Planning permission at appeal for sustainable classical house in Oxfordshire

September 8, 2016

Planning permission has been granted by the Planning Inspectorate at appeal for a two-storey house in an old walled garden in Shiplake Row, Binfield Heath, Oxfordshire.

The two storey house combines innovative energy saving features with an innovative classical design. The house sits in a long-disused walled garden in the village and has a butterfly plan to make best use of solar gain. The north side, where there are no opportunities for solar heat gain, has a flint and brick wall echoing the old walls of the garden, pierced only with a gate-like entrance and small windows. The south side is heavily glazed with a slender classical colonnade to provide summer shading. The plan includes a central sun space which allows solar-heated air to be circulated around the house without fan assistance.

The planning inspector overturned South Oxfordshire District Council’s decision to refuse the design, saying the house would have some “outstanding and innovative qualities”. Commenting on the standard of design, the inspector said, “The skill of the proposed dwelling’s designer is undisputed. He is pre-eminent in the design of classical architecture, and … the dwelling would be respectful of its surroundings. “

Robert Adam, architect of the house, said: “This design shows that it is possible to move forward with classical architecture together with the latest developments in environmental engineering. This will provide a sustainable use for a derelict site in perpetuity and I am sure that, in time, local people will come to see that it will have very little impact on the village and, hopefully, will appreciate the architecture and the pioneering sustainable design.”

Key consultants:

Planning & Development Consultants: Jeffrey Charles Emmett
Planning Consultant: David Hutchison, Pegasus Group
Sustainability consultant: Dr David Strong
Environmental Engineers: QODA Design Engineering Consultants
Landscape Consultant: Pegasus Group
Ecology Consultant: Enims
Arboricultural Consultant: Sylva Consultancy