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Ground-breaking eco-house coming soon?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:25 01 August 2010

AMBITIOUS plans to construct what is believed to be the first earth-sheltered eco-house in East Anglia have been tipped for approval by planners.

Builder Stephen Clarke wants to build the home on land at Little Priory, Wangford, for his family to live in.

AMBITIOUS plans to construct what is believed to be the first earth-sheltered eco-house in East Anglia have been tipped for approval by planners.

Builder Stephen Clarke wants to build the home on land at Little Priory, Wangford, for his family to live in.

The single storey home would be built into a sloping site and from one side the flat roof would be level with the surrounding land.

A report by planning officers at Waveney District Council says: “By limiting visual impact in this way, the applicants argue justification for an exception to policy, the site being outside the defined limits to development in Wangford village.”

The house would have straw walls and sustainable features, such as underfloor heating, solar panels and a rain harvesting system.

The site is in a conservation area and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to the grade I listed church of St Peter and St Paul in Church Road.

The district council has received eight letters in support of the proposals and seven objecting to them.

Getting the project off the ground has not been straightforward for Mr Clarke and chartered architect Vaughan Keal.

Earlier plans were refused by Waveney District Council in November 2008 and an appeal by Mr Clarke was subsequently dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Clarke and Mr Keal hope the fresh planning application has addressed the inspector's main concerns, which focused on boundary and landscaping issues.

The report by planning officers states: “This planning application is very similar to a previous application on this site, which was brought before members in November 2008. That application was refused and an appeal followed, although the appeal was dismissed, the inspector gave encouragement to the principle of the development.”

Planning officers say the proposal needs to be thoroughly considered and a decision made taking into account the recent arguments brought up within the inspector's decision notice and whether the changes to the application are sufficient to deliver a successful development.

The application will be discussed at the district council's development control committee meeting on Wednesday .

It is recommended for approval subject to the submission of a robust management and maintenance plan and landscaping scheme.

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