Rose growing family hope to build Fenland’s first earth sheltered home and using ‘exemplar’ design to win over planners
PUBLISHED: 17:08 14 September 2017
A family is business is hoping to be allowed to build Fenland’s first earth sheltered house - a single storey home they claim will be low energy “and is effectively an extension of the landscape”.
Their advisers told Fenland Council that the proposal “can be deemed to offer an architecturally rich, high quality development that can be considered as ‘good design’, for which the government attaches great importance”.
Swann Edwards who put forward the application on behalf of the Turner family of Fendyke Lane at Gorefield, said that the building offers “a sensitive low impact, passive solar dwelling that is underpinned with a rigorous and multi-faceted design rationale”. They claim it will respect the countryside with minimal impact on its setting.
“This dwelling has been designed to reflect and enhance its traditional rural setting, reflecting the highest standards in architecture across Fenland,” says Swann Edwards.
“In addition, this proposal is an exemplar project, delivering the highest standards in architecture whilst mitigating the visual impact of the proposal on the countryside.”
They are deploying the same argument – taken from national policy guidelines- that allowed Mayor James Palmer to win consent in the countryside for a new home at Soham. The clause allows for exemption from normal restrictions on building in the countryside where an “exemplar” home is proposed.
Swann Edwards say the Turners live at Rosewood along Fendyke Lane and established their business based along the same road in 1985. The company grows and distribute roses, fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, soft fruit and other types of plant and currently farm around 100 acres and employs 12 people. It has a turnover of £2.3million
Swann Edwards say the founders want to “step back” and let their son take over but hope to continue living there – hence the reason for needing a new home on site for their son.
The couple previously was refused permission for a new home – and lost an appeal- but hope their new ‘exemplar’ designed home will win permission.
“We believe that this proposal creates a dwelling of exceptional quality and of an innovative nature,” says Swann Edwards.
They argue their design strategies have allowed them “to create an interesting and high-quality dwelling that is orientated to maximise passive solar design, whilst also ensuring that the rural nature of the area is not eroded.
“This form combined with the earth sheltering has allowed the dwelling to be screened from the public realm and retain
the landscape separation between buildings.”