Thomas Studio

Self build house in open countryside

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About the project

Self build in open countryside

This dream self build house in open countryside is a triumph, as planning laws make it all but impossible to gain approval. However, the ‘all-but impossible’ – is at the cutting edge of the self build opportunity, and this self build project is a result of exemption clauses in planning law, which offers some hope to those that are looking to self build in open countryside.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it. And that’s because it is. This earth sheltered home in North Somerset is a good example: when the design is right it can unlock planning barriers and result in an acceptable planning application supported by the Local Authority.

Whilst peripheral planning issues also need to be overcome such as highways, ecology and the 5-year housing land supply, we’re talking here about a home that is at the top of its self build class.

The client is a patron of fine architecture, and has allowed the creation of a dream eco – home in a brilliant location to evoke the Mendip Hills in which it is located.

Why aren’t more people doing it? Well, let’s establish some key rules upfront.

Ever wanted to build your own home in the open countryside?
How about a home that would not only be the envy of your friends but also an architectural icon?

For so many, since 1997, Planning Policy Guidance 7 (PPG7) along with its successors, firstly Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7) and now, since 2012, Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), enables houses in open countryside. They offer an exemption from all planning constraints for individual houses that meet specific criteria, not least of all that they should be architecturally outstanding and innovative.

At Thomas Studio we get excited about any piece of planning law that lets our clients build what they otherwise could not. The fact that the unassuming few words of planning law allows them to push the boundaries of their self-build dreams and create something truly outstanding encourages us to deliver all the more.

“In a way, self builders all want what Paragraph 55 offers. Who after all wouldn’t want a really cool new house in the open countryside. Who wouldn’t want to feel like they are building a new home in a long line of historical country houses. Who wouldn’t fancy the potentially huge uplift in value that could be brought to a plot of land.” says architect Garry Thomas.

For more information about open countryside houses, and the opportunities that are available why not arrange a FREE 15-minute call with Architect Garry Thomas who is willing to discuss the possibilities that are open to you in your local area. Find out more here :

House in open countryside
Outdoor room living spaceA house in open countryside