Angles House, Class Q fallback dwelling, Suffolk

This new sustainable designed home is a replacement for a previous Class Q barn permission which Beech Architects also secured for the site via the Class Q fallback planning approach.

Angles House will sit discreetly on the upper slope of the Waveney valley looking into the Hoxne Water Meadows and across to the Angles Way. The design references Anglo Saxon settlements, consisting of a series of single storey huts (as seen at West Stow Country Park). The four wood-clad “huts” that comprise the dwelling will be linked by glass connecting areas that will be see through and break the solidity of the buildings forming the house. The intention is to create a building that sits lightly on the site, below the tree line at the top of the valley, using materials and finishes that will blend with the background rather than contrasting with it: it will read cryptically in the landscape and draw little attention to itself. It has a strong relationship to the surrounding meadow that will be managed as a wildflower meadow, surrounded by native hedging and clusters of native tree planting by the owners (who have managed a wild flower meadow locally for 8 years). There will be no “garden” element around the house; rather it will sit in and relate to the natural landscape directly.

The house will be built to passivhaus standard thereby minimising its environmental impacts and, being on one level, will be accessible throughout. Given the local weather patterns (long dry spells and intense wet spells), the owners have chosen to harvest rainwater to minimise mains water consumption and not to use green roofs that will demand irrigation in the prolonged dry spells that are a feature of local weather patterns and thereby increase water demand rather than reduce it. Materials will be selected for their longevity and recyclability to ensure that the house is built to last.

– To enhance the overall site with extensive meadow planting, extensive native hedge planting and the planting of native tree species – To create a highly energy efficient dwelling to replace existing buildings, sheds and an extant permission for a 295m2 new house
– Access remains unchanged for vehicles or pedestrians compared to the approval
– The new energy efficient eco dwelling accords with the councils policy for supporting a low carbon future and a climate emergency – The house will feature electric car charging and air source or ground source heat pump heating
– The house will be built from sustainable and recyclable low carbon materials
– The enhancement of the site will enhance the conservation status of this important river valley and support native species wildlife


The aim of the project is to provide an exemplar house too highly sustainable standards.

  • A passive house design
  • A twin wall timber frame, timber clad and insulated with recycled newspaper
  • A house which has energy supplied via photovoltaics, air source or ground source heat pump, Tesla battery and MVHR systems with a mains feed as back up only
  • An air tightness target of 0.4 exceeding building regulations and of a standard greater than passive house
  • Enhancing the site through wildflower meadow planting, native species hedging and trees. Establishment of bat and bird nesting opportunities to encourage wildlife
  • Constructing in entirely wood for frame, roof, walls and charred timber cladding. Thus avoiding factory produced products and ensuring natural breathable materials are used wherever possible.
  • Electric cars will be operated and these will be charged via the Tesla 7KW charger and powerwall battery fed from the PV system on site.The house complies fully with the aims of the NPPF and provides an exemplar solution to achieve a virtually off grid passive house dwelling that will be demonstrative of how houses should be designed to be in harmony with the site and reducing energy use to a minimum.The aim is for an energy efficient, passive, low embodied material and recyclable dwelling. There will be no plastic and only natural products and finishes in this virtually off grid sustainable dwelling.The house is carefully located to sit below ridge allowing views of the Southern boundary and trees from the river valley. It is designed to sit low in the landscape and be of materials that blend it into its setting. The neighbouring house is the opposite, sitting on the landscape and painted to stand out. We thus seek not to compete and to leave the view as it is now with a low rise, horizontal, background architecture design for the new dwelling.Its low rectilinear forms linked together are chosen to minimise visual impact and is further broken up by the angled roof forms and large gaps between each ‘hut’ ensuring further glimpsed views of landscape and minimal impact on settingThe house is orientated to make the most of views across the proposed meadow and valley landscape to the North West

Hoxne, Suffolk