A MAJOR figure in the arts could build an underground house on top of an Oxfordshire hill.

Plans for the eco-house have been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.

The building, on Britwell Hill in the Chilterns near Watlington, is described in the planning application as “far from ordinary”.

The application says: “It is unique in concept and tests contemporary limits of housing construction and design.

“It is a contribution to local cultural heritage and provides an exemplar for new country houses. It seeks a genuine new aesthetic dimension to add to the rich history of human settlement, reflecting in its form the diversity of landscape in the Chilterns.”

The architects say the house will use technologies such as ground source heat pumps, thermal storage and wood burning stoves to reduce its carbon footprint.

Newcastle-based planning consultant Allen Creedy has been working on the scheme.

He said: “The design is very much an evolution from an analysis of the landscape and from a consideration of the history of the site.

“It is designed to be as sustainable as possible.

“The building will have to be of excellent architectural merit and very sensitive to the location.

“An amazing amount of effort has gone into coming up with a design which meets those requirements.”

Mr Creedy said the applicant was someone who is “very much involved in the arts and very much involved in architecture and design”.

But he said he could not reveal who his client is, saying he had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

When the Oxford Mail asked if the applicant was famous he declined to comment.

A spokesman for the district council said: “We assess all applications with an open mind, to the appropriate local and national policies.

“This is a site where we would not normally allow new housing and therefore we need to consider whether there are any exceptional grounds for approving this interesting scheme.”


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