Earmarked for demolition: eco-home which doesn’t have ‘rural character’

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

A A A

With its higgledy-piggledy walls and turf roof it looks like the cosy home of a friendly hobbit. But an eco-dwelling in rural Pembrokeshire could become a test of the Welsh Government's grand designs on sustainable living.

Sculptor Charlie Hague and his wife Megan Williams spent nearly a year creating their wooden roundhouse on private family land in Glandwr.

The single story building, fashioned with a reciprocal green roof and lime plastered straw bale walls cost £15,000 to construct and was completed just in time for the couple's first child allowing them to move out of the damp caravan where they had lived for the previous four years.

They claim it was the only way they could afford to own their own home. Yet despite earning plaudits from environmental architects across the world the young family are now fighting an order to demolish their dream home because it is claimed it is harmful to the rural character of the locality.

Pembrokeshire County Council has issued an enforcement order demanding they tear it down after going ahead with the build without first seeking planning permission.

"We built this house to provide our son with a healthy environment to grow up in. We were born in the area, went to school here, and have lived here all our lives. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else," said Mr Hague, 25.

The artist uses sustainably sourced wood from his own land to make his work. The couple applied for retrospective planning permission.  But the council says that the house is "not essential to provide accommodation for an agricultural or forestry worker".

Ms Williams, 25, said they are devastated at the prospect of pulling it down and have begun a Facebook campaign to save their home. "I know it's not a possibility for everyone, and our situation here is unique, but if young people are to live and work in the area they need somewhere to live," she said.

Opponents say it is vital to enforce planning permission rules across Wales to prevent a repeat of what happened in Ireland were unregulated bungalow building before the financial crash saw the landscape scarred by development.

However supporters insist that the building, which is next to the Lammas eco village, is created from the resources on the land and fulfils the Welsh Government's One Planet development policy which they claim gives the go ahead to building homes in open countryside in Wales provided they embody the principles of sustainable living and are zero carbon.  The matter will now be decided by the Welsh Assembly.

In a statement Pembrokeshire County Council said: "An enforcement notice has been served on this property as it is alleged that an unauthorised dwelling has been built in open countryside without planning permission. It is currently the subject of an enforcement appeal."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower