Wales' Best House, Naturally

It boasts an 88-acre ‘back garden’ and has already been named as one of the UK’s top 10 investment hotspots. Now, this striking Grand Designs-style property in Rhondda Cynon Taff has been officially recognised — as the best house in England and Wales.

Sessile House, an eco-friendly detached home in the heart of Brynna Woods, was honoured at the 2012 annual What House Awards. The property, which is on the market for £465,000, beat a score of million pound apartments and townhouses to scoop Silver in the coveted Best House category. It shared the award with another new build in central London costing £2million, while the Gold winner — a villa in Edinburgh — is on sale at £795,000.

It means Sessile House is, effectively, the joint best new build in England and Wales.

Judges said the limited-edition property — part of the £30million Naturally Woodlands development — was a “striking, well designed and efficiently-planned home”. The accolade comes less than three months after Naturally Woodlands — set in 88 acres of ancient Welsh woodland — was voted one of the best investments in Britain. Director Peter Mills, of Monmouthshire-based developer Wynndel Property Management, said: “To win silver in the Best House category is an incredible achievement, and the team and I are delighted. The level of competition was exceptionally high, and this award is testament to the property's uniqueness and attention to detail. It looks like, and is, a work of art at a price far, far cheaper than you would expect. The Naturally Woodlands development is a new breed of bespoke, luxury development rivalling anywhere in the UK for stunning scenery, tranquillity, employment and communication links, and receiving the What House award should be seen as a major coup for Wales.”

Now in their 31st year, the What House Awards — known as the Oscars of the property industry — recognise the builders of the best new homes in Britain. They reward developers for delivering “exciting, dynamic and pioneering projects” in local communities. Sessile House beat other luxurious new-builds from around the UK by property companies including Country & Metropolitan Homes and Linden Homes. An extensive panel of property experts including architects, surveyors, property writers and industry specialists judged it to be “an innovative experiment that has proved a great success.” They described the futuristic family home as “light, energetic and modern, yet built with traditional materials and strikingly planned.” It does, they added, represent an “exceptional standard” of high-quality home which combines “comfortable family living at a realistic price, but with the edge to lift it above its competitors.” A spokesman for Cardiff-based Rio Architects, which designed Sessile House and the Naturally Woodlands development, said: “Receiving this award is a proud achievement and fantastic badge of honour”.

According to its website, the What House Awards are considered to be a “respected symbol of prestige and excellence”. Winners in each of the 21 categories received a gold, silver or bronze plaque at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, London, on November 16.