P1910/11/FUL Greenacres, Hilgay Road, Brockweir
Erection of a replacement dwelling
Erection of a replacement dwelling
Please refer to the late material circulated before the start of the meeting
Development Manager, Clive Reynolds, referred to the recent visit to the site and said that the proposed replacement dwelling was of a somewhat unusual design, being an inside out house with the ground floor of the original dwelling being retained as an internal courtyard feature. Presenting the plans for the site, the Development Manager said that a key concern was the possible visual impact of the proposed development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). He said that, whilst the design of the new property was different to the more traditional properties in the area, it was felt that the replacement dwelling would not adversely impact upon the landscape. The Development Manager reported the inclusion of an additional condition to be added to the permission, requiring details of any solar panels that might be installed at the property, to ensure this aspect did not compromise the appearance of the building.
The agent for the application made the following statement: -
‘This proposal is to replace a non-descript, dilapidated house, with a new highly sustainable, energy efficient, piece of quality architecture. It is an application to enable two local people to live and work at this location. The proposal has taken 3 years of intense work by the design team and client to evolve the solution being considered today. During this time, we have worked closely, and well, with the senior planning officer allocated to the case, continuing to refine the design in order to reach an agreed solution that would receive planning officer support and has successfully achieved the proposal for the inside outside house that is recommended to you for approval. My client and the design team, as well as your officers, appreciate that the proposal is not ‘typical’ of the normal replacement dwelling. Firstly, the concept is not based on a traditional, or ‘cottage style’. It is not, however, the architecture, the built form, which is the predominant characteristic within the Forest of Dean – it is the landscape that is the primary and vital element. In the solution proposed, we have taken the surrounding natural environment as our precedent and primary source of inspiration rather than the existing building stock. It is a response to the landscape and to the setting that has generated the aesthetic. Secondly, (and inextricably linked to the first point), if we are truly to embrace a sustainable design which necessitates a site specific contextual response, the architecture, as a consequence will inevitably look different to that which has gone before, when such issues were not under consideration. In summary, the proposed new building is to be wrapped by and embedded into the site, cut into the slope of the hillside and buried to create an earth shelter, which will be integrated into the landscape. It will replace the current expanse of concrete and tarmac forecourt with a turfed and planted roof, merging seamlessly with the existing upper meadow. The building is to be virtually invisible from above and from the ‘rear’. Lower than the existing two-storey house, it is to be a single storey structure and will have significantly less impact than the typical two storey properties in the area. It is to be extremely energy efficient, with a low carbon footprint, and intended as a ‘home for life’. The layout is fully accessible, with all accommodation on one level. Constructed by a local contractor, using local labour, it has received broad support from the local community and there are no objections from any other statutory consultees, including landscape and ecology. What I am asking of you, is to have the courage to recognise the true architectural quality of this solution. Whilst it may look different, it actually merges with the landscape and becomes part of it. There is an opportunity here to support and to achieve an exemplar sustainable design in your district. I ask you, please approve this application’
Local member, Councillor Arthur Thomas, said that this was a unique application and one that had benefited from public support. He said that he was pleased about the additional condition relating to solar panelling and that he could not foresee any problems with the proposal. The majority of other members who spoke on the application said that they too supported the application.
Questioning whether the application would comply with the council’s replacement dwelling policy, Councillor David Thomson said that he liked the proposal but failed to understand why the existing dwelling could not be retained or developed in its present form. Councillor Thomson said that many other properties fell into this category of housing and that he was concerned about the impact this type of development would have on the district in the future. Councillor Lynn Sterry said that she did not consider this property to be dilapidated but was nevertheless happy to support something that was different. She also said that she would like assurances that any wildlife at the property would be protected. Group Manager for Planning and Housing, Peter Williams, informed Councillor Thomson that the council’s replacement dwelling policy no longer existed and had been replaced by elements of the council’s recently adopted Core Strategy. With regard to the protection of wildlife at the property, he informed Councillor Sterry that this was the responsibility of the developer, along with Natural England.
Councillor Arthur Thomas moved the recommendation and Councillor David Thomson seconded the motion. A recorded vote was taken and members,
RESOLVED to grant planning permission subject to the conditions as detailed in the schedule of applications and to the additional condition included in the late material.
Councillors James Bevan, Gethyn Davies, Dave East, Terry Glastonbury, Julia Gooch, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Brian Jones, Paul McMahon, Graham Morgan, Norman Stephens, Lynn Sterry, Arthur Thomas, David Thompson and Roger Yeates.