Disused railway embankment is site for new house near Rugby

Landscape architect plays critical role in planning success

Rugby Borough Council has granted permission to build a vast new ‘classical’ style country house near Rugby, Warwickshire, thanks in large part to the early-stage involvement of landscape architect Colvin & Moggridge.

The proposal by Adam Architecture and Colvin & Moggridge was accepted under the NPPF paragraph 55 planning legislation that permits the building of new country houses considered to be of ‘exceptional quality or innovative design’.  In this case, the placement of the house in the middle of a disused railway embankment clinched both endorsement by the Midlands design review panel MADE and approval by the planning committee.

In addition to advising on the careful integration of the house into the embankment, Colvin & Moggridge recommended a landscape strategy that would see the currently degraded and denuded holding being returned to ‘an enclosed pastoral landscape that caters for the client’s significant equestrian needs’.

A substantial commitment to enhance the biodiversity of the site through the creation of new woodland and hedgerows, native wildflower meadows, ponds, ditches and an orchard also met with approval.

The ‘innovative placement’ of the house has maximised the potential of the landscape on a site bisected by the disused railway, explains Colvin & Moggridge director Mark Darwent. ‘The house nestles comfortably in the wooded embankment enjoying fine open views to both north and south, and uniquely from the first floor rooms, a long, linear view east and west along the old railway-line.’

Robert Adam has designed the 877 square metre house as ‘a substantial symmetrical building’ in stone and stucco with arched wings connecting to the embankment.

According to Robert Adam, director at Adam Architecture, ‘A left-over and forgotten piece of industrial heritage has become part of a wider vision and given new meaning by the addition of a striking house.’

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