Unique villa plan to go to appeal after rejection

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 July 2018

An artist’s impression of the single-storey villa. Picture: WYG

An artist’s impression of the single-storey villa. Picture: WYG


A controversial plan to build a low-lying American villa in Wraxall will go to appeal after a decade of negotiations.

An artist’s impression of the single-storey villa. Picture: WYGAn artist’s impression of the single-storey villa. Picture: WYG

Former Wraxall and Failand parish councillor Dr Hugh Pratt obtained the rights to the design from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in 2007.

Dr Pratt had his first application dismissed by North Somerset Council in Novemeber 2014 to build a house with off-grid services, including a horizontal vortex hydro-electric turbine, which would provide renewable energy for the home.

A swimming pool on land at Tyntesfield Springs, formerly part of Tyntesfield house, is also proposed.

The single-storey villa features a series of intersecting curved shapes which would sit 16 meters above an ornamental lake.

It would be the first and only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the UK and would be completely self-sufficient by exceeding Government carbon reduction targets.

The architect first came up with the design in the 1940s in California, as the low-lying building is meant to blend in with its natural surroundings and reduce the visual impact.

Dr Pratt bought additional land in June 2017 to create improved access getting in and out of the site while 70 trees and 1,500 shrubs have been planted to increase biodiversity.

More than 40 objections have been submitted to North Somerset Council’s planning portal, and the parish council believes the building is in ‘stark contrast’ to nearby homes.

MORE: Rare house design for greenbelt quizzed by inspector.

A parish council spokesman said: “The design is by an internationally-respected architect, however it was conceived for the hills of California in a different era and not for the hills of North Somerset today.

“The proposal is in stark contrast to the design of surrounding homes which were once part of the grade-II listed Victorian Tyntesfield estate and therefore does not enhance its immediate setting.

“The Land Yeo is a small and variable water source and it is unlikely it has sufficient flow to support the power requirements of the development.

“However, no figures for flow or the efficiency of the generator were supplied with the application.”

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