Gorefield family’s ‘exemplar’ earth-sheltered eco-home gets the green light from planners

A family business has been given the green light to build Fenlands first earth-sheltered house at Gorefield.

A family business has been given the green light to build Fenlands first earth-sheltered house at Gorefield.

Archant

An innovative and energy efficient design has helped a Gorefield family win over planners in their bid to build Fenland’s first earth-covered home.

A family is business is hoping to be allowed to build Fenland’s first earth sheltered house at Gorefield A family is business is hoping to be allowed to build Fenland’s first earth sheltered house at Gorefield

The Turner family’s application to build a four bed, single storey house inspired by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci impressed Fenland District Council, who gave it the green light.

The planning officer overseeing the application said the Fendyke Lane eco-home is considered to be “innovative and unique within the district” and will help to raise the standards of design more generally in the rural area.

The news will come as a relief for the Turners, who were refused permission for a new home – and lost an appeal – in 2015.

A family is business is hoping to be allowed to build Fenland’s first earth sheltered house at Gorefield A family is business is hoping to be allowed to build Fenland’s first earth sheltered house at Gorefield

The family runs a rose growing business which has a turnover of £2.3 million, and will build the new home for their son, who is to take over the business.

And he will enjoy a home that boasts a spiral design, two water features, double garage, solar panels and four parking spaces.

Swann Edwards, who submitted the application, said the house has been designed to “reflect and enhance its traditional rural setting, reflecting the highest standards in architecture across Fenland.”

And their claims were backed up by the case officer, who said it will enhance the immediate setting of the area and will be exemplar – much like plans for Mayor James Palmer’s new home at Soham.

The clause, taken from national policy guidelines, allows for exemption from normal restrictions on building in the country side if the plans are considered to be ‘exemplar.’

Fenland’s most recent Local Plan states that new countryside projects must be of “exceptional quality or of innovative nature,” as well as being sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

The approval marks the end of the Turner family’s bid – for now - to develop their land at Thorn Hall.

The family, who have been operating in Fenland for over 30 years, applied to build a four-bed home in 2015, but were turned down on the grounds there was no “essential need” for it.

The Turners have also built a stable, two 15-metre wind turbines and an office block on the site.

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