The highly unusual home to be built in mid Norfolk countryside which will cope if the lights go out

PUBLISHED: 15:27 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:27 17 May 2017

The plans for Pivot House state that the home will be a unique and eco-friendly development. Picture: Studio Bark

The plans for Pivot House state that the home will be a unique and eco-friendly development. Picture: Studio Bark


A unique and highly sustainable home is to be built in the Norfolk countryside after permission was granted by Breckland Council.

The plans for Pivot House in Reymerston, near Dereham, were approved under Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which allows houses to be built in the countryside providing they reflect the “highest standards of architecture, sustainability and innovation.”

Designed by London-based architecture firm Studio Bark, the house is designed to react to potential future energy shortfalls by being completely ‘off-grid’, meaning that it will be self-sufficient and without any reliance on public utilities.

Energy for the house will be drawn from discreet solar panels and these will be backed up by a biofuel generator. Heating and hot water will come from a combination of a log batch biomass boiler, which burns logs to heat a large tank of water, and a renewable technology that uses pipes buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground.

Drinking water will be sourced from a newly dug hole in the garden which will harvest water from the roof of the house.

Wilf Meynell, director of Studio Bark, said: “Pivot House gave us the chance to address a very beautiful but immensely challenging landscape. The ecology and biodiversity of the site is rich with life, yet currently unappreciated and poorly maintained.

“By gently nestling a contextual building into the site and through implementing a phased landscaping design we hope to realise a building which not only provides a fantastic low-energy home to a young family, but also significantly enhances the ecological potential of this unique setting”.

Breckland district councillor Paul Claussen said: “A dwelling of this calibre and design should be encouraged and the idea of going off grid is completely unique and very sustainable.”

However, not everyone welcomed the proposal, with two objections lodged against the development. The first was from the Garvestone Parish Council, which said that the house would be outside of the village settlement boundary and in an unsustainable location, the second was from Park Farm, in Southburgh, and raised concerns about disturbance to protected wildlife.

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