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gaining paragraph 84 planning permission

Dreaming of building a new home in the countryside?

We have a proven track record of designing and achieving planning permission for homes in the countryside and/or Green Belt.

Working together, we’ll create an exceptional and innovative piece of architecture that is sensitive to the landscape.

We have plenty of experience designing and achieving planning success for Paragraph 84 homes. We can guide you through the process and help you to assemble the best possible team for the project.

paragraph 84

Perfect location and appetite for a challenge?

  • We start with a discovery session to identify what makes your site special and what your planning options are.
  • We stage the process with pre-application feedback and through one or more design reviews to minimise your risks and maximise your chance of success.
  • We’re always open and honest about your planning risks. We’ll keep you informed if your chance of approval has changed throughout the process.
  • We’re experts at gaining planning permission for tricky sites where others have failed before.

The house should never be considered outside its regional and local context. Site-specific design is key. As is client specific design.

What do you need to give you the best chance of success?

  • Exceptional site – Not all countryside land can support an exceptional home. The site itself needs to have something about it that is regarded as exceptional or individual. A strong story is key for the genesis of any project, especially as local authorities are keen to ensure any potential approval is seen as a ‘one-off’ and doesn’t set a precedent for similar projects on similar sites.
  • Exceptional design – Most hold the view that beauty (or great design) is subjective. However, quality of design is in fact objective, measurable and not at all subjective. For an architect, going after ‘exceptional design’ is a treat – we get to flex our creativity and innovation – but one that isn’t taken lightly, or in isolation. The difficulty of demonstrating design of the highest calibre will require the use of a Design Review Panel. This will need to be from an early design stage with consultation continuing throughout the planning process. Even with this expert input, there is no guarantee the local authority will have a positive response to a scheme. They would often prefer to have it tested at appeal.
  • Innovative design – Innovation is another tricky word of the clause to define and interpret, but (usually!) easier to demonstrate. Whether the design is unique, or something that has been done before but not in such an application, many new schemes are gaining planning after starting from an unorthodox position to housebuilding. The issue with innovation though is its very nature. What we specify today as unique may be the standard when the scheme completes in a few years

We’re currently working with a family to create their dream home in the green belt.

Find out how we achieved planning permission for their home on the first attempt.

What else do you need to consider?

  • Costs – With exceptional and innovative design a requirement, design and build costs are not going to be cheap. While The Burrows was 180m2, most schemes may be significantly larger, with a build cost reflecting this. Exceptional sites often have inherent constraints such as a slope or poor access which will likely impact on costs. Paragraph 84 homes don’t have to be large projects though. We strongly believe that innovation and exemplary design shouldn’t exclude more modestly scaled homes.
  • Design Fees – The design process is likely to involve a team of consultants (landscape, planning, sustainability, etc), and Design Review Panels at a number of stages. You will also require lots of specialist surveys and reports up front with no promise of anything better than 50/50 odds for approval. The design process for a home like this will also be very time consuming and, again, fees will reflect this. It’s a considerable undertaking with risk and costs before construction starts could be in the region of £30-100K. It’s clear to see why large, expensive homes are the norm.
  • Risk – We try to minimise this risk by working in clear, defined stages. Even the early workshop output is a moment to reflect – a line in the sand. Design Review is another clear moment. As is the pre-application response from the local authority. Paragraph 84 isn’t the only planning constraint. Highways, visual impact, protected species, trees etc. are also critical. It’s important to set aside everything but the ultimate principle/design of the dwelling. We aim to avoid a refusal based on technical issues rather than the matter of exceptional design.