Never Leave the Cottage!

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Bungalow House Plans??

Malcolm Griffiths lives next door to Blenheim Palace which means that the Duke of Marlborough is his neighbour. Whilst he enjoys celebrity spotting in the local pub, Elle Macpherson was there after attending a wedding at the Palace, it was a disadvantage when he was trying to build his contemporary eco home. Malcolm's home overlooks the Queens Pond of the Blenheim Estate and when he applied for permission to establish a three storey eco home, the Duke was not amused. Malcolm bought a Seventies bungalow on a half acre site for 582, 000 in 2004 from two ladies who owed a bakery. Malcolm believes that the Estate thought that they got a covenant on the earth which is situated eight miles north of Oxford.

The town of Woodstock, where the bungalow is, were quite supportive of Malcolm's plans. The conservation was really supportive of Malcolm's ideas and when Malcolm showed some of his architect's designs he agreed on one in particular. However with the anger of the objections from Blenheim, the local planning committee narrowly rejected the plans. Malcolm decided to take it to appeal and with the help of the West Oxfordshire planning department he won. It took him fourteen months to complete the home, and everything is bespoke, Malcolm admits to working 80 hours weeks on the site.

The house is called the Flying Fish House and is very eco friendly. It has a concrete box construction on the first floor which gives thermal mass for heat retention and the chamber has lots of glass, the conservatory alone has a vast glass roof. The upper floors of the home are built around a Glulam timber frame with dormer windows and there's the usual ground source heat pumps and solar panels. The house also has an automatic ventilation and heat recovery system and there is rainwater harvesting too.

There is a coach house and double garage with a one bedroom flat which is 6, 500 sq ft in all. The main eco house has six bedrooms and five reception rooms. Malcolm lived in the coach house before the eco design of the house was approved and then moved into the flat when the main build began. When the tax man called he asked for 8, 000 in VAT because the coach house was an added element to the exiting dwelling, a mistake that Malcolm admits he'll not make again. It cost him 650, 000 but says that if a builder was doing it for you it is said to have been double. The property went onto the market in January for 1.85million and has had to knock 150, 000 off the asking price despite the fact that the house is in Oxford. Oxford has one of the more resilient housing markets in the country apart from London.

Agents in the area think that the house is fairly priced, a 6, 000 sq ft converted school house opposite Blenheim Palace sold in January for 2million and many call the house a 'listed building of the future ', however what the Duke feels about the house we may never know.

08/26/2015 01:46:04
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