Construction of a new house in the South Downs National Park

Blewburton Limited were commissioned to advise on and prepare a Sustainability Statement to support the application for planning permission for a new dwelling in the South Downs National Park, under Paragraph 79 of the 2018 National Planning Policy Framework.

Paragraph 79 states that planning consent may be granted if the proposals represent ‘exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design’. As such, the design should:

•             Be truly outstanding or innovative, helping to raise the standards of design more generally in rural areas;

•             Reflect the highest standards in architecture;

•             Significantly enhance the immediate setting;

•             Be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

The proposed development involves the construction of a unique, architect designed house, predominantly of a single storey nature, but with a small 1st floor designed to create the appearance of a gatehouse.  The overall approach would see the dwelling merge into the surrounding landscape and topography through the use of green roofs and building into the slope of the land. 

The aim was to demonstrate in the statement how the proposal incorporates many sustainable features that are consistent with achieving a high level of overall sustainability, which far surpasses normal standards and which is offered as an exemplar scheme, as is required under Paragraph 79 applications.

After consulation with the architect and developer a number of innovative and unusual technologies have been proposed, in the form of Thermoslates for hot water provision and a Klargester BioDisc for the treatment of sewerage.

The statement also states the aim to use locally sourced products in the form of flint for the walls and timber shingles on the roof and it has been established that the local supplies exist and are available.

Other areas of strong approach involved the plans for water efficiency, surface water runoff management, waste arising and the landscaping and ecological enhancement plans for the site.

The planning application has yet to be decided.