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House where deer will be able to walk on the roof to be built near Tenterden

By Rachael Woods

A stunning home where deer will be able to walk on the roof is to be built in open countryside after permission was granted due to its exceptional architecture.

Deer House, near Tenterden, has been designed by Guy Hollaway Architects, whose staff discovered a medieval deer leap - a steep bank - was a feature of the landscape.

The house at Heronden, Smallhythe Road, will be recessed into the land and have a green roof allowing deer to wander on top of it.

Deer will be able to walk onto the green roof
Deer will be able to walk onto the green roof

A spokesman for the architect said: “The dwelling will enable the parkland to return to its former use as a deer farm, allowing the occupants and the deer to co-exist within the environment.

“It sits parallel to the existing deer leap, an inward facing steep bank, which allowed deer to jump into the park, but prevented their escape by being too high."

Ashford Borough Council agreed to the modernist home under Paragraph 79 of the 2018 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which covers the building of new isolated homes in open countryside where development is usually not allowed.

Paragraph 79 can exempt buildings of outstanding architectural interest.

The luxury glass-fronted home at Heronden
The luxury glass-fronted home at Heronden

The homeowners will enjoy views across the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as a ha-ha wall, which is sunken so its top is level with the garden with a ditch on the far side, will allow for an uninterrupted vista.

A winding track to the luxury home weaves between trees, reflecting “the historic carriage rides approaching the Grade II listed Heronden and Heronden Hall.”

Full planning permission was given by the council for the dwelling on December 7, which the architects are describing as one of the most energy-efficient houses in the UK, with an “exceptionally low carbon footprint”.

The home - which is of concrete, steel and glass construction - features polished concrete floors.

It was met with a cautious response from Tenterden and District Residents Association when the plans were first put in earlier this year.

The luxury glass-fronted home at Heronden
The luxury glass-fronted home at Heronden
The luxury glass-fronted home at Heronden
The luxury glass-fronted home at Heronden

Its planning secretary, architect Siggi Nepp said that while the association supports “good modern design and recognises the sustainability credentials and low visual impact of the proposal” it was concerned by “further erosion of highly important designated land".

Her comments to Ashford council concluded: “This site is located within one of the most sensitive Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and conservation area designations in Tenterden and therefore any development in this area should be treated with caution and only permitted in exceptional circumstances, to do otherwise would set a harmful precedent.”

Guy Hollaway Architects designed Ashford’s Picturehouse cinema that has just opened at Elwick Place.

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