Deer House, Tenterden

Approval to build a country house inspired by a medieval deer leap in open countryside near Tenterden, Kent.

Designed by Guy Hollaway Architects, the 360m² Deer House will be built in ancient parkland in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and partially within a Conservation Zone, after being given the green light by Ashford Borough Council.

Key facts
  • Approval to build in open countryside
  • Ancient parkland
  • High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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The site on the Heronden Estate is set on the south-western edge of Tenterden, characterised by a ribbon of manor houses set within parkland. These houses are unique in terms of their age, architecture, setting and character, yet sit harmoniously along the edge of the town.

The application for the Deer House was submitted using Paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy, which supports permitting exceptional designed pieces of architecture in the countryside that would not usually be accepted. Permission was granted under the emerging policy HOU5 – Residential windfall development in the countryside.

The concept and design for the house evolved from the discovery of a nearby deer leap – a sunken fence built into the wall of a forest park which prevented the animals from escaping during hunts in the Tudor period.

Offering only discrete views from neighbouring listed buildings, the single storey Deer House will be subservient to Heronden, the nearby main house, due to its listing and its history. The proposed access track will wind between trees, within the landscape reflecting the experience of arriving by carriage at the Grade II Listed Heronden and Heronden Hall – therefore considered sympathetic to the historic setting. 

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