Express & Star

Striking homes set for riding school site

Grand Design-style homes inspired by an eminent American architect are set to be build on a former Walsall riding school site.

Artist's impression of the striking design of a home to be built on Foxhills Farm, Aldridge. PIC: Philip Taylor Associates

Walsall Council planners approved plans for the ‘principal house’ and three bungalows to be created at Foxhills Farm on Beacon Road in Aldridge.

Agent CT Planning which is representing applicant Philip Tangri said the design of the properties, by Philip Taylor, are based on the celebrated late 19th and early to mid 20th century architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The existing site is in the Green Belt but currently derelict having been previously occupied by Foxhills Riding Centre before the business moved to nearby Bridle Lane around 18 months ago.

An existing farmhouse will be redeveloped into the main home while buildings currently there will be demolished to make way for the three bungalows.

The homes will feature a lot of glass and external balconies to “maximise the viewing potential” of views of Barr Beacon, Birmingham, Lickey and Clent Hills.

The application did attract opposition with five letters of objection from nearby residents concerned about the impact on the Green Belt and the Great Barr Conservation Area it sits in.

Walsall South MP Valerie Vaz also raised concerns about the harm to the Green Belt, saying the applicants had not demonstrated “very special circumstances” to build there.

But planners said an application to build four bungalows had previously been approved and this current plan would not be detrimental to the Green Belt area.

In their application, CT Planning said: “The design of the proposed development is driven by the outstanding views.

“The site’s location towards the top of a hill increases the significance of the proposed development. Architecture of the highest order is therefore required.

“Even though the site is in a Conservation Area there is little development in the locality of the application site that could be used as a design cue.

“Philip Taylor’s design is unashamedly influenced by the work of one of the most eminent architects of the 20th Century, Frank Lloyd Wright, on his Robie House in Chicago.

“The design of the dwelling is essentially single aspect to address the panoramic views from Barr Beacon, capturing sight of Birmingham City Centre, the Lickey and Clent Hills, Sedgley Beacon and The Wrekin.

“The proposed dwellings will represent a marked improvement to the visual appearance of the site.”

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