Eco-home plans refused day before council declare climate emergency
PUBLISHED: 17:05 26 April 2019
A north Norfolk man who dreamt of creating a carbon neutral home has said he won't give up after the district council refused to grant planning permission for his ambitious eco-friendly project.
Photographer Raven Cozens-Hardy, from Little Barningham, began planning to convert a family-owned former arable field in Letheringsett, near Holt, into a sustainable single-storey home in 2017.
But his application was refused just a day before councillors voted to declare a climate emergency and called for “urgent action”.
Plans to build the property off Thornage Road failed to secure planning permission by seven votes to four at a meeting of North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) development committee on Tuesday, April 23 - the day before the final full council meeting where the climate emergency motion was agreed.
Officers recommended the plans be refused due to their principle, design, landscape impact, heritage impact and highway safety.
But Mr Cozens-Hardy, 61, said while he was disappointed he had no plans to give up on his dream.
He said: “It's always been my ambition to live a zero-carbon life.
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“My hope is to build an innovative and sustainable home on an arable field and plant mature trees in a wild flower meadow, creating new habitats for bird and insect life.
“The house itself is designed to be one storey with a grass roof and a hibernacula facade, also providing habitats for wildlife.”
He added: “I have the support of the Norfolk Rivers Trust, Natural England and the Norfolk Coast Partnership which oversees the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
“I had hoped NNDC would see the importance of sustainable housing and I am disappointed it was rejected, particularly with the climate change emergency action plan encouraging people to reduce their carbon emissions.
“We will review what was said at the committee and consider our options.”
Glaven Valley district councillor Karen Ward, who proposed the motion on the climate emergency, said she supported applications focused on sustainable design.
And Ms Ward, who spoke at the development committee in favour of the application, said: “Even if the committee don't pass this, I want us to really see it as a great example of the sort of design we should be encouraging.
“I think we all see the local plan pushing more in the direction of eco-friendly housing.”