Contemporary dwelling not exceptional enough to pass NPPF tests

A single dwelling outside the built-up boundary of a Warwickshire village was refused for being of insufficient exceptional quality and design to warrant an exception to the local plan's spatial strategy.

The appeal proposal was set in a meadow to the rear of an existing line of houses beyond the edge of the village and would be accessed via a long drive. The inspector accepted that the proposed detached dwelling would be unashamedly contemporary being made of large expanses of glazing, concrete and timber and whilst she recognised that it would be of a high architectural standard of design and, in terms of materials and construction, one of some quality, she noted that the local and national exception policies were set at a very high bar.

The inspector felt that so many precedents existed in relation to the design approach, which precluded the design of the appeal scheme from being exceptional, one of its kind, or particularly innovative. She concluded it would not be of the highest calibre in terms of its exceptional, outstanding or innovative design and was not necessarily ground-breaking or even state-of-the-art, contrary to local plan policy and paragraph 131 of the NPPF. In addition, the inspector felt the appeal building would introduce a domestic formality, starkly at odds with its open and undeveloped characteristics. The provision of a long driveway and hard standing, even a permeable one with supplementary planting along its length, would intensify the urbanising impact. Seen from the nearby public rights of way, the inspector held the proposal would be highly prominent, and starkly contrasting with the development pattern and therefore character and appearance of the site and area generally. 

Inspector: Hayley Porter; Written representations

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