to English Heritage?• Latest technologies for sustainable development come at a cost, what is the likelihood of implementation?• Outstanding or innovative...an integrated approach to low energy living involving domestic, landscape and farming methods can combine to achieve an intelligent design solution
    14. 14. Local Authority Perspective: Conclusions• Policy has evolved with the arrival of NPPF in March 2012.• Increased potential for local choice and interpretation.• The need for Design Reviews is critical to ensuring the exceptional quality or innovation that is required.• Public engagement is crucial to securing acceptance of the development.• A robust if not exemplary Design and Access Statement is critical to providing a narrative on the design concept.• Beware of Stewardship.• An opportunity!

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