Pembrokshire Council Ruling Condemning This Lovely Home

Two month death sentence because the, “benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside“.

As of the 1st August 2013 Pembrokeshire County Council’s enforcement say the property must be demolished within 2 months because,

benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside“.

Charlie, who built this beautiful straw bale roundhouse, is a young man with a young family and like many finds it impossible to afford a home. In Charlie’s case he had three things going for him. First his father owns a big enough plot of land for Charlie to build a home. Second, the land was right next door to Lammas ecoVillage in Wales where there is plenty of natural building experience, inspiration and community spirit to help Charlie.

Finally, Charlie had been living with his partner Megan in a damp caravan for the past 4 years. With a baby on the way Charlie felt he had no choice but to build his house without the approval of the planning authorities, convinced permission for his home would be refused. The lack of affordable homes and strict planning regulations touches many lives.

Hundertwasser the famous architect, designer and artist wrote, “The individual’s desire to build something should not be deterred! Everyone should be able and have to build and thus be truly responsible for the four walls in which he lives“.

Jon Jandai, Director of Pun Pun Organic Farm said at a TED presentation in Thailand,

 ”I want to be equal to animals. The bird makes a nest in one or two days; the rat digs a hole in one night, but clever humans like us spend 30 years to have a house… that’s wrong.

Charlie’s home is designed from the natural resources available on the land rather than by building industry professionals that often specify homes using processed materials with high embodied energy.

This method of building is what SunRay Kelly calls Evolutionary Architecture and what Ben Law teaches to architects who want to learn about sustainable natural building.

It took Charlie a little over a year to build his home with a reciprocal green roof and lime plastered straw bale walls. All in all it cost Charlie about £15,000 ($23,000). Watch this short video from film makers Living in the Future where Charlie tells his story.

As of the 1st August 2013 Pembrokeshire County Council’s enforcement say the property must be demolished within 2 months because,

benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside“.

This is the rural character close to Charlie’s home on Google Street View.

More articles around the web: BBC & Wales Telegraph & Daily Mail & Telegraph & Turkiye Gazetesi & Wales Online.

A note on planning:

The Welsh government has guidelines for development of settlements in the open countryside called ‘One Planet Developments’. This is the Technical Advice Note 6 (PDF 6Mb) Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities, otherwise known as TAN6 with Tony Wrench’s roundhouse on the cover which was itself once under demolition threat but was eventually granted planning permission in September 2008.

Source of the above article:


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  1. What about their child? If I grew up in a shit home like the ones I do now and if I knew it could of been a lot better like the one above, I would hunt every asshole that took that amazing home from me and my family and kill them. >:{

  2. All over England are millions of Barrett Estates, Wimpy Homes, not forgetting the 10 billion red brick terraces and of course the stylish council houses. Oh yeah!
    The quality of housing in England is so high it is no wonder something so…. creative would be condemned by a corporate legal fiction.

  3. That's such a shame, such a quaint house as well

  4. That is terrible! This house could not fit better with its surroundings.

  5. in plannin law you need a reason to justify a building that you may then live in .its designed so rich posh types can finance a reason and the rest of us cant .to finance areason you mearly pretend to do buisnes like snail watching ,the prob is a thing called historicle intent wich stops you making the reason after the building as your history showed the intent to build a buildin for no reason inj the first place .you stil on it!! planning is a buisnes and they get paid at each step of the procces 300 quid usualyand it takes about ten aplications .he never paid this fee this is the councils beef disguised as lack of reason for building .tha answer is to move to the other side of the lake after submiting a reason and fee .this plot can not be built on again as it has incured a judjment and no new owner can now build there ever .shit but its how it works i found out

  6. The fact is that he built it without permission. If the Council could admit that this is the reason, and that at least a major fine should be paid, I would understand. But they lie as to the reason for their refusal. And when the house is demolished, I believe this family will be homeless, and so, will they be having to be found a home by the same Council? If the family returns to its caravan, will the Council allow such an eyesore? Can there not be an appeal to a higher authority?

  7. Such a beautifulhousee should win a major prize for its environmentally friendly build and the beauty of its design: THEN it might attract national attention, and perhaps the Council would reconsider. However, we've got to admit that the house was built without planning permission…

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