Gorefield couple hope plans for Fenland’s first earth home will get a yes from local planners

John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.
John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.

Innovative, outstanding design and a first for Fenland - a family are hoping those three things will be enough to win them planning permission for a new home in Gorefield.

John and Susan Turner have applied to build Fenland’s first earth house close to their current home in Fendyke Lane and are hoping these latest plans will meet approval from Fenland planners, having already had one application refused.

John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.

John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.

Now the couple have employed architects Swann Edwards and are hoping their plans will allow them to remain living in Fendyke Lane, where they have resided for “most of their lives”.

A design and access statement prepared by Swann Edwards explains the couple want to take a step back and allow their son to take over running their rose growing business, which has around £2.3 million a year turnover - “hence the need for a new home”.

Swann Edwards say they have utilised the Fibonacci series and in particular the Fibonacci spiral to create the home. Fibonacci was a mathematician who found a sequence of numbers sometimes called the Divine Ratio which is abundant in nature in places as diverse as the proportions of a human face and the flowering of an artichoke and relevantly in rose buds.

The Fibonacci spiral ensures that each rose plant has maximum exposure to sunlight and rainwater and that more developed petals will not steal light from the newer onces.

John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.

John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.

The architects say by using this design ethos and approach they can deliver a solar powered home that is “grounded in its place and time with a close relationship to the clients and the Fenland landscape that it will be located within.”

They say the proposed new home has been “designed to reflect and enhance its traditional rural setting, reflecting the highest standards in architecture across Fenland. In addition, this proposal is an exemplar project, delivering the highest standards in architecture whilst mitigating the visual

impact of the proposal on the countryside.”

They add the proposal will be the first Earth Sheltered dwelling in Fenland, stating the house will be a single detached dwelling built as an earth sheltered spiral ensuring all rooms obtain maximum southerly light whilst screening the proposal from the street scene.

John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.

John and Susan Turner are hoping innovative plans for Fenland's first earth house will win planning approval.

The report adds: “The building itself is effectively the extension of the landscape and will create additional biodiversity.”

The report says previously Mr and Mrs Turner applied to build a home using an agricultural justification but the application was refused and subsequently dismissed at appeal as the planning inspector felt the business was not large enough to justify two homes.

Swann Edwards were appointed to investigate the potential alternatives to a dwelling in this location.

Following initial discussions with Fenland officers it was suggested that a special clause in national planning policy which allows homes of exceptional design to be built in rural areas could be the way forward.

The architects add: “As detailed throughout this document we believe that this proposal creates a dwelling of exceptional quality and of an innovative nature. It is underpinned by the history of the site and the clients. The proposal will be the first Earth Sheltered dwelling in Fenland, this is further enhanced by the underlying design ethos, which ensures that this proposal is truly unique whilst remaining respectful of the countryside environment

and the area.”