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Creating a Paragraph 55 countryside home

Annabel and David Jones have created a stunning new property in the Shropshire countryside thanks to a special clause in national planning policy

Despite both having lived and worked in London for 20 years, Annabel and David Jones had always considered themselves country people. “I still thought of Shropshire as home – it’s where my heart is,” says David, who was brought up on his grandparents’ farm near Newport.

“My parents purchased a four acre plot here from my uncle in the 1980s,” he says. “It’s a great patch of land, and I always thought it’d be a fantastic spot to build a family home.” In fact, David was so keen to create his own house on the site that he took Annabel to visit it not long after they became a couple. “I remember looking at the plot and feeling slightly sceptical, because it was hideous back then,” she admits. “David’s father was a pig farmer, so at that point the land hosted an ugly agricultural building that had been housing the animals for 15 years.” Annabel was soon able to see past the existing structure, however, and appreciate the site’s assets. “The views are fantastic – you can see for miles. It feels so calming to be surrounded by nature, with nothing but trees and sky in the outlook,” she says. So, when the couple’s fi rst child arrived, they decided to make the move back up to Shropshire to create their dream family abode. “Ultimately, we wanted to bring our kids up in the country, to have the same childhood that David experienced,” she says.

Starting the journey

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About Build It

Inside the October edition of Build It magazine: - Smart Homes special: How tech can simplify your lifestyle - Beginner's guide to winning planning permission - Extension costs guide - Passivhaus: Does it make sense for eco renovations? - How to knock through walls & open up space - Building contracts explained - Underloor heating innovations ... and more!