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How do I obtain consent for a country house using Paragraph 80?

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Paragraph 80 (formally Paragraph 79 or 55) is a provision in the UK’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that allows for the development of new dwellings in the countryside, under special circumstances. It is also known as the “country house clause” and is located in section 9 of the NPPF.

Paragraph 80 sets out the specific criteria that a proposed development must meet in order to obtain planning permission in the countryside. The criteria include:

1. The proposed development must be of exceptional quality or innovative in its design and reflect the highest standards in architecture.
2. The development must be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area, including landscape, history and architecture.
3. The development must not significantly impact on the openness of the Green Belt or harm the rural character of the area.
4. The development must not conflict with the purposes of including land within the Green Belt.

If these criteria are met, the local planning authority may grant planning permission for the construction of a Paragraph 80 house. One of the most important considerations when designing a Paragraph 80 house is ensuring that it is in keeping with the local landscape. This often means using traditional materials and building techniques, such as stone or timber, and incorporating features such as pitched roofs, gables, and chimneys. The use of sustainable materials and energy-efficient design is also encouraged.

Another key consideration is the impact of the development on the surrounding area. Paragraph 80 houses should be designed in such a way as to minimize their impact on the local landscape and wildlife. This may involve using low-impact construction methods and avoiding disruption to nearby habitats.

Despite the strict guidelines, there are many examples of beautifully designed Paragraph 80 houses across the UK. These range from traditional cottages and farmhouses to contemporary eco-homes that blend seamlessly with the surrounding countryside. Many of these houses are built using locally-sourced materials and are designed to be energy-efficient, with features such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems.
In conclusion, the construction of a Paragraph 80 house is a challenging but rewarding undertaking that requires careful consideration of the local landscape and community. By meeting the strict criteria set out in the NPPF, it is possible to build a home that is not only innovative in its design but also sensitive to the environment and contributes positively to the local community.

The following are examples of three types of houses that may meet the criteria under Paragraph 80:

1. A modern, architect-designed house that uses innovative materials and techniques, such as incorporating sustainable design features, to create a high-quality, environmentally conscious dwelling, energy efficient or self-sufficient by using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or ground-source heat pumps.
2. A house that is designed to reflect and complement the local architectural style, using traditional building materials and methods, while incorporating modern amenities and design features.
3. A house that is designed to integrate into the landscape and uses natural materials, such as timber and stone, to blend in with the surrounding countryside.


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