Two, high quality and contemporary dwellings have been granted planning permission on a sensitive conservation site in Iveston, County Durham despite initial resistance from the local council.
The planning officer’s report stated: “It is considered reasonable to accept high quality design and an exemplar process of design development as public benefits in this case as elements from which others could learn.”
The contemporary dwellings are to be built on land adjacent to the Iveston Conservation Area, and therefore required a specialist consultancy with a combined planning and architectural expertise that could help them through each stage of the planning approval process as obtaining planning permission was no mean feat.
Talking about the project, Kevin Ayrton, Senior Planning Consultant at George F. White, said: “The site presented several challenges for our planning and architecture teams, namely the sensitive nature of the site itself as it sits adjacent to the Iveston conservation area as well as sitting on the edge of a settlement. Despite initial reservations from Durham County Council, we put together our planning and architectural skills and resource to provide strategic definition, design and direction and we are pleased to have been granted permission for the two dwellings. Whilst the planning officer retained concerns with the principle, Durham County Council recognised the high quality design being proposed; ultimately this outweighed the conflict with policy.”
The purpose of a conservation area is to protect and enhance areas of special architectural or historic interest, making it notoriously complicated to seek planning permission for new build properties. Those looking to build in a conservation area are generally worried that they will be forced to produce something in line with the design traditions of their surroundings.
The projects lead Architect and Head of Architecture at George F. White, Hunter Hardy, said: “Contemporary new builds in a conservation area are not impossible to achieve they simply take more time to negotiate and generally, it is a question of quality not overall design. In this case, I have been working closely with the conservation officer at Durham County Council to produce a modern design that was sympathetic to its surroundings. Of course, compromise from both parties has been the key to the sites success, however, all parties are thrilled with the outcome and we look forward to seeing the build progress.”