Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland
Scheme Design: Architectural Style
Traditionally most houses in the countryside were of a plain, rather austere character. The only exceptions were the mansions of estate owners or some more ornate houses erected in the Victorian period. In recent years however there has been a marked tendency for new dwellings in the countryside to adopt the style and appearance of typical suburban development of the period e.g. mock Georgian ad Tudor with the addition of the Spanish hacienda. While some of these styles may not look out of place in a housing estate in a town, they are generally incongruous in a rural setting. They have the effect of debasing the distinctive regional character and blurring the contrast between town and country.
Within Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where there is a strong local identity, new buildings should respect and may have need to reflect closely the traditional settlement pattern and architectural style.
In other areas it is not necessary to follow traditional style so closely, and this Guide does not suggest that modern rural dwellings should look like reproductions of traditional houses or cottages. On the contrary, there is no reason why a modern house, design in accordance with this guide, should not look like a modern house at the same time be entirely appropriate to its rural setting.