Benchmark plan awaits approval

A development which has extensive land dedicated to natural habitats and conservation is being delayed while the ODPM considers the project.

Garden designer Dan Pearson will have to await a decision from deputy prime minister John Prescott before he continues work on a benchmark project. Prescott must back plans for a new country house near Grimsby by architecture firm Feilden Clegg Bradley (FCB) if it is to go ahead. The scheme for a large home and equestrian facility is expected to be the first to be approved under the “country house” clause in Planning Policy Statement 7, which aims to protect rural areas. FCB wants to build a substantial home, in the style of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, on the site of a derelict farmhouse near Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Pearson’s company, Dan Pearson Studio, prepared a landscape master-plan for the planning application and began work on the project — but must now wait to see if it is able to continue. The plan will see 35 per cent of the 81ha site being dedicated to natural habitats and conservation. Pearson said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to create a new estate that is a very modern approach to land management. If it happens, it will be a benchmark.” The treatment includes the creation of a monumental ridge and furrow landform, meadowland preserves, a wildlife lake with wetland and a programme of sustainable land management. The building will sit low in the land, have green roofs and will be fuelled by renewable biomass crops. Around 25,000 native trees have already been planted but work has now been stopped until approval.

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