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Plans for green housing in The Saints

PUBLISHED: 16:06 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 13:55 21 May 2010

HOMES made of straw, carpentry workshops and fields of crops all feature in the designs for a new eco-hamlet which could be built in one of The Saints parishes.

HOMES made of straw, carpentry workshops and fields of crops all feature in the designs for a new eco-hamlet which could be built in one of The Saints parishes.

The Norwich-based Common Ground Co-operative has bought 20 acres of land in Ilketshall St Andrew and hopes to turn the site into a low-impact, sustainable community.

The ideas behind the controversial project include building 10 houses from locally produced straw, using solar power to provide energy, using cars as little as possible and keeping goats and chickens.

But some residents say that the plans are not suitable for the area and that instead of providing housing for local people, the members of the new community will be coming in from elsewhere.

Waveney District Council has said that locating a new hamlet in open countryside is contrary to conventional planning policies, but that this application is unique and needs careful consideration.

In a report to planners, the Common Ground Co-operative said that its plan is to reduce carbon emissions while improving the biodiversity of the environment.

The report said: “Common Ground believes that its project can deliver a 'win win' scenario through the combined use of low-impact, traditional building materials and best practice in modern technologies to produce carbon-neutral, low-cost, rural housing.

“Common Ground understands this is a potentially controversial project, has consulted with the community and believes that the project could be a flagship for sustainable communities in rural areas.”

Planning officers from Waveney District Council will visit the site before discussing the plans at a rural development control meeting in early February.

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