Hemingford ‘listed building of the future’ gets the go-ahead
- Credit: Archant
An “utterly stunning” new house which blends landscape art and architecture has been given the go-ahead for a sensitive site in Hemingford Abbots by Huntingdonshire District Council.
Landart House, off Common Lane, even comes with a 50ft observation tower which will be open to the public for four weekends a year so that visitors can see how the building has been folded into a landscape sculpted to represent ancient ridge and furrow agriculture.
Local businessman Neil Greatorex, who is building the house with his wife Liane, said: “In effect, it is a listed building of the future.”
The scheme will also see a sympathetic refurbishment of the listed Old Pavilion which stands on the 13-acre site.
The house is one of only a small number built across the country under paragraph 55 of national planning regulations which say they must be of exceptional design or innovative in nature to justify being built on countryside sites like the one at Hemingford.
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Members of the district council’s development management committee gave overwhelming support to the new build and refurbishment which had earlier won the backing of Hemingford Abbots Parish Council.
The design includes a long white roof flying over the semi-underground structure which was said to resemble a horizontal cricket bat as a nod to the site’s cricketing heritage.
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Councillor Jason Ablewhite told the meeting he was not normally a fan of modern architecture, but added: “I have to say this is utterly stunning in every sense of the word. It is a work of art.
“I think it is really exciting in its design and that is not something I would normally say about this type of design.”
Councillor Ryan Fuller said the scheme had been supported by Historic England.
But Councillor Pete Reeve said: “The roof looks more like a petrol filling station than a cricket bat. This, I hope, is not a step too far.”
The design of the new house and landscape art follows a collaboration between artist Kate Whiteford and Hugh Cullum Architects who described the new house as “simply arranged under the dominant roof as a living platform with perimeter glazing suspended over a ground level pool”.
Work will include the demolition of unsympathetic modern extensions to the Grade II listed cricket pavilion, which was built in 1897 as part of the neighbouring Hemingford Park House estate and faced the former cricket pitch. Lost residential space will be made up with a single-storey extension and basement.
Mr Greatorex said: “It has been a long time. We first started working on this more than six years ago. The planners have done a lot of work with the planning department at the council which has been very sympathetic.
“I am looking forward to getting started on it.”
He said there were still some details to complete but he hoped to have the scheme finished in about three years.