INDUSTRY COMMENT: PARAGRAPH 79 AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SITE SELECTION
Selecting a site for a potential dwelling is the key starting point when considering undertaking a Paragraph 79e project. Site selection will influence every aspect of the architectural and landscape design process but more importantly, influence the wellbeing of those lucky enough to live in the final dwelling.
Within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Paragraph 79 criteria E sets out the following guidance:
79e) the design is of exceptional quality, in that it:
- is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas; and
- would significantly enhance its immediate setting and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.
These guiding points must be referenced and utilised to unlock unique site potential.
It is important to acknowledge at the outset that a paragraph 79e project is more than an architectural statement or grand built gesture. Successful and approved projects demonstrate a strong relationship between both the landscape and architecture proposals. Collectively proposals should seek to enhance and build on place to deliver a truly outstanding vision.
The initial location of a proposed dwelling and access must be rooted in a firm understanding of place which is primarily informed through a detailed assessment of the landscape constraints and opportunities. Further ecological, arboriculture and topographical studies should play a significant role in informing the bigger picture and ultimate starting point of design.
A landscape assessment ensures the most appropriate location and site access is justified from the outset. Both landscape and architectural proposals can therefore develop from this understanding to positively build and enhance on the narrative of place.
During the design process pre-application discussions will be required with the local planning authority supported by an independent review from a local Design Panel. At each of these stages the proposals to date will be scrutinized against the criteria set out in 79e to ensure a unique and exceptional vision is developing.
The final proposal when rooted in a thorough understand of place ensures that the landscape and architectural vision is therefore unique to both place and client. Site selection at the outset is therefore the most important starting point and strongest factor to consider when commencing a Paragraph 79e project.
We have found our unique and thorough approach as national specialists has permitted Rural Solutions to unlock approval for a total 7 Paragraph 79e projects.
Imagery Courtesy of Kirkland Fraser Moor Architects.