Fordham family bid to ‘sell’ eco friendly house idea to planners

Dutch Barn & Cart Lodge, Soham

Dutch Barn & Cart Lodge, Soham - Credit: Archant

A couple’s dream of building an energy efficient, zero-carbon, ‘passive’ house – which they describes as combining the ‘Dutch barn and cart lodge’ affect- is before planners.

Passive House

Passive House - Credit: Archant

Ian Bridgeman and his wife plan to erect the, which will be externally clad in seasoned Siberian Larch, on land adjacent to Moor Lodge, Moor Road, Fordham.

The application, which is based on an agricultural design concept instigated by a farm yard opposite the proposed site, is suggested as having “a clear architectural influence” as well as being “extremely energy efficient”.

The building proposal also details a grey zinc roof to add to the ‘minimalistic aesthetic appearance’.

Mr Bridgeman said: “This innovative design combines the Dutch Barn & Cart Lodge affect; the buildings are prevalent in the area and add agricultural dimensions blending the proposals into the countryside.”


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After giving thought to comments and issues raised during the previous application, the applicants have issued a revised full application to the council with the aim of fulfilling their design guide.

The objectives of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s design guide are based on ‘innovation, imagination, creativity’.

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The plan adds that the design concept reinforces the local distinctiveness and character of the area.

Mr Bridgeman added: “The proposed sustainable construction seeks to maximise energy efficiency and minimise energy demand and resource use through sustainable design and construction. Whilst this may not be the first in East Cambridgeshire it would be one of very few.”

According to East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning policy, the application site is in an area designated as ‘countryside’, but could be considered to be part of the built environment as there are agricultural buildings opposite.

However, the highways authority has said in a report that it wants to place a holding objection on the application, listing a number of potential problems if the building is to become a business, as was initially proposed.

Geoffrey Ellwood, highways development management engineer, said the application detailed plans to run a livery business from the property.

He adds: “The submitted plans show an out-building to be converted in to stables. “Any access on to the highway either exiting or proposed for this use should be laid out as to allow for a vehicle and trailer to be able to access the highway safely and not obstruct impeded or be detrimental to the highways safety for all road users.”

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