Protruding front gable features and Mayo Rural Housing Design Guidelines

I was asked to cast my eyes over a planning file recently for a potential client and this problem occurs frequently with designs from others; I thought it would be good to clarify the matter and to send over a briefer version to Mayo County Council to see if it could be included in their Mayo Rural Housing Design Guidelines as currently it doesn’t appear to be mentioned.

The problem relates to Protruding front gable features and their frequent request for removal from Council Further Information Planning requests.

What exactly is a protruding front gable feature ?

Essentially if you consider the main body of the house, any gable that projects from this is considered to be a protruding front gable feature. The image below (from daft.ie) shows this well (it does appear to be for suburban than rural which is why it could be considered more acceptable):

The Mayo rural context would have been a house extended over time length-ways as the family increased, similar to the house below in Donegal from limewindow.com:

As you will see in this traditional form that there are no protruding front gable features. And on the whole I tend to agree with this principle.

The situation isn’t quite that easy to define however, when does a protruding gable become the main body of the house; the images below (in my opinion) clarify what is correct and what is not:

Straightforward long house without front protruding gable features = acceptable

Straightforward long house without front protruding gable features = acceptable

gable

Gable to front projecting from main body of house = unacceptable

gable

Projecting gable to rear = acceptable (ie not seen)

The key thing to remember is that the projecting front gable needs to be a. Projecting away from the front of the house and b. Projecting out from the main body of the house. With this in mind the following (where the sites topography, aspect, constraints etc…) would also be acceptable:

gable

The projection is to the side from the main body of the house and not to the front = acceptable

The main body of the house is easy to decide; it’s simply the largest section of the house – any volume ‘sticking out’ from this would be considered ‘protruding’

Comments welcome…

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