Green Light for “Legacy Architecture” in Essex Suburbs

A bold, modern new home adjacent to a Grade II listed property has been granted planning permission by Epping Forest District Council (EFDC). The district development councillors hailed the design as “legacy architecture” for the local area. The scheme is designed by Clear Architects, a boutique practice that brings London-style architectural vision to the wealthy commuter-belt of Essex and Hertfordshire.

The site is based on the outskirts of London in Loughton, in the Essex suburbs. The 550-square metre home will be developed on land that currently houses a tennis court. It is adjacent to but separate from the late Victorian Grade II listed property, renowned locally for its Gothic features, lending to its name: Dragons.

In an 11:1 approval vote last week (2 December 2015), several committee councillors commented that the concept represents “stunning architecture that Loughton can be proud of”.

The landowners commissioned Clear Architects to create an architecturally bold 5-bedroom family home, with accommodation split over 3 floors. Externally, the square edges, curved glass, sharp lines and large windows are complemented by a light buff MARSA stone, providing softness to the building while retaining hard wearing and robust characteristics.

Internally, a circular staircase incorporating an open void with circular roof light will link the floors. The internal configuration consists of a living room, kitchen diner, utility room, snug and WC on the ground floor, with 3 bedrooms including the master suite and a family bathroom on the first floor and 2 further bedrooms on the second floor.

Clear Architects have brought in Chelsea Flower Show award-winning landscape designers, Aralia, to create a landscape plan for the plot, which will further enhance the built architecture.

Clear Architects created the stylistic architectural design to ensure the new dwelling would architecturally stand in its own right next to the listed building.

Melanie Clear, director of RIBA-Chartered Clear Architects, Essex, says:

“Both Dragons and the proposed new modern development demonstrate the best of architecture at their respective periods in terms of design and build. We are delighted that the EFDC planning committee have demonstrated such foresight and been so embracing of what we are confident will be a statement architectural addition to the local community.

“It is crucial that communities outside large cities are not excluded from benefiting from buildings with architectural merit; planning committees that only embrace mock period homes do a disservice to the local residents. We have worked hard to ensure all of our schemes are fully understood by local planning departments. I think approvals such as this highlight the great strides being made in some local communities.”

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