So Charlie Hague’s beautiful eco-home, which wouldn’t be out of place in The Shire, is to be bulldozed within two months on the instructions of Pembrokeshire County Council because:
“”benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside“
A lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges for young people today. Local authorities are often reluctant to build or facilitate it, preferring instead to take money from developers to fund future social housing developments. In a different place, at a different time. In a more ‘appropriate’ development. Rather than now, when people might need them.
We see this locally in Basildon with the proposals to build hundreds of “aspirational” homes on ancient pastures in Dry Street. Essentially, these will be unaffordable, luxury homes with a bare minimum of affordable provision. Neither the local council nor the developers have any interest in providing houses that local people can afford to live in. Instead, they are content to see greater and greater strain placed on local services and infrastructure by encouraging new people to move to the area.
Having been on a downward trend in the UK for years, the number of households in temporary accommodation has started to rise again. The long term impact of poor quality housing on health is well-documented. After four years of living in a damp caravan, Charlie Hague decided to act.
Charlie’s father owned a plot of land next to the pioneering Lammas Ecovillage. For around £15,000 he built a roundhouse out of straw bales, plastered with lime, and covered with a reciprocal roof (self-supporting, essentially). You can watch the story of Charlie’s house below:
I’ve served on local planning committees. The decisions are never easy. But retrospective planning permission is granted up and down the country all the time and for less considerate developments than this.
We should be looking to promote and support inventive and sustainable ways of building and living. This kind of construction should be championed as an example of how a new house can be sympathetic to its environment – not bulldozed out of existence.
Sign the petition to save Charlie and Megan’s house and please like, share and reblog to draw attention to the their plight.