ECO-HOUSE BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Date: Friday 9th May 2008

EDEN planners are being recommended to again refuse planning approval for an eco-friendly house built by Adam Hoyle at Mallerstang which has already been at the centre of controversy.

At a meeting to be held on Thursday, Eden Council’s planning applications committee will be asked to grant permission for the retention of the house, which would be used by local people as affordable housing, and an access track at Carr House.

Kirkby Stephen-based planning consultant Tom Woof, of Development Planning Solutions Limited, who is acting as agent for Mr. Hoyle, said he hoped he would be given the chance to address the meeting, but he has been told it will be left to the discretion of the committee chairman.

Mr. Woof said: “I am hoping the committee will allow the proposal because it is a sensible development which is in line with regional and local policy and is also in line with Upper Eden community plan policy”.

A report from planning officers states that the application represents the retention of an unauthorised two-storey, two-bedroomed dwelling which is currently in an advanced stage of construction, plus associated works including an access track from the B6259 road that goes to Kirkby Stephen.

Mr. Hoyle maintains that the house is built on the site of a previous dwelling which was abandoned probably in the 1940s.

He says the property will have zero carbon impact through the provision of a small wind turbine, about 3m in height, and a hydro electric power system which provides 750 kilowatts, both of which have been installed on site.

This would be sufficient to provide electricity for lights, a fridge, and low powered “home comforts”.

Should the application be refused, a public inquiry has been scheduled for 2nd September to hear an appeal by Mr. Hoyle against enforcement action which has been ordered by Eden Council because the building has been built without planning permission.

The council ruled late last year that the house must come down a decision which prompted a large number of letters to the Herald from readers who were in support of Mr. Hoyle.