Grand design gets the go-ahead

Work on the contemporary house will start later this year
Work on the contemporary house will start later this year
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Plans for a 21st century woodland home in Nidderdale sailed through planning. Sharon Dale reports.

A plan to build a contemporary "grand design" in woodland near Pateley Bridge has won unanimous and uncontested approval from Harrogate Council.

The site of the new house is in woodland near Pateley Bridge

The site of the new house is in woodland near Pateley Bridge

Work on the sensational eco-friendly property will start later this year, according to land owner Paul Garforth.

Mr Garforth bought 125 acres of woodland and the sporting rights to the 90- acre Eagle Hall pheasant shoot from the late Lord Mountgarret in 1994. He has since won several awards for his conservation work on the estate, which is in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. His new home will be constructed within a 33-acre section of woodland that was planted in the 19 century. The owner of nearby Eagle Hall commissioned it as a Victorian pleasure garden and it includes two man-made lakes connected by a stone cascade.

The 21st century property will cantilever over the water thanks to a design by Newcastle-based architects Sadler Brown. The building is based on the idea of a fallen tree and will be constructed from timber and zinc cladding surrounded by a low dry stone wall around the base. The new house will be zero carbon rated thanks to its environmental credentials and its energy efficiency. A ground source system will provide all the heating.

Mr Garforth hopes to start the project in the middle of this year and complete it in 2017 and says: "It is refreshing to think that legacy designs such as this may well be celebrated in hundreds of years to come and will represent the Late Elizabeth II era."

William Fry, of planning consultants Rural Solutions, which helped put the persuasive planning application together, says: “This is a truly progressive collaboration. It brings together an inspirational client brief, a truly creative architectural execution and the intelligent, evidence-based rigour of a great planning team."

The modern property is the first new dwelling in Nidderdale to be approved by Harrogate Council under Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework.This section of the NPPF sets out exceptional circumstances for homes to be built in the countryside. The most common is the need for agricultural workers property, followed by the re-use of redundant buildings that would enhance the setting. The country house clause is for a dwelling of exceptional architectural quality.