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Contemporary home plan for Hethersett

PUBLISHED: 09:49 10 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:55 14 July 2010

A contemporary house that Chris Leeming of Gable Developments is hoping to build at Ketteringham Lane, in Hethersett.

A contemporary house that Chris Leeming of Gable Developments is hoping to build at Ketteringham Lane, in Hethersett.

The company behind the expansion of Norwich Research Park is hoping to wow district planners with its proposals for a striking contemporary house on the outskirts of the city.

The company behind the expansion of Norwich Research Park is hoping to wow district planners with its proposals for a striking contemporary house on the outskirts of the city.

Gable Developments Ltd is looking to build the new home which features triple-glazed windows, high levels of insulation and a special low power heating system, on land at Ketteringham Lane in Hethersett. It embraces the latest passive housing techniques.

However, the site is in a rural area outside the village development boundary. This means that consent for an isolated new house may only be granted if it is deemed to be an “exceptional, innovative and outstanding contemporary dwelling” to accord with government guidelines.

Hethersett Parish Council has recommended refusal, claiming the design fails to meet the required criteria and does not fit into the suggested site.

But Chris Leeming of Gable Developments said they are confident of creating a property that is both exceptional and cutting edge.

“I think the point is we are trying to up the stakes on the design front. People don't like change, that's a fact, but in order to make a house of the passive type the traditional building form is difficult.

“We are so far behind Europe in passive house concepts it is unbelievable, and we want to demonstrate just what is possible. It would show our generation left a stamp on the landscape.”

The principles of passive energy involve utilising inherent energy to its full extent in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

The long rectangular shape of the top floor of the house is rotated to gain the maximum benefit and warming qualities of the sun, while the colder northern side has no windows, is thick and highly insulated to minimise heat loss. The ground floor is “camouflaged” by the ground on and around it, the large volumes of concrete and soil helping to conserve heat in winter and cool the interior in summer months.

It is a project that could comfortably sit alongside those featured on popular TV series Grand Designs. And if planning consent is granted, the next step will be to find a buyer who embraces their vision and has the money to fund the build.

“The idea is not to make a million pound house,” added Mr Leeming. “It is going to be expensive. My aspiration for it is high. Part of the design is taking people's lifestyle into account. If it's a family home, or a retired couple, or a bachelor pad, the house is going to be used in different ways.”

South Norfolk Council is currently consulting on the proposals.

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