'Green estate' developers fight planning rejection

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The Independent Online
A 'GREEN' developer is to appeal to the Government to over-rule a council which has rejected plans for an ecological settlement of 26 homes, complete with electricity-generating windmill, water-recycling ponds and car-free zone.

South Kesteven district council planners decided the eco-estate's appearance was incongruous, its layout inappropriate and that it would be 'visually detrimental to the character of the locality'.

'I think they want Barratt-style detached and semi-detached homes,' Norman Beddington, the energy and environmental consultant behind Ecological Developments, said. 'We'll carry on fighting . . . we think we have an excellent case for the appeal.'

The 2.5 acre site is a meadow on the edge of the village of Corby Glen, 12 miles from Grantham, Lincolnshire. The houses would be in terraces grouped around a village green, a concept which did not appeal to South Kesteven. They would have large conservatories on their southern, sun-

facing sides to absorb solar heat. The council did not like the look of them either.

Waste water from washing machines and wash basins would be cleaned in ponds with reed beds and re-used, but excrement would go into the sewage mains. Much of the electricity would come from a 200 kilowatt wind turbine.

The timber-framed houses would have two, three or four bedrooms and cost from pounds 73,000 to pounds 110,000; about 25 per cent more than a conventional dwelling. In return, householders should enjoy low heating bills because their homes are so highly insulated, and the satisfaction of living more in harmony with the earth.

Some of the houses would be do-it-yourself constructions and seven registered would-be residents have already helped draw up details of the estate, its management and ecological code.

Mr Beddington says he has been unable to find any British bank interested in backing the project. He is, however, talking to a Danish and a German bank.

Graham Oxborough, South Kesteven's chief planning officer, said: 'We approve of the principles of this development, but we would like a more traditional layout and we objected to some details of the design.'