The Walled Garden – Paragraph 55 (79) House, Devon - Completed On Site

The Design Review Panel is delighted to announce that ‘The Walled Garden’, (NPPF paragraph 55 house in Devon), designed by architects McLean Quinlan, has now been completed on site. We are very pleased to be able to share photographs of the completed building below.

The completed building is a single storey, flat-roofed, four-bedroom house, with a partial basement that makes use of the sloping nature of the site. The internal dimensions are approximately 400sqm in total, across both levels. The ground floor contains four bedrooms, with the remainder of the space being open, although separated into different zones. The ower level incorporates a secondary living space as well as the plant room and a large storage room.

Internally and to the rear the house is crisp, contemporary and clean. Externally (to the front) the design seamlessly integrates with location and surroundings, in particular the historic brick walled kitchen garden.

‘The Walled Garden House’ has been constructed (and certified) to Passivhaus standards, utilising air-source heating, a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system, solar power generation, electric and thermal energy storage, super-insulation, triple-glazing throughout as well as low energy lighting. The buildings siting and orientation was designed to maximise the benefits of natural solar heating.

Planning permission was granted by East Devon District Council (EDDC) in 2016, under the “Paragraph 55” exception (now paragraph 79), having been presented to The Design Review Panel (aka The Devon and Somerset Design Review Panel).

The applicants kindly provided The Design Review Panel with feedback on their experience of engaging with our design review panel, see below: -

"As required by our local planning authority we attended the Devon Design Review Panel with our architect and jointly presented our proposed house as a potential NPPF Paragraph 55 exceptional dwelling.

We understood that it was unusual for applicants to present their project themselves, rather than using an agent, but we found it to be a very straightforward, efficient and helpful process.

The Panel had clearly studied the documents that we had sent in advance, leading to a valuable question and answer session, followed by an excellent summing up. The subsequent DRP report was very positive about our proposal, stating that the Panel believed that it fully met the criteria for Paragraph 55. However, the Planning Officers disagreed with the DRP's findings, and recommended refusal on that basis. When it went to the Development Committee, the members approved the application almost unanimously as they felt that due weight should be given to their appointed Design Review Panel who were, after all, professional practitioners trained in design review.

During the planning process we found that the type of project under consideration here is outside the usual experience of the Planning Officers, so obtaining the opinions and support of experts in the field who could appreciate the merits of such a proposal was critical to its success. Perhaps this is not surprising, given that the whole point of an application under Paragraph 55 is that it is intended to be truly exceptional and so is very infrequently encountered by planning departments."

It is wonderful to see in action the importance of, applicants and local authorities, having access to a local, independent, expert and affordable design review panel service in the south west.

A copy of the Committee Report can be seen by clicking here ...

A copy of the Decision Notice can be seen by clicking here ...


Post written by Jonathan Braddick

Design Review Panel Manager &

Chartered Architect


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