Mr Jason Mort has secured planning permission on appeal for a new “paragraph 55” house in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Green Belt, near Godalming in Surrey. The new house is described as follows in the Inspector’s decision letter:
“The proposed design would be contemporary with a flat ‘green’ roof and a simple rectangular form. There would be 3 storeys, one of which would be below the general ground level, only visible at the rear, with views out over falling ground to the north east. The lower floor would also accommodate vehicles which would normally be out of sight. Seen from the front and sides, the building would be self confident in the expression of its elevations, which would consist of recessed glass and polished plaster at the ground floor level with a ‘floating’ box above supported on thin regular columns. The principle of the floating box is an established design philosophy, seen most notably in Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye but since interpreted by many others, which deliberately seeks to contrast man with nature. What makes this project uniquely interesting and innovative in design terms, is the expression of the first floor with a high quality permeable screen of narrow vertical elements which reflects the predominant silver birch trees in the surrounding woods. The glass reinforced concrete fins would be unsupported at the top and would hide the interior bedrooms and terraces but also reflect the light in different ways depending on the weather and time of day; but at all times being intrinsically linked with and seen against the surrounding trees. The fins also provide solar shading. The building would be seen as a contrast and yet a part of the landscape … The addition of this building of high quality design, that responds to its location in a way that enhances the ability to appreciate the natural landscape, together with a landscape strategy that seeks to reinforce and enhance the existing woodland, represents a positive benefit and an exemplar of how such development could be carried out”.
Robert Walton acted for Mr Mort, instructed by Janet Long of Planit Consulting.