Planning & Design Practice Ltd recently submitted a planning application for the demolition of steel frame buildings and the construction of a new dwelling at Sheephills, Blackwall, Kirk Ireton. The application was submitted under Paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework, which allows for new houses in the countryside which are considered to be of exceptional quality.
In our 20 plus years of preparing and submitting proposals in the Dales, we have never before as a practice prepared a Paragraph 79 proposal, despite being asked to do so by numerous potential clients. In each of these previous cases we have advised that the site in question is not sufficiently special, and refrained from pursuing a proposal.
We proposed a Paragraph 79 house at Sheephills because we genuinely believed that this particular site, and the opportunity it offers for enhancement, are truly exceptional.
Sheephills occupies a wonderful position on the wooded valley slopes above Biggin by Hulland which is quintessential of the southern Derbyshire Dales. Historically, Sheephills was a farmstead including farmhouse and outbuildings, owned by the Blackwall estate. Today it comprises of a group of ugly rusting sheds, ripe for enhancement. Uniquely, the land has been owned and farmed by the same family -our clients the Blackwall family- since at least 1415.
We prepared our proposals thoughtfully and methodically over a 3-year period. Our first step was to carry out a thorough context analysis. This is included in the application documents and should be read for the proposal to be fully understood. As well as assessing the site and its immediate surroundings the analysis also sought to understand the prevailing characteristics of a traditional Derbyshire Dales vernacular house, in order that lessons could be learned and then interpreted in the new design.
We prepared an initial draft design and held a site visit and workshop meeting with independent design review panel OPUN and Derbyshire Dales officers, in February 2018. Feedback was received and the design developed further. After preparing a second revision of the design we submitted the proposals again to OPUN. The design review panel provided further feedback in March 2020 in the form of a series of questions. Our answers to these questions are submitted as part of this application and should be read for context. After making further improvements to the design, we submitted this application.
The overriding theme of the proposal is a reinterpretation of a rural Derbyshire Dales vernacular house in the 21st century -not blindly following the aesthetics of traditional architecture but learning the lessons of the past and seeking to reapply them to meet the challenges of today. In this respect we hope that the design will act as an exemplar, hopefully serving to raise the standards of design more generally across the Derbyshire Dales.
Building on my own initial context analysis work, the design was prepared primarily by Lindsay Cruddas, a RIBA registered specialist conservation architect with considerable experience working in the Dales, and developed further by Fernando Collado Lopez, a registered architect with experience of working in the UK, Spain and North America.
Looking for your dream home? Our team of experienced professionals work with home owners on a daily basis to provide the technical knowledge, design ideals & relevant expertise to help guide you through what can be a daunting process. For more information, and a free half an hour consultation to discuss your project, please contact us.
Jon Millhouse, Director, Planning & Design Practice Ltd