A NORTH-EAST property firm is celebrating after achieving planning permission for an eco-friendly house in the Northumberland countryside.

The Darlington branch of property and surveying firm, Smiths Gore, managed to secure permission for the sustainable, carbon negative home in West Woodburn, which is thought to be one of the first of its kind to be approved in open countryside since the introduction of a National Planning Policy Framework in 2012.

The house initially failed to comply with local planning policy which states new dwellings cannot be built in open countryside unless they are truly unique and outstanding in design.

Jo Robison, of Smiths Gore, said: “The policy provision for new houses in open countryside over the years has typically been geared towards the large-scale, grand country house and planning permissions on this basis have been rare.

“We were very pleased that our involvement in the planning process has allowed our client to go on and build their dream home.

“We felt really strongly about this case as the dwelling is truly sustainable and a strong example of how good development can help support rural communities and raise design standards in the countryside.”

Architect Dan Kerr, who worked on the project, said: "In order to convince the local planning authority to approve the build, we really had to stress that the house would fit into the local landscape and will be a low energy building with efficient running costs.

“It has been great to work on this one-of-a-kind development with a forward-thinking client and an excellent design team. I am really excited to see the final build.”