Many thanks to Philip Hanson CMLI of The Landscape Practice for providing the below thoughts from Chartered Landscape Architect's perspective on a paragraph 79 (e ) planning approval for 'Great Sideling', located in Mid Devon.
The Council of Europe Landscape Convention was adopted twenty years ago on 20 October 2000. This was the first international treaty to adopt our landscape as a critical resource. It was an important turning point, not only in the introduction of universal policy, but it also generated a heightened and general awareness of the landscape around us and its importance in our everyday lives at all levels, urban or rural, whatever the quality. This has become more meaningful as pressure for development and change has increased. Our understanding and interpretation of the physical and experiential context is essential in directing the changes we impose on it. This was a critical part of the design process for locating a new dwelling deep in the rural Devon countryside of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
We are all familiar with Paragraph 79(e) of the current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) relating to the development of isolated homes in the countryside. The design has to be not only of ‘exceptional quality’, and ‘truly outstanding or innovative’, but also has to ‘significantly enhance its immediate setting and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area'. Really understanding the baseline characteristics, the physical and true, emotional character of the context, is the essential starting point in directing design of exceptional quality and achieving a true inevitability of synergy between landscape and architecture. A process which should be applied to all development projects, but sadly is often not understood.
This project investigated the opportunity for a Paragraph 79(e) dwelling on an agricultural fie