Project Address: - Ideal Farm, Friars Road, Braughing, Hertfordshire, SG11 2NR
Following engagement with The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk), this exciting project for a paragraph 80e dwelling located on the site of a former poultry farm was granted planning permission by East Herts District Council in October 2023, under paragraph 80(e) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Congratulations to the design team who produced the proposals, including; Hawkes Architecture (www.hawkesarchitecture.co.uk), Landscape Architects Phil Allen Design (www.philallendesign.com), and Hughes Planning (www.hughesplanning.co.uk), on behalf of private clients.
The proposal is for the construction of a paragraph 80e dwelling, detached garage and store building, external courtyards, landscape enhancements, wetland/lake, bund, standalone photovoltaic panels and associated works.
Located in the countryside on Friars Road, and to the southeast of Braughing, the site comprises 1.5 hectares of land formerly in use as a poultry farm. Historically the poultry farm was split across the north and south sides of Friars Road, which is a single-track narrow lane and bridleway serving the application site and nearby dwellings. The site ceased use as a poultry farm some time ago, and the northern part of the farm has in recent years been redeveloped with four large houses.
On the application site itself were large chicken sheds and Nissen huts, and virtually all of these buildings have been demolished and removed from the site. The current state of the site is one of areas of scrub, vegetation, remnant areas of hard standing and mounds of soil.
A public footpath runs along the east and southern boundary of the land and shortly afterwards finishes as a dead end. The site contains many mature trees, most of which are located on the site boundaries and on the land between the proposed dwelling and Friars Road.
The site lies within the 86: South Suffolk and North Essex Claylands National Character area (NCA 86) and within the 89: Wareside-Braughing Uplands Character Area (LCA 89). The latter is defined as open, gently undulating arable farmland with clustered settlements and few roads, on a clay plateau of varying width between the valleys of the rivers Rib and Ash.
Many thanks to Rob Hughes, Director of Hughes Planning who has provided the following comments:-
“Hughes Planning is delighted to announce its 23rd Para 80 approval for a new country house on the site of a former poultry farm in Hertfordshire. Ideal Farm represents our 23rd Para 80 approval in 20 local authority areas, covering 15 counties.
Planning permission was granted under delegated powers on 20th October 2023, the Planning Officer citing the advice in paragraph 133 of the NPPF which advises local planning authorities to have regard to recommendations made by design review panels.
In this case, the scheme was presented to The Design Review Panel [www.designreviewpanel.co.uk] on three occasions as the design evolved and the final submitted scheme had the panel’s full support and endorsement. Officers agreed with the findings of the Panel in relation to design quality, concluding that the application proposes a highly sustainable and multi-generational house of truly outstanding quality of design which will assist in meeting the challenge of climate change. Drawing its inspiration from the numerous chicken sheds and Nissan huts which once stood on the land and the linearity in which they were arranged, the new dwelling with its three main blocks would replicate the orientation of the former buildings east to west, with 'rides' running between them in a north to south direction.
The scheme represents another successful approval for Hughes Planning and a true collaboration of disciplines in the planning, design and environmental fields and we would like to thank the Project Architects (Hawkes Architecture) and the Landscape Architects (Phil Allen Design) for their diligence and hard work throughout the process. We are also grateful to the panel co-ordinator and members for continuing to provide a professional service during the pandemic which enabled the scheme to evolve.”
Many thanks also to Richard Hawkes, Director of Hawkes Architecture, who has provided the following comments:-
“On 20th October, only two weeks after East Herts District Council approved another of our paragraph 80e schemes, we received delegated approval for our landmark 30th paragraph 80e scheme on the site of an old chicken farm with a chequered planning history.
As with the other scheme with this authority, their lack of familiarity with the paragraph 80e policy led to a protracted planning process including encouraging the LPA to engage in the process of having the scheme scrutinised by an independent and impartial design review panel [www.designreviewpanel.co.uk].
On this occasion these design reviews had to be conducted during the covid pandemic so we were grateful to The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk) making it possible to take panel members on a thorough tour of the site and it’s surroundings through the panel undertaking a 360degree “tour” of the site and its surroundings with an excellent 360 degree photographic tour (https://www.designreviewpanel.co.uk/360virtualsitevisit).
This worked very well alongside our usually thorough site analysis processes.
We received full endorsement and compliance with the paragraph 80e tests after a series of three reviews. This articulate endorsement was vital in giving the local planning authority the assurance that the design quality was sufficiently exceptional as required by the para 80 policy.
We really enjoy engaging this national design review panel [aka The Design Review Panel – www.designreviewpanel.co.uk] due to the breadth & depth of experience they have working with this unique policy.
Ensuring that the policy is treated equitably across the country is important and I therefore feel it’s important that design review panels are not treated as silos, each with their own “patch”. We’ve dealt with many Panels across the country over the years and have often found them to vary in their understanding of the paragraph 80e policy and also their independence, or lack of, from the local authority. It important that the fundamental guidelines of design review are upheld & maintained and we’re grateful to The Design Review Panel [www.designreviewpanel.co.uk] in the manner with which they conduct themselves at all times.
Often our discussions create some vibrant debates ! but the conduct and general collaborative attitude of The Design Review Panel [www.designreviewpanel.co.uk] is maintained throughout and the breadth of experience & skill sets on each Panel is commendable.
Keep up the good work.”
The Planning Officer’s report notes, and emphasises, paragraph 133 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which requires local authorities to have regard to any recommendations made by design review panels. It goes on to state:-
“Policy DES4 of the East Herts District Plan encourages engagement with the Hertfordshire Design Review Panel at Pre-Application stage and throughout the Development Management process where appropriate. Although this is the preferred option it is noted that an independent design review panel known as The Design Review Panel (DRP) was used. Given the wording of the NPPF in terms of Design Panels there no objection to this approach. It is clear The DRP is made up of suitably qualified members to access schemes of this nature.”
The application (3/22/0217/FUL) was registered on the 23rd February 2022 and approval granted on 20th October 2023.
The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk) provides independent, impartial, multidisciplinary and expert design review Panel sessions for applicants, design teams and local authorities, nationally across England.
Feedback from The Design Review Panel is a material consideration in accordance with paragraph 133 on The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).